Ground Report | New Delhi: The 10 most polluted rivers in the world; The majority of the world’s population, in almost any region, has a river nearby. Rivers are one of our most important natural resources, one of the essential vertebrae for the survival of our planet and society. They provide us with drinking water, irrigation for our agriculture, our source of food, and have been the first highway for commerce and transportation.
They play a fundamental role in the water cycle and account for 2% of the total freshwater surface on earth. Without rivers, there is no life, and now they are in danger. Over the years, human activity has heavily polluted rivers. Waste from industrialization, urbanization, and especially domestic waste and waste generated in the production are dumped daily into these waters causing dire consequences for the environment.
All this, added to the high temperatures as a consequence of climate change, which we also feed, is destroying the most important sources of life in our environment. Being aware of the damage that we are causing to one of our most necessary natural resources is the first step to change our actions and generate protective measures.
The 10 most polluted rivers in the world
- Salween River. It is the most polluted river in the world and is located in Southeast Asia. Due to the industrial activity on its slopes, its water has been affected by the presence of lead, sulfur, copper, zinc and mercury.
- Danube river. The so-called “blue river”, which runs through central Europe, has increased its levels of pollution since 1999 to become the second most polluted river in the world. On the one hand, by the fluids from the Serbian factories that were bombed during the Balkan conflict. On the other hand, due to the increase in river transport through its waters and the discharges of chemicals, pesticides and wastewater.
- Silver river. The discharge into its waters of domestic and industrial waste in its tributaries, as well as runoff from agriculture, has caused this river, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay, to have high levels of contamination.
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- Rio Bravo . It is the second largest river bank in the United States and the fourth most polluted river in the world. It irrigates a large part of the regions of Mexico, where it is known as the Rio Grande. The presence of more than a hundred dams and aqueducts has reduced its flow. Worse are the various industries along its channel that have caused its contamination.
- Ganges River . It is located in northern India and supplies almost half of the country’s population. It is its most important source of water, which makes its high contamination a serious health hazard. Thousands and thousands of pilgrims flock there to purify their sins, but they also leave cremated human and animal corpses in its waters. In addition, large amounts of sewage and industrial waste are discharged.
It is the main river in Pakistan and is highly affected by climate change, since it is 80% dependent on glaciers for its water flow. The disappearance of many glaciers due to global warming has reduced their flow.
- River Nile . The largest river in Africa is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The pollution of its waters is due to industrial and organic waste, the accumulation of sediments and the diversion of its waters. Many of its aquatic species have died because its waters have received around 275 million tons of waste.
- Murray-Darling River . Located in Australia, the native species of this river have been reduced by 10% due to the increase in invasive species, causing an imbalance in its biodiversity that has had an impact on the quality of its waters.
- Mekong River. It is found in Southeast Asia and runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Its waters are contaminated by the presence of arsenic in them. This chemical element attacks its ecosystems and endangers people’s health.
- Yangtze River. The use of fertilizers, pesticides and ship pollution puts the great biodiversity of this river, the longest in Asia, at risk.