Water pollution is a rising global crisis. According to the UN, today 2.1 Billion people live without safe drinking water. Nowadays water pollution is increasing at an alarming rate, which makes the use of water unsuitable for human consumption.Experts believe that India also face a huge challenge regarding water scarcity as they fear the country has just five years to solve its water crisis . Otherwise hundreds of millions of lives will be in danger.
Water bodies can be polluted by a variety of substances including toxic chemicals, radioactive substances. etc but the main sources of water pollution include:
1.There are various sources of water pollution, but the domestic source is the primary reason for water contamination. Around 80% of water pollution is caused by untreated domestic sewage
2.Another source of pollution is the industrial effluents along with the raw, untreated sewage discharged from drains into the rivers and canals. Oil leaks from ships , pollutants released from processing plants and waste disposal areas , effluents from factories and industries using radioactive material have harmful effects on marine habitats such as if the level of water pollution increases vigorously then algae would flourish rapidly which releases dangerous toxins causing damage and harm to the fish, dolphins, sea turtles and other aquatic life.
3.A significant source for the pollution in the river Ganga is the dumping of dead bodies, animal carcasses, and corpses into the holy river. Washing of dirty things in the water, and human excreta along the river banks also contribute to pollution. Also a large number of dairy farms in urban areas discharge their wastes into the river.
4.India generates 26000 tonnes of plastic everyday , but 40% of it remains uncollected causing littering of the marine life and hazardous effects to river systems. Single use plastic is being used worldwide and is considered to be the main reason for land pollutants and water pollution.
5. Animal agriculture uses about 70% of agricultural land, and is one of the leading causes for deforestation and water pollution.
6. Mining also causes water pollution which includes metal contamination, increased sediment levels and acid mine drainage.
Various solutions and other implementable ways can be used to limit the pollution of our water resources. These include:
1.Organic farming ,expanding wetlands, growing mangroves reduces water pollution.
2.Capturing rainwater, reusing treated wastewater for irrigation along with proper sewage treatment and management curbs the water crisis.
3.Trees moderate air and water pollution, reduce heating and cooling costs, and provide shade and shelter. Afforestation helps in reduce water pollution and preventing soil erosion.
4.Dispose waste properly.
5. Plan an active role in conserving water. Spread awareness and support projects and initiatives for water treatment
Environmental monitoring shows that the 3 month nationwide lock down due to the corona virus outbreak has resulted in rivers shows sign of overall improvement in quality of water along with decreasing water pollution. Also the critically endangered , enigmatic South Asian River dolphin, or ‘Ganga dolphin’ has been spotted making a comeback to Kolkata with many experts citing intense river pollution is to be the main reason for the dolphins disappearance.
Water remains the most essential mankind need that nature has so easily provided. Let’s all commit to conserving water, using it judiciously and helping the environment thrive.