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What are the major causes of water pollution in India?

Last Updated : 13 Jul, 2022
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Water contamination is quite possibly the greatest issue confronting India at the present time. As might be apparent, untreated sewage is the greatest wellspring of such type of contamination in India. There are different wellsprings of contamination, for example, overflow from the farming area as well as unregulated units that have a place with the limited scale industry. The circumstance is serious to the point that maybe there is no water body in India that isn’t contaminated somewhat or the other.

As a matter of fact, it is said that practically 80% of the water bodies in India are profoundly contaminated. This is particularly relevant if one that some structure or the other of human home in their nearby area. Ganga and Yamuna are the most contaminated waterways in India.

Major factors for water pollution in India

There are a few reasons for water contamination in India. The primary drivers are momentarily depicted as under:


Fast urbanization in India during the new many years has led to various ecological issues, for example, water supply, wastewater age, and its assortment, treatment, and removal. Numerous towns and urban communities which came up on the banks of waterways have not given a legitimate idea to issue wastewater, sewerage, and so forth. In metropolitan regions, water is tapped for homegrown and modern use from waterways, streams, lakes, lakes, wells, and so on. Almost 80% of the water provided for homegrown use drops as wastewater. As a rule, this wastewater is left out untreated and causes enormous scope contamination of the surface water.

A piece of it permeates into the ground and pollutes the groundwater. Class I urban communities (urban communities with a populace over one lakh) produce as much as 16,662 Mid (Million liters each day) of wastewater. Around 70% of the number of inhabitants in class I urban communities is furnished with sewerage offices. The Ganga stream bowl contributes around 33% of the all-out wastewater of India. According to the most recent gauge out of 23 thousand MId of wastewater produced, just 6,000 Mid (i.e., around 26%) is treated prior to letting out, the rest is arranged off untreated. The degree of treatment accessible in urban areas with existing treatment plants shifts from 2.5% to 89% of the sewage produced. Treated or somewhat treated or untreated wastewater is arranged into regular channels joining streams or lakes or involved ashore for water system/feed development or to the ocean or a blend of them by the districts.


Most Indian streams and different wellsprings of new water are contaminated by modern squanders or effluents. This large number of modern squanders are harmful to life shapes that drink this water. The all-out wastewater created from all major modern sources is 83,048 MId which incorporates 66,700 Mid of cooling water produced from nuclear energy stations.

Out of staying 16,348 mid of wastewater, nuclear energy stations create another 7,275 Mid as heaters blow down water and flood from debris lakes. Designing businesses contain the second biggest generator of wastewater concerning volume. Under this class, the major dirtying businesses are electroplating units. The other huge donors of wastewater are paper factories, steel plants, and material, and sugar ventures. The significant benefactors of contamination as far as a natural burden are refineries trailed by paper plants. Limited scope and cabin enterprises cause no less water contamination than huge scope businesses. There are around 3 million limited scopes and house modern units in India. These units neither have, nor might they at any point manage the cost of fitting disinfection and additionally poison removal frameworks but have not hesitated in taking on profoundly dirtying creation advancements like chrome, tanning of calfskin, utilization of azo-colors in textures, utilization of cadmium in decorations and silver-product, electroplating with cyanide showers, creation of color intermediates and other unmanageable and harmful synthetic substances, and so on.

Rural overflow and ill-advised farming practices

Hints of manures and pesticides are squandered into the closest water bodies at the beginning of the rainstorm or at whatever point there are weighty showers. As the mark of section of such farming sources of info is diffused all through the waterway bowl, they are named as non-point wellsprings of contamination. Despite the fact that water system has expanded extensively in the nation, minimal valuable has been finished to handle the issue of the great saltiness bring water back.

This is what is going on in Punjab and Haryana. In Haryana, the 40 km long channel No. 8 pours 250,000 kg/day of chlorides into the Yamuna to bring the chloride fixation up in the stream from 32 mg for every liter only upstream of the channel conjunction to 150 mg for each liter only downstream of it. Furthermore, a large portion of these chlorides is from farming bringing streams back. As per the discoveries of the CPCB, a portion of the leakage into the channel contains more than 15,000 mg for each liter of chlorides. Serious and consistently expanding utilization of substance manures, pesticides, weedicides, and different synthetic compounds are adding another aspect to such contamination.

Withdrawal of Water

Indian streams, especially the Himalayan Rivers, have a lot of water in their upper course. They are, notwithstanding, kept from water when they enter the plain region. Water system channels whisk away clean water not long after the streams arrive at the fields, denying water to stream in the waterway downstream. What streams into the waterway is water streaming in from little unimportant streams and depletes conveying untreated sewage and effluents. The stream turned channel stream downstream with next to zero new water except if a huge waterway increases the drained streams.

As the amount of new water in the stream is unimportantly little, contamination — either from metropolitan and country regions, ventures, or even normal types of contamination — can’t get weakened and its evil impacts are not diminished. The Yamuna has practically no water at Tajewala in Haryana where the Eastern Yamuna Canal and the Western Yamuna Canal unique all the water for the water system.

Strict and Social Practices

Strict confidence and social practices likewise add to contamination of our stream waters. Bodies of cows and different creatures are arranged in the streams. Dead bodies are incinerated on the stream banks. To some degree consumed bodies are likewise flung into the stream. This is finished as an issue of strict confidence and with regards to old ceremonies. These practices dirty the stream water and antagonistically influence the water quality.

Mass washing in a stream during strict celebrations is another naturally hurtful practice. Studies have uncovered that the biochemical oxygen interest (BOD) goes up radically when a huge number of individuals at the same time take a ‘sacred plunge’. Strict practices likewise request that contributions from a puja be drenched in a waterway. It is currently considered normal to see individuals submerging contributions in plastic sacks. Plastic packs are extremely hazardous and further add to the contamination heap of the waterway.

Sample Questions

Question 1: How dirtied is India’s water?


Around 80% of India’s water is seriously dirtied on the grounds that individuals dump crude sewage, sediment, and trash into the nation’s streams and lakes. This has prompted water to be undrinkable and the populace depending on unlawful and costly sources. Every year, more than 1.5 million Indian kids pass on from looseness of the bowels

Question 2: What are the primary wellsprings of water contamination?


The central matter wellspring of contamination to water is from sewage and wastewater treatment, while for diffuse contamination, fundamental sources are from cultivating and petroleum derivative power plants (through the air).

Question 3: What is the effect of water contamination?


It can cause defilement of drinking water – accordingly adding to waterborne ailments. Water contamination likewise influences the biological system – it can cause a peculiarity called eutrophication. This can make fish and other amphibian organic entities kick the bucket.

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