Ephemeral Flows: a comprehensive overview of the state of water quality in a transient river system in northwest India

Rivers have been pivotal to human progress, providing essential resources for ancient societies. The Ghaggar River, flowing through three states and one Union Territory, has been a cornerstone for settlements due to its fertile lands. However, its proximity to mining, agriculture, and industrial zones has altered its chemical dynamics, making the monitoring of its water quality a critical task. Recent literature reviews, utilizing comprehensive databases and search strategies, have highlighted the socio-economic significance of water quality. Economic shifts, land use changes, industrial growth, and increased chemical usage have impacted water quality, leading to accessibility, availability, and affordability issues. Moreover, gastrointestinal and skin ailments among the river’s users underscore the urgency of the situation. Local communities are now facing a crisis as the degradation of this vital water source forces them to seek alternative solutions.