Rivers under threat

From the United States of America to Cambodia, passing through Brazil and China, there are many rivers which are under enormous environmental threats. An increasingly industrialized world, with mass-produced agriculture and constant climate change causes a real impact on the quality of the world’s water. The Guardian has a roundup of the most polluted rivers.

And what are the most threatened rivers on Earth? Here is a list:

1 Everglades, Florida, USA – The rampant construction and the intensive development of agriculture in the area are having a huge impact on the waters of the Everglades River in Florida, including causing the emergence of a huge blanket of toxic algae in these waters. More than half the surface of the Everglades has been destroyed by industrial and urban development. Recently, the US government approved a package zone recovery measures worth 2 billion dollars.


2 – Kaveri, Karnataka, India – The intense population growth and extreme weather conditions in this area of the country have been identified as the cause of a sharp drop in the water available in the region. Inefficient use of this feature has been standard practice, with the water of this river to be increasingly used in intensively irrigated crops.

3 – Daldykan River, Siberia, Russia – The waters in a bright red tone are difficult to hide evidence of environmental crimes in this location. Suspicion falls to a leak in a pipe at a factory in Norilsk Nickel.


4 – River Yamuna, New Delhi, India – This river is already considered one of the most polluted in the world, with over 58% of the city’s waste to be dumped directly into these waters. Also the chemical waste from factories in the surrounding flow into this river without any treatment.

5 – Citarum River, Indonesia – It is considered one of the ten most polluted places in the world thanks to the massive dumping of waste on the banks of this river. Hundreds of TEXTIL factories operating nearby are accused of pouring bleach here, mercury and other highly polluting materials. The situation has caused the extinction of more than 60% of fish species living in these waters.


6 – Mekong River, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The Southeast Asia is suffering a drought ever, with millions of people being affected by the historically low level of the Mekong River. As a result, thousands of locals are using these waters without the necessary conditions for irrigation of their crops.

7 – Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil – The collapse of a waste dam in an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil, at the end of 2015, was considered the largest environmental disaster in the country. The disaster that caused the water invasion contaminated Rio Doce killed 19 people, did disappear from the map an entire city and threatened many others. The river was heavily polluted, endangering the lives of 1.6 million people who live on its banks.


8 Animas River, Colorado – In August 2015, employees of the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater with high concentrations of arsenic, lead and heavy metals golds. Waste invaded the waters, forcing the states of Colorado and New Mexico to declare the situation as an environmental disaster.

9 Murray-Darling Basin, Australia – This river covers an area of approximately 1.6 million km, accompanying side by side one of the most important agricultural regions of the country where they have produced fruits, vegetables, dairy products, wheat and livestock – and all these activities need water. In the last decade, it has been several controversies associated with this basin, many related to the increasing use of water from local industries, a situation exacerbated by a drought that has lasted for several years.


10 – Yangtze River, China – is the longest river in Asia and close to one-third of China’s population lives on its banks or directly dependent on its waters. However, the river has suffered ongoing environmental attacks, caused by the rapid industrialization of the country, the enormous amount of waste and transport discharges, as well as the huge hydroelectric projects near the river.



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