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India

At 1,560 miles (2510 km) long with a river basin between 200 and 400 miles wide, the Ganges river supports nearly half a billion people 'Mother Ganges' is revered by Hindus as the incarnation of a god.

But while the river is viewed by some as a sacred entity with great spiritual purity, the environmental reality is another story. Almost 300 million gallons of waste are poured directly in to the river each day. This practice has led the river to become a breeding ground for deadly, waterborne illnesses, which make up 80% of the health problems facing the nation of India. Perhaps of greatest concern is the impact of climate change on the Himalayas that is melting the glaciers that feed the Ganges, threatening to make the river a seasonal occurrence within a span of decades.

Expedition Blue Planet investigated the impact of the river's increasing seasonality on the physical wellbeing, spiritual practice and cultural identity of the Indian people. This is more than simply an academic question. The water that flows in the rivers is the lifeblood of India, tying together her history, her people and their future.