Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University

Monthly Archives: April 2011

A walk along the ghats of Varanasi

Colorful life at a ghat

The city Varanasi is not only the most sacred city of India, it is also said to be the oldest settlement in the world. In this place communities have persisted for over 3000 years. Hindi pilgrims come to Varanasi for religious purpose and many international tourists can be found here as well. Spiritual life concentrates on the river banks of the holy river Ganga. Situated at the western side of the river you can find more than 80 so called ghats: paved steep staircases which connect the city with the river. They are mostly used for bathing, as peers for smaller boats and as a meeting spot for locals and tourists. Read more »

First two weeks in India

Hindu Prayer at Ganga

The first two weeks in India are not easy to describe. A mixture of feelings and impressions. Three visits at the doctor’s, as well as exciting places and people, and the Indian television. This country is really a mixture of people, sights, noises and smells.

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Waste in the Cities

Waste Dump in Hyderabad

Waste management is one of the major problems in Indian cities. The rapid rate of urbanisation in India has led to an increasing waste generation. Read more »

Vulnerability of Groundwater in India

public well in Varanasi

Groundwater is a key component of the water resources for human use and development. It is an integral part of the Hydrological cycle and is valuable source of water supply. It is mainly governed by geological formations, the nature and extent of aquifer bodies, hydro geological properties and groundwater flow characteristics. Aquifers are quite sensitive to pollution and over-abstraction. There is indiscriminate exploitation of groundwater without simultaneous efforts of recharge. Consequently, the water table in many parts of India has been decreasing at an alarming rate. Due to deforestation, urbanization and absence of planned catchment management, much of rainwater goes untapped directly to the sea without recharging the groundwater. During monsoon, floods arise and cause havoc and in summer after runoff there develops widespread water scarcity. Read more »

Urbanisation and Water Resources in India

Indian City Impressions

Humanity has crossed the line from being a rural to urban species since 2007. For the first time in history, more people live in cities and urban areas than in the countryside (Tibaijuka 2006). Starting in the developed nations, where the urbanization process has been significantly decelerated in the meantime, urbanization has especially increased in Asia and South America as well as in Africa to a substantial extent in the second half of the last century. The vast dynamic in these countries is documented by the fact that only three cities with more than four million inhabitants have been in the countries of the developing nations in the 1950s. Read more »