Through a soft diffusion composed mostly of dust, pollution and smoke, I spent days and often weeks over many years sitting by the banks of the Ganges watching the water softly caress the human beast. In an uneasy slumber the cities along the river cleanse their industrial and domestic waste into the riverbed at a slow but steady speed. Recent studies show that by 2030, the Ganges could cease to exist due to global warming, water pollution and construction of dams along the river.

Photographer Giulio Di Sturco is nearing the end of his epic documentation of India’s Ganges river. The holy river is one of the world’s most polluted waterways, and its future is uncertain.

Follow Di Sturco’s project – Ganges: Death of a River.


The Ganges is a river intimately connected with every aspect of Indian life. It is a source of water, energy and livelihood for millions of people who live along the banks of this river. Thanks to the fertile lands, it provides food to more than one-third of the Indian population. Its ecosystem also includes one of the most varied animal and plant species. Despite this, today it is one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

Photographer Giulio Di Sturco has been awarded a 2014 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for his project ‘Ganges: Death of a River.’ Read more about Giulio and the project here.