Hindon Roots Sensing (HIROS): River Rejuvenation through Scalable Water- and Solute Balance Modelling and Informed Farmers' Actions

The Hindon tributary of the Ganga river is known to be significantly contaminated by a broad range of pollutants. High fertilizer and pesticide use, combined with agricultural run-off and groundwater percolation, is a root cause of pollution of water resources in the Hindon basin. Remediation requires a deeper understanding of the application and transport of contaminants in the agro-hydrosphere.

The aim of the project is to develop a package of agri-water interventions and solutions that reduces the significant groundwater over-exploitation and improves the surface water quality in the Hindon Basin. By collaborating with three distinct practitioner partners that represent relevant supply chain and technology channels, and engaging closely with multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) such as the Hindon MSP, the results of the research can be deployed directly at farmer-level under scientifically validated policies (including relevant regulatory and/or incentive systems). Changing farmer behaviour along the Theory of Change is a core outcome of the project.

Project Outputs

Under the project, scientific knowledge is developed to support pathways towards sustainable agricultural water management in the Hindon basin. Fundamental research will create accurate and relevant modelling approaches regarding

(a) application of remote sensing technologies for high resolution physical soil-, chemical- and groundwater properties;

(b) eco-hydrological modelling at field/farmer level; and

(c) integrated modelling from field- to basin. The impact of farming interventions will be studied using models/scenarios, a socio-economic-ecological framework aiming farmers’ buy-in, and innovative remote sensing-based farmers communication.

A basin-wide, detailed spatial planning for sustainable agro-water practices is prepared for relevant policies and programs inclusions.

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