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The most polluted rivers in the world

Massive urbanization on the planet has brought with it numerous pollutants, such as household waste and waste and the effects of industrialization. Thus, human activity throughout history has caused the contamination of many natural spaces, including rivers, causing the serious crisis of fresh water.

The consequences for the environment and for the human being are dire, since rivers suppose life. For this reason, from AgroCorrn, we want you to know the most polluted rivers in the world and to become aware of the importance of taking care of ecosystems.

You may also be interested in: The most polluted countries in the world

Salween River

The Salween River is located in Southeast Asia, east of Tibet. Generally, it flows in a southerly direction for around 2,400 km through Yunnan, China and east of Myanmar. Thus, this river runs through various industrial zones in China and Burma.

Given the activities carried out along the river, mainly industrial in the textile sector, this current has seriously increased its levels of lead, sulfur, copper, cadmium, zinc and mercury in a very short time, which is why it is currently considered the most polluted river on the planet . In fact, many traders have abandoned their fishing tasks to resell plastic and glass collected from this river

Silver river

The Río de la Plata is known for being an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean located in South America and for being formed by the union of the rivers Uruguay and the State of Paraná in Brazil, serving as a border between the borders of the Argentine Republic and the Eastern Republic of Uruguay.

For decades the second largest basin in South America has presented high levels of pollution as a cause of the discharge of domestic and industrial waste into its tributaries, as well as the draining of water with chemical waste from agricultural tasks.

Here you can learn more about what are industrial discharges in water and its treatment .

Danube river

The chemical residues that have accumulated in this river since 1999 as a result of the fluids from the Serbian factories bombed during the attacks produced by NATO forces make this another one of the main rivers on this list.

Likewise, there are other causes that have led to the alarming pollution situation of this central European river, ironically known as the “blue river” years ago. The increase in river transport in its waters is one of the most serious causes. In addition, it is estimated that this type of contamination will continue to grow in the coming years, even multiplying. Finally, the role of the Danube River as a receptor for chemicals, pesticides and wastewater are also important causes that have led to its precarious state.

Ganges River

This river in northern India supplies nearly half of India’s entire population, some 400 million people, making it the most important source of water in the country. However, unfortunately today it looks more like a landfill.

Many people make pilgrimage to the banks of the river to “purify their sins” and abandon the inert bodies of cremated humans and animals with the intention that their souls enter “Paradise”. Consequently, these acts, along with sewage and other industrial waste, are causing enormous pollution of the Ganges .

Despite good intentions to fix the situation, all attempts to save the river have failed. In fact, the situation of the Ganges is so dire that one of its tributaries, the Yamuna, has already been declared the most polluted urban river on the planet, where 100% of its content is fecal matter, 0% oxygen and, therefore , no type of life resists these conditions, both animal and plant.

In the image below and on the cover of this article you can see the contamination of the Ganges River .

Nile river

The largest river on the African continent has also not escaped slipping into this fearsome list of the most polluted rivers in the world .

The industrial and organic waste , accumulation of sediment and water diversions have caused a huge rate of pollution in the Nile River . As a consequence of the almost 275 million tons of waste discarded in its waters, both organic waste and from industrial sectors such as hotels, hospitals and sewage systems, have caused many aquatic species to become extinct.

30 of the 47 species of fish that were traded for human consumption in the area have all disappeared. In addition to the loss of biological diversity in the area, this is creating a huge problem in the fishing sector.

Rio Bravo or Grande

The Rio Grande is the second largest basin in the United States, where it is known as the Rio Grande , and is a fundamental source of water for the arid regions of this country, as well as for Mexico.

However, the volume of water decreases daily due to the construction of more than 100 dams and aqueducts, and what remains is contaminated due to discharges caused by various industries .

Other of the most polluted rivers in the world

In addition to the above, there are many more polluted rivers around the world:

  • Murray-Darling River : the biodiversity of the area has been altered due to the introduction of non-native species, causing an environmental imbalance with the consequent threat of extinction for several species, as well as turbidity in its waters.
  • Indus River : due to climate change, this river does not receive the necessary amount of water from glaciers, from where it originally received 80% of its water resources.
  • Mekong River : the presence of arsenic in its waters devastates the surrounding ecosystems and puts people in the area at risk of poisoning.
  • Yangtze River : It is the longest river in Asia, but the biological wealth of the area is being intoxicated by the use of fertilizers, pesticides and naval pollution. In the image below you can see this river.
  • Mississippi River : Given its proximity to agricultural and industrial areas, this important river has also been affected by pollution.
  • Pasig River : this river is the victim of contamination as a result of the neighborhoods built on its banks. Large amounts of sewage, garbage and chemical residues accumulate in its waters.
  • The Tietê River : perhaps the most polluted river in South America, the Tietê accumulates pollution from sewage and industrial waste and emits toxic gases

Importance of rivers and how to avoid their contamination

Rivers account for 2% of the total freshwater surface on the planet and are one of our fundamental natural resources for survival . Almost all towns have a river near which they source. Without rivers, neither society nor nature as we know it would survive.

Among the many benefits it brings us, the most important are: a source of drinking water for humans and other animals, irrigation for agriculture and a means for transport and commerce.

However, human activity has damaged the quality of river waters, contaminating them with garbage and wastes of all kinds: industrial, urban and domestic; thus altering the ecological balance of the environment . For this reason, it is vitally important that human beings become aware of our role in the world and avoid polluting not only the rivers, but any natural area on the planet.

To help to help clean the rivers and prevent them from becoming contaminated, you can also carry out some steps. Remember the following tips:

  • Do not throw garbage or leave any object in rivers or other natural areas, such as lakes or swamps.
  • Also take care of the banks and adjacent areas of rivers.
  • Do not pour oil or chemicals down the drain at home.
  • Recycle at home, work, school …
  • Do not bathe with soap in the rivers.
  • Not such trees, nor do you collaborate in the great increase in the indiscriminate felling of these.
Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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