Two-third of the Earth’s surface is surrounded by water but still the percentage of pure drinking water is only 0.5%. This is further declining day by day due to pollution of rivers and other water sources.
“Water, water, everywhere; nor any drop to drink”.
These famous lines of poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Coleridge stand absolutely true in today’s times.
The toxicity level of pure water has increased to such an extent that it cannot be used for drinking purposes. Water is required for irrigating agricultural fields, manufacturing goods in industries and other domestic purposes. These activities themselves are the main reason behind pollution of the rivers.
Here’s a list of world’s most polluted rivers in the world.
It is the largest and most sacred river according to Hindu mythology. It is said that King Bhagirath brought it from heaven to the Earth. But River Ganga is no longer as holy as it used to be and has become one of the most polluted rivers.
The water of river Ganga gets contaminated with sewage waste, industrial pollutants, religious rituals and other harmful substances. India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a National Mission to clean Ganga and save its pure water.
It is the sixth longest river in the world. Popularly known as Mother River of China. It is known as Yellow River because in the lower ranges muddy water results in yellow color. The river is getting dry day by day. The water left is highly contaminated, containing waste from pharmaceutical and chemical industry.
The water is even unfit for agricultural, domestic and drinking purposes. According to a survey, more than 4 million tons of waste is dumped in the river every year. The pollution of the river is due to the rapid rise of industrialization in China.
Citarum is considered to be the most polluted river in the world. It is one of the largest rivers in Indonesia that stretches 200 miles from its origin in the mountains and drains in the Java Sea. It accounts for the death of 50,000 people every year. The level of mercury in this river is 100 times the normal level.
Most part of the river is filled with plastic, making it difficult to see the clear area. The river water is full of harmful chemicals and other waste which are released into it. Due to industrial waste, the water of the river has turned black and cloudy. 480 tons of livestock wastes, along with 280 tons of industrial wastes, results in severe contamination.
It is one of the most polluted rivers in Europe. It flows in the southern part of Italy nearly in Pompeii and Naples. The river is so toxic that it took lives of many aquatic species. The upper reaches of the river is clean but as it comes down it gets mixed with pollutants. Litter can be easily seen floating in the river.
The water of the river is contaminated by the agricultural and industrial wastes. It makes the water of some areas unfit for drinking and domestic purposes. It was a great source of water for most of the people, but now cases of liver cancer have is being reported in the country.
Mississippi river is among the world’s largest rivers. It serves water to most of the places in The United States. The major pollutants released in the river include arsenic, mercury, nitrate, and benzene. Because of all these factors, Mississippi is also known as "Big Muddy River".
According to American Environmental Research and Policy Center, almost 12.7 million pounds of toxic chemicals are found in the river. The river is treated as sewage by farmers and industrialists. As a result, it has become poisonous for plants and animals who live in it. The river water is therefore unfit for drinking.
This river originates from Anti Lebanon and Mount Hebron mountain ranges covering a distance of 223 kilometers. The lower ranges of water have been severely deteriorating. Full sewage, industrial and agricultural waste are dumped into it. The river is visited by 1,00,000 people as it is one of the sacred Christian sites but it is polluted in a deadly manner.
The salinity level has already crossed the limits as specified by the biologists. The residents of West Bank are drinking this water and if no other alternative is found, then the people there will be completely devoid of the drinking water source.
Cuyahoga literally means crooked river. The river is so polluted that it caught fire in 1969. The water is contaminated by industrial waste such that the river oozing instead of flowing.
The river flows from the urban areas thus it has become the dumping ground for household waste. Earlier people did not worry about the continuous contamination which resulted in choking the river with oil, debris and other wastes.
Doce river is present in the southernmost Brazil. The river basin is economically important for the people living along the sides of the river.
In November 2015, a mining dam collapsed polluting the river to a great extent. This was one of the worst disasters in Brazil as 1.6 million people living alongside the river were affected. The pollutants in the river were so harmful that they can cause diarrhea, vomiting and can even affect the central nervous system.
It is a 64-kilometer long river in Argentina. One-third of the river pollutants are released by factories and industries into it. About 15,000 industries are actively discharging waste and other effluents in the river.
The places which are near to the most polluted parts of the river is unfit for the survival of human beings. The toxicity of the river can result in diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory problems.
It is one of the most important rivers in the Philippines as it provides water to more than 2,50,000 residents. Industries, gold mines, metals, and factories all contribute together in polluting the river.
The heavy metal concentration in the river has made it difficult for human life spans. It has even resulted in immense environmental degradation and also affecting public health.
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