Water Pollution Current Affairs - 2020

Lock Down improves water quality of Ganges

The Lock Down imposed in the country on March 22, 2020 has improved air quality and water quality. According to CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), 40 million litres of waste water enters water bodies.

The Ganges

The water pollution of a river is measured based on Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD). The Ganga has become dump yard for industrial waste and untreated sewage. Since 1985, several schemes and programmes have been launched to clean Ganga starting with Ganga Action Plan I. Later in 2015, the biggest initiative Namami Gange was launched.

After COVID-19

After lock down, the real time monitoring data from the CPCB say that out of 36 monitoring points of the Ganges, 27 are now clean and suitable for wildlife and fisheries propagation.

The dissolved Oxygen values have reported to have improved in the cities like Varanasi where the pollution peaked. The improvement has been from 6.8 mg/litre as compared to 3.8 mg/litre before lock down.

Reasons

The major reasons for the improvement in the water quality is that activities such as bathing, tourism, fairs near the ghats were stopped. Also, the major industrial activities around the river were stopped.

Though sewage persists to enter the river, now the situation is different. This is because when sewage effluents get mixed with the industrial effluents, it is highly difficult for the river to assimilate itself.

WHO: Ground Water contaminated with Uranium in India above 30 micro-gram per litre

On March 16, 2020, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria announced in the parliament that ground water is contaminated with Uranium at 30 micro-grams per litre in the country.

Highlights

According to the ministry, the World Health Organization has quoted that the ground water in localized areas of certain states and union territories have been contaminated with Uranium. The prevalence of Uranium is above 30 micro-grams per litre.

The Organization also quoted that the states such as Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan, Punjab, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu Kashmir have occurrence of Uranium in ground water.

Permissible limits

The Bureau of Indian Standards has set the maximum permissible limit of Uranium in drinking water as 0.03 mg per litre.

Uranium ill effects

Intake of large amount of Uranium causes kidney problems.

Uranium in Environment

Uranium is rare. It is naturally spread in the Indian environment. It derives from soil, rocks and gets dissolved in water.