How does water gets polluted?

A case study of Ganga River

  • Ganga is one of the most significant rivers of India. It flows through many towns, cities and villages of northern, eastern and central India.
  • People living in these regions are dependent upon Ganga water for their livelihood as well as for their day-to-day needs.
  • But it has been found that Ganga is one of the 10 endangered rivers of the world according to the (WWF) World Wide Fund for Nature. This is because of its extreme pollution. The river has been called in dead at several places as it has no aquatic life there.

Causes of water Pollution of Ganga

  1. Various towns, villages and cities through which the Ganga River passes release untreated sewage water, garbage, dead bodies and other harmful substances into it.
  2. The Ganga River flowing through the Kanpur region in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted part of this river. This is so because of the large population of Kanpur.
  3. People use river water for bathing, cleaning, washing clothes and they even defecate in the river. From polythene bags to idols of Gods, flowers and garbage, people through several things in the river. All this leads to its pollution.
  4. The flow of river Ganga near the Kanpur region is slow which leads to more pollution of it in still water.
  5. There are more than 5000 industries in Kanpur including leather, detergent, paint and Fertilizer Industries. All of these released toxic wastes in the river which leads to its pollution.

In order to prevent the river Ganga from getting polluted the Government of India had initiated the Ganga Action Plan in 1985. However, increased industries and the growing population of India have damaged the river to use extent. Hence the Government of India has now started another initiative called the National Mission for Clean Ganga in 2016.

What Is Eutrophication?

  • Eutrophication is the presence of an excess of nutrients in the water, especially stagnant water.
  • Eutrophication mainly occurs due to the addition of chemicals in the water bodies.
  • As a result, a large number of algae and other plants start growing in water.
  • As they die, decomposers begin to rise in the water. These decomposers take up most of the oxygen of the water.
  • Hence, the lack of oxygen leads to the killing of aquatic animals in the water body.