Problems with India’s Ganges River

Ganga River Basin

Ganga River Basin


After receiving his JD degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Paul Seeman went on to serve as a judge of the Alameda County Superior Court for five years. He was named Juvenile Court Judge of the Year in 2009 and was involved with criminal justice, mental health issues, and international environmental law. Paul Seeman enjoys travel and spent time in India working on several environmental projects, one of which focused on the Ganges River cleanup.

Although the Ganga River Basin has great cultural and religious significance, increased urbanization and industrialization are leading to ever-worsening pollution and its sustainability is greatly threatened. Spreading across 11 states, over 600 million people, or nearly half of India’s total population, live in its region.

The Ganga River Basin is the source for 90 percent of the country’s irrigation, and this fertile area also generates 40% of country’s GDP. It is also home to some of India’s poorest populations, with almost 200 million inhabitants living under the national poverty line. As the Ganga Basin deals with an increasing population without the infrastructure to manage it, sewage and industrial waste are released unchecked into the river.

To help restore the Ganga River, several organizations are taking immediate action to rehabilitate and upgrade sewage plants, to prevent industrial toxicities from being dumped into the waters, and to educate its inhabitants on how they can restore this precious resource.