The water quality of the rivers has changed over time. Many rivers around the world have been polluted by human activity. While many of these systems remain polluted, many others have also improved. This improvement was, in part, caused by the constructions of sewage treatment plants by local governments and efforts to educate the public about river water quality. Let's see some examples in photographs.
Click the play button to start the slideshow of the contaminated rivers. Tokyo (black and white photography in the late 1960s and color in 1980), Brazil, China, Malaysia, India (2011), Philippines, Thailand (2012).
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River and drainage channels in Pune city, India, and the Yamuna river flowing through Delhi city (2016). The Yamuna River originates from the Himalayas and is the largest tributary of the Ganges River. There is a famous Taj Mahal on the river bank about 200km downstream of Delhi.
Canal flowing in Bangkok, Thailand (2019). There are many small canals in Bangkok. This canal flows around Ratchada Street, and there are large hotels and a train market crowded with night markets.
The Yanase River confluence of the Karahori River flowing through Tokyo (1993). The Karahori River was the most polluted river in Tokyo in the 1980s. Sewerage development was delayed in the basin, and in the first half of the 1990s, the water quality was somewhat improved, but dirty water was still flowing.
Rivers where the water quality has improved
Water usage in the average U.S., Japanese and Thai home and the quantity and ratio of polluted materials generated.
It is important to think about the substances that cause river pollution. How much water is used at home and what is it used for? How much pollution is contained in waste water leaving your home? Let's see the graphs.
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