Context:

  • The Godavari is under supervision of a US group, which is working on cost-effective pollution forecast system using cloud networking & remote sensors.

What is it about? Sensor network:

  • A group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari , India’s second longest river.

The mix of methods includes:

  • Satellite-monitoring: Satellite monitoring is focused on key parameters of water quality measures such as turbidity, suspended matter, chlorophyll-A and harmful algae blooms.
  • Traversing stretches: The researchers will try to transverse the routes of the stretches of the river to collect water samples.
  • Special sensors: Water sensor platform to simplify remote water quality monitoring. Equipped with multiple sensors that measure a dozen of the most relevant water quality parameters to measure bacterial and chemical pollution.
  • Budget friendly: The researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.

Objectives:

  • The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in.
  • As for example, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.
  • The team will able to access “raw data” that could be used to inform the efficacy of a proposed fecal sludge treatment plant and whether behavioral interventions — including incentives or punishments — to restrict activities that pollute the river could actually work.
  • Through cloud-based data collection and real-time mapping systems, the research and implementation teams intend to demonstrate the importance and value of detecting and anticipating pollutants that enter the river in the form of human waste, organic materials, and chemical contaminants.

Government initiatives for other major rivers of India: Ganga:

  • To finalize details of the proposed law on Ganga, a government’s expert panel on 13th June, 2017 deliberated on finer points of the draft National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill, 2017.
  • Ganga will be the first river to be protected by an act, if the bill becomes law.
  • The bill is, however, also proposed to be developed as a model bill to preserve, conserve and manage different rivers of the country.

Provisions:

  • It has provisions of punishment for contaminating river by throwing non-degradable plastic, waste batteries or hazardous chemicals.
  • It proposes jail term up to seven years with fine, as fixed by local bodies, for the offence.
  • It also has provisions of two years of jail term or fine upto Rs 100 crore or both for disrupting flow of the river through construction or change of design of storage capacity of dams.

Yamuna:

  • In June 2017, The National Green Tribunal has asked some northern states to submit a detailed report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna in three weeks, saying pollution in the river was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage.
  • Tribunal had also directed the concerned authorities along with the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) to conduct ground study in relation to number of drains, flow, quality and quantity of effluents in the drain and the feasibility of establishing of sewerage treatment plant and combined effluent treatment plant, if necessary.
  • It had also sought the complete and comprehensive list of the polluting industries falling on the banks of the river and in the catchment area.

Brahmaputra:

  • The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level has identified stretches of four major rivers (Bharalu, Deepor Beel, Burhidihing and Brahmaputra) in Assam as polluted, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Initiatives:

  • Proposals for pollution abatement of river Bharalu in Guwahati and the Kolong at Nagaon, which are tributaries of the Brahmaputra, were received from the State Government for funding under NRCP in January 2014.
  • The CPCB issued directions under Section 18 1(b) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 in April 2015 to all the State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees in the country, including Assam, regarding setting up of sewage treatment plants and utilisation of sewage generated in their respective states.

Other technical initiatives: Toshiba Corporation:

  • Since 2014, one company that has responded particularly well to this grim reality is Japan’s, more than a century old, Toshiba Corporation.
  • It has put a very strong emphasis on the recycling and re-use of industrial wastewater of India.
  • It provides solutions for both water supply and sewerage systems, rainwater drainage, seawater desalination, and operation and maintenance.
  • It also provides solutions for industrial water treatment through water supply,
  • wastewater treatment and water recycling.
  • The three functions are of Toshiba are:
  • the conversion of wastewater into 100% clean water;
  • the reduction of highly polluting wastewater and effluent discharge in the environment to zero level; and
  • the saving of a huge amount of power purchase by enabling UEM India customers to generate their own electricity using Toshiba’s prized technology for conversion of polluting water into clean water.

Water Quality Association of India:

  • The water Quality Association of India (WQA India) is dedicated to the improvement of water quality in India.
  • WQA India has the twin objectives of improvement in standards of water purification devices, and generating awareness of water quality.
  • In a first of its kind, WQA India has introduced a Microbiological Standard for drinking water treatment devices which denotes that a water purification device having the SEAL OF PURITY is tested to rigorous standards and is capable of removing microbiological impurities which cause dangerous waterborne diseases.

Suggestions:

  • Mention needs to be made about what kind of resilience factor would be built in to ensure environmentally sustainable sewerage scheme.
  • Apart from the laws (Water Act 1974 and Control of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Act 1986), creating awareness about the impacts of water pollution is required.
  • The government should join hands with upcoming international and national technical supports for the complete irradiation of polluted surface water.
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