Reports from the UN environment programme reveal that one-third of the world’s rivers are polluted. Data has shown the causes of river pollution and the adverse effects of global climatic change related to water pollution.

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Rivers make up 0.49% of fresh water, which is a small portion. However, they are the source relied upon by the majority of the human population. For various reasons, rivers are polluted on a large scale.


As per the data, one-third of rivers, which is nearly 33% of the world’s rivers, are polluted. Humans play a key role in polluting rivers.

Causes of river pollution

Several rivers are polluted by pathogens caused by the disposal of industrial waste into rivers. Aside from that, various wastes such as pesticides and household drains pollute rivers.

Irrespective of waste depletion, plastics are the key element in polluting rivers. It has been found that nearly 80% of plastic waste is dumped into rivers every year.

As a result of plastic being dumped into rivers, the minerals and natural substances are affected, leading to pollution.

A soaring population is also a cause of water pollution. As the population surges the need for irrigation and industries increases and thus leading to river water depletion.

Measures to save rivers from pollution

People should avoid disposing of waste in rivers and dumping industrial waste into rivers should be strictly prohibited. Apart from this, traditional farming methods like using organic manure to replace chemical fertilizers can be adopted.

Raising awareness about the impact of river pollution can be an effective way to start saving the rivers. UNEP has launched various initiatives to save rivers from pollution.

People should understand the importance of rivers and prevent them from depleting. Once the initiative starts among countries, the changes can be seen all over the world. 

We, as humans, are solely responsible for protecting the rivers from pollution. In order to prevent river water pollution, everyone should take the initiative.

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Lavanya Ganesan is a passionate writter. Her interests revolve around social issues, geo politics and world news. Follows a dedicative approach in delivering the content.


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