Water pollution strongly impacts the balance of nature, which ultimately impacts all humans. What are the various reasons for water pollution in India and what are the possible steps to combat this problem? (250 words)

Water pollution strongly impacts the balance of nature, which ultimately impacts all humans. What are the various reasons for water pollution in India and what are the possible steps to combat this problem? (250 words)

Approach:

  • Introduce with water pollution and problems due to it.
  • Mention the various reasons for water pollution in India.
  • How this problem can be mitigated. Mention some government initiatives.
  • Conclude appropriately.
Model Answer :

Water pollution is one of the biggest problem facing India right now. More than half the rivers in India are polluted as well as large percentage of other water bodies. Water pollution leads to death of aquatic animals, disruption of food chain, destruction of ecosystem, various diseases, and has huge socio-economic costs.

Reasons for water pollution in India:

  • Untreated Sewage: Sewage discharged from the cities, towns and some villages is the predominant cause of water pollution in India. Major cities of India produce 38,354 MLD of the sewage, but the urban sewage treatment capacity is only 11,786 MLD.
  • Inadequate treatment of industrial waste: Inadequately treated industrial waste containing pollutants like asbestos, lead, mercury, petrochemicals is discharged into the lakes and rivers.
  • Improper practices in agricultural sector: Traces of fertilizers and pesticides are wasted into the nearest water bodies at the onset of the monsoon or whenever there are heavy showers.
  • Eutrophication: Industrial effluents, excess fertilizer run off, pesticides, dumping of untreated sewage has led to eutrophication which has led to death of many aquatic animals. Ex – death of fishes in Ulsoor Lake.
  • Social and religious practices: Religious practices like cremation on river banks, immersion of idols etc. also adversely affect the water quality.

Some of the possible steps to mitigate it:

  • Sewage Treatment: Adequate care should be taken to ensure that effective sewage treatment process is in place. Action plans have been prepared for sewage management and restoration of water quality in aquatic resources.
  • Industrial Treatment: Industries should treat its effluent wastes prior to discharge. Toxic materials must be treated chemically and converted into harmless materials. Government is providing financial assistance for installation of common effluent treatment plants for clusters of small scale industrial units.
  • Monitoring: Government is ensuring installation of online effluent monitoring systems to check the discharge of effluent directly into rivers and water bodies .
  • Improved farming practices: Farmers can be educated and incentivised to take up proper agricultural practices to prevent agriculture run-off from entering water bodies.
  • Public Awareness: Common public should be made aware of the effects of water pollution. There is also a need for behavioural interventions including incentives or punishments.

Water is fundamental to life, livelihood, food security and sustainable development. Water pollution creates a great burden on both public health and economy. Water quality and quantity are interlinked and need to be managed in an integrated manner, consistent with broader environmental management, to reduce pollution and wastage.

Subjects : Ecology and Environment

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