News / Environment
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Ganges and Yangtze Rivers - Can They Be Saved?

Rivers That Cry For Help

The two largest expanding economies in the world, India and China, are making remarkable progress in growing their GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but this appears to be heading for a crashing start as their rivers and lakes become so polluted that the population for whom they wish to bring progress can no longer drink the water. To be fair, this is an issue all over the world, but it is more desperate in these two countries, because the pace of change is so fast that the sewage treatment infrastructure has not been installed to meet the demand. There are reports that treatment plants are overloaded and raw sewage is flowing into the rivers killing the fish, plants and micro-organisms. The untreated sewage, along with heavy metal and chemical contaminants, is entering rivers like the Yangtze (China) and the Ganges (India) and causing gradual death to these key survival rivers for these proud and talented people.

Some measurement studies have indicated that as much as 70% of river pollution in parts of the Ganges is attributable to untreated waste. In the Yangtze, major chemical contamination dumped by individuals and companies with little loyalty to the Chinese People is a huge concern. The end of the Yangtze River, near Shanghai, is reported to be the most threatened with some scientists predicting the death of all river life there within a few years. China in the future could suffer massive increases in cancer cases, especially kidney, liver and brain (the organs that absorb chemicals well). It appears that for all the money India and China are making, not enough of it is going towards their organic survival and infrastructure development. Some international corporations must also take part of the blame, as they have entered these two Countries for business, and have not insisted upon the same environmental controls that they would have to install in their home countries.

Much more investment in upgrading to world class water treatment plants is required, if there is to to be a chance of recovery for these two rivers. Prosecutions of all pollution violators needs to be enforced strictly with government trained inspectors, who are compensated well to maintain their objectivity. This needs to be done very soon as both Countries are becoming economically 'rich', but environmentally poor. Both India and China need to be radical and adopt carte blanche the combined California's Air Resource Board and Dutch Water regulations in order to become top of the class. Currently both are far from the combination of these regulations, as are many other countries, but none have allowed their environment to knowingly decay to such an extent as they.

Water quality is an issue in many countries today, and the World Health Organisation runs a monitoring program for all Nations for both drinking and sanitation water, whose easy look-up tables can be found as a link in the theirEarth Environment category.

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