Conservation issues and challenges

Ramganga is the first major tributary joining the Ganga. This spring-fed river rises at an altitude of about 3,110 m in the lower Himalayas near the Lohba village (Latitude 30o5’ N and Longitude 79o16’ E) in the Pauri-Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Initially the river flows in south westerly direction for about 32 km before it turns right and flows successively through Almora and Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand for about 112 km. The length of the Ramganga river from its source to the confluence with the Ganga is 596 km. During its course, the river flows through mountainous terrain and has a number of falls and rapids in the districts of Chamoli, Nainital, Almora and Pauri Garwal in Uttarakhand. Ramganga flows by the Corbett National Park near Ramnagar of Nainital district from where it descends to the plains. The river enters the plains at Kalagarh near the border of the Garhwal district, where the famous Ramganga dam has been constructed.

This river is impacted by abstraction and diversion of flows, unsustainable water use (surface and ground), increasing water footprint of (cities, industries and agriculture) leading to pollution and degradation in aquatic biodiversity. It offers unique challenges (socio-economic, technical and institutional) and addressing these would bring about significant changes in the quantity and quality of flow in the main Ganga as well. As the conventional state-sponsored river conservation programmes have focussed on the main stem of the rivers ignoring the tributaries, it is an opportunity for WWF to demonstrate an integrated approach for the management of key tributaries in the Ganga basin.

Since the programme aims to restore the ecological health of the river, it is important that the strategies implemented under each component of the programme are complementary to each other, with synergies being built between the components.
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