In developing nations, pesticides represent a significant pollutant of water sources. In spite of the fact that many pesticides, including Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), Aldrin, and Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), have been outlawed due to their adverse effects on the environment, they are nevertheless widely used in India as a convenient and affordable substitute for other pesticides.
Despite the fact that DDT was outlawed in 1989, India has nonetheless consumed over 350,000 million tonnes of it since 1985. Due to their resistance to deterioration, agrochemicals like HCH and DDT can be introduced into water bodies, and result in bioaccumulation. These substances are a subset of POPs, which have the potential to be mutagenic and carcinogenic. Several Indian rivers contain POP levels that are significantly higher than the WHO-permitted limit. Such reasons contribute to water pollution in India.
Here, let us see how agricultural runoff can cause water pollution in India.
Which agricultural reasons lead to water pollution in India?
1: The main reason is improper agricultural practises and agricultural runoff. During the beginning of the monsoon season or anytime there are significant rains, traces of fertilisers and pesticides are dumped into the nearby water bodies. These agricultural inputs are referred to as non-point causes of water pollution, since the point of entry for them is dispersed throughout the river basin.
2: Despite the country's significant expansion in irrigation, not much has been done to address the issue of the high salinity return water.
3: The CPCB found that portion of the seepage into the drain includes more than 15,000 mg of chlorides per litre. Chemical fertilisers, insecticides, weed killers, and other chemicals are being used more frequently and intensively, which is introducing a new level of pollution.
4: Farmers frequently overuse pesticides and fertilisers. They pollute water, land, and air when used in excess of the advised dosages.
5: Another big factor in water contamination is farming in floodplains. These large areas of land will undoubtedly require fertilisers and pesticides, which will inevitably flow into rivers during the monsoon.
Water pollution in India due to industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff
In India, several enterprises dump their effluent into rivers. Industrial facilities are thought to have produced 7.17 million tonnes of hazardous waste between 2016 and 2017. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 746 industries were directly discharging wastewater into the Ganga, India's greatest river, as of 2016.
Heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper, chromium, zinc, and arsenic are present in this effluent, which is harmful to both aquatic life and human health. Certain metals can bioaccumulate and have a number of harmful consequences on health, including reduced cognitive function, gastrointestinal damage, and kidney damage. Similar to industrial effluent, agricultural runoff also cause huge water pollution in India, and for that we have to take water conservation and preservation steps.
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