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Water pollution in River Jhelum

Fardeen Firdous | Students Corner 

River Jhelum, a major tributary out of five major tributaries that are- Satluj, Beas, Ravi Chenab and Jhelum which are ultimately merging with river Indus in Pakistan is the west-flowing river. The Jhelum (Vyeth in Kashmiri, Vetesta in Sanskrit and Hydaspes in Greek) is the main waterway of the Kashmir valley. Jhelum river originates from a magnificent spring called “Chashma Verinag”.The total geographical area of Jhelum basin up to Indo-Pakistan border is about 34775 Sq.Kms. with a total length of 402 Kms. But the length of Jhelum in India up to existing ceasefire line is about 165 Kms. With a catchment area of about 17622 Sq. Kms. and lies 32°-58′-42“ to 35°-08′-02” north latitude and 73°-23′-32“ to 75°-35′-57” east longitude and is mainly confined within the Kasmir Valley in India. The river Jhelum runs in the Valley is surrounded by mountain ranges which rises to a height of 5487 m on the northeast. Peaks of these mountainous range are mostly covered by snow cover from October to May. The valley is perched at an average elevation of 1829 m above sea level and is approximately 135 kms. in length and 32 to 40 Kms. in breadth. The Kuti and Brahmasakal are the highest peaks at 4675 mts. in elevation in the basin.Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environmentThe Jhelum is greatly utilised for its water and food such as fish. Since Jhelum passes through many rural and urban settlements, the river gets polluted with sewage from settlements, agricultural runoff and effluent discharges from various small and large industrial units. This widespread problem of water pollution is jeopardizing our health. Unsafe water kills more people each year than war and all other forms of violence combined. Meanwhile, our drinkable water sources are finite: Less than 1 per cent of the earth’s fresh water is accessible to us. Without action, the challenges will only increase by 2050, when global demand for fresh water is expected to be one-third greater than it is now. Sip a glass of cool, clear water as you read this, and you may think water pollution is a problem . . . somewhere else. But while most countries have access to safe drinking water, potentially harmful contaminants—from arsenic to copper to lead—have been found in the tap water of every single state in the nation and even many states do not have the facility of proper drinking water. What Can You Do to Prevent Water Pollution?The best way to improve surface water quality is to prevent pollution at its source!

Here are a few tips on preventing water pollution:

• Pick up litter and throw it away in a garbage can.

• Blow or sweep fertilizer back onto the grass if it gets onto paved areas. Don’t put fertilizer on the grass right before it rains. The chemicals will wash into storm drains and waterways. There are still many different ways to prevent water pollution but at last. I suggest the best way for prevention of water pollution is to raise our voice against those who are involved in polluting our water bodies directly or indirectly we can use social media to start an awareness program among the masses and aware them about the effects of water pollution. I believe someday we all will understand the true value of our water bodies e.g. The river Jehlum and the famous Dal Lake.