Status of organochlorine pesticides in Ganga river basin: anthropogenic or glacial?
- Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, 110016 New Delhi, India
Abstract. This study reports the occurrences of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the Ganga river basin covering 3 states, i.e., Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar comprising 72% of total river stretch consisting of 82 sampling points covered through 3 sampling campaigns. Samples were monitored for 16 major OCPs, including hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), Endosulfan group, Aldrin group, DDTs and Heptachlor group pesticides.
The results showed the ng L−1 levels contamination of OCPs in all the stretches sampled during these campaigns. The results also revealed that different types of OCPs were dominating in different stretches in accordance with the land use practices and agricultural runoff generated from those stretches. HCHs were most frequently detected (detection rate = 75%) in mountainous stretch; Endosulfans were prominent in UP (detection rate = 75%) stretch while in BR stretch Aldrin group pesticides were paramount (detection rate = 34%). Source apportionment of the OCP's revealed that in the upper reaches of the Ganges i.e., in the state of Uttarakhand, the glacial melt may be responsible for the presence of OCP's. In the lower reaches, intensive agriculture and industrial activities may be significantly contributing these pesticides. The samples from tributaries of Ganga river were found to contain higher numbers of pesticides as well as higher concentrations. The maximum total pesticide concentration in an individual sample during these sampling campaigns was found in the Son river sample (0.17 μg L−1, Location: Koilwar, Bhojpur, Bihar).