Pollution of the Ganges and Yangtze


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Pollution of the Ganges and Yangtze

  1. 1. Water Pollution in Asia
  2. 2. The Ganges River • Begins high in the Himalayan Mountains and flows 1600 miles through India and Bangladesh to the Bay of Bengal • Provides water and transportation for over 400 million people who live in its river valley • Known as “Mother Ganges”
  3. 3. Ganges River • In spite of the river’s importance and its place in the spiritual lives of Indians, the quality of the water has become poor. – Chemicals used in fertilizer and industry are washed into the river – Human and animal waste – Bodies of dead animals as well as cremated remains of human beings regularly float down the river
  4. 4. • A building near the Ganges River overflows with wood and tinder to be used in cremation. Several sets of stairs wind up the bank and around the huge piles of wood. A cow eats hay near the shore where a boat is docked. A few men are scattered across the shore. • Cremation along the Ganges River is common practice for Hindus. Hindus regularly bathe in it, wash their clothes in it, and even drink from it. Their dead are often cremated and thrown into the river. Because some cannot afford enough wood to fully burn a body, the corpses that are thrown into the river are often partially-burnt or unburnt. This, along with sewage, trash, and other contamination, make the Ganges one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
  5. 5. The Ganges River • In spite of the pollutants in the water, many Indians bathe in the Ganges, use the water for drinking and cooking. • Consequences: – Cities along the Ganges have the highest rates of water-born diseases of any who live in India – Outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis are common • Polluted water part of the reason
  6. 6. The Ganges River • What is being done? – The Ganges Action Plan in 1985 to try to clean up the river. – Many sewage and water treatment plants have been built along the river – HOWEVER, the growing population of India and the run-off from industrial and farm production have meant that clean-up efforts fall short of what is needed.
  7. 7. People wash laundry in the Ganges River.
  8. 8. China • Water Pollution Has Become China’s Most Urgent Environmental Problem Today • At least 300 million people in China do not have access to safe drinking water • As much as 70% of China’s lakes, rivers, and streams are affected by water pollution • Although legislation is in place China’s government does not strictly enforce. • Riverside chemical and power plants, along with paper, textile, and food production facilities, are a leading source of pollution of China's rivers and lakes
  9. 9. Yangtze River • China’s longest river; flows 4,000 miles from the northwestern part of the country to the East China Sea. • Passes through 185 towns where 400 million people live • Pumping stations along the river take water out to supply people with water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial uses.
  10. 10. Yangtze River • What’s causing the pollution? – Millions of gallons of sewage are dumped into the river along with chemicals from agricultural runoff and industrial wastes – Nitrogen from fertilizers and arsenic (poisonous chemical) from industrial uses are the leading pollutants
  11. 11. Yangtze River • Consequences: – Many species of plants and animals that once lived in the river are disappearing. – High levels of nitrogen and phosphates lead to growth of blue-algae • This growth reduces the oxygen in the water=fish die – Contaminated fish are caught and sold
  12. 12. Yangtze River • What’s being done to help? – Building more water treatment facilities to remove contaminants – Encouraging use of sanitary landfills rather than dumping into river
  13. 13. The Songhua River, despite its pollution and trash, is a popular playground for Harbin residents in the summertime.
  14. 14. Lanzhou, Gansu province: A resident takes a water sample from the polluted Yellow river".
  15. 15. Water pollution of the Ao River in Zhejiang