[INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OF INDIA]                                                    Govt. of India Registered Trust, Works Related to Information Technology & HRD

अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सूचना प्रौद्योगिकी विकास परिषद, भारत

              Water is a transparent and nearly colorless chemical substance that is the main constituent of Earth's streams, lakes, and oceans, and the fluids of most living organisms. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms that are connected by covalent bonds. Strictly speaking, water refers to the liquid state of a substance that prevails at standard ambient temperature and pressure; but it often refers also to its solid state (ice) or its gaseous state (steam or water vapor). It also occurs in nature as snow, glaciers, ice packs and icebergs, clouds, fog, dew, aquifers, and atmospheric humidity.

                Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. It is vital for all known forms of life. On Earth, 96.5% of the planet's crust water is found in seas and oceans, 1.7% in groundwater, 1.7% in glaciers and the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland, a small fraction in other large water bodies, 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of ice and liquid water suspended in air), and precipitation. Only 2.5% of this water is freshwater, and 98.8% of that water is in ice (excepting ice in clouds) and groundwater. Less than 0.3% of all freshwater is in rivers, lakes, and the atmosphere, and an even smaller amount of the Earth's freshwater (0.003%) is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products. A greater quantity of water is found in the earth's interior.

              Water on Earth moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation and transpiration (evapotranspiration), condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land. Large amounts of water are also chemically combined or adsorbed in hydrated minerals.

              Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability. A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%.

             Water plays an important role in the world economy. Approximately 70% of the freshwater used by humans goes to agriculture. Fishing in salt and fresh water bodies is a major source of food for many parts of the world. Much of long-distance trade of commodities (such as oil and natural gas) and manufactured products is transported by boats through seas, rivers, lakes, and canals. Large quantities of water, ice, and steam are used for cooling and heating, in industry and homes. Water is an excellent solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances; as such it is widely used in industrial processes, and in cooking and washing. Water is also central to many sports and other forms of entertainment, such as swimming, pleasure boating, boat racing, surfing, sport fishing, and diving.


       With two thirds of the earth's surface covered by water and the human body consisting of 75 percent of it, it is evidently clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on earth. Water circulates through the land just as it does through the human body, transporting, dissolving, replenishing nutrients and organic matter, while carrying away waste material. Further in the body, it regulates the activities of fluids, tissues, cells, lymph, blood and glandular secretions.

       An average adult body contains 42 liters of water and with just a small loss of 2.7 liters he or she can suffer from dehydration, displaying symptoms of irritability, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, weakness, headaches and consequently reach a state of pathology. Dr F. Batmanghelidj, in his book 'your body's many cries for water', gives a wonderful essay on water and its vital role in the health of a water 'starved' society. He writes: "Since the 'water' we drink provides for cell function and its volume requirements, the decrease in our daily water intake affects the efficiency of cell activity........as a result chronic dehydration causes symptoms that equal disease..."


Water has been used since antiquity as a symbol by which to express devotion and purity. Some cultures, like the ancient Greeks, went as far as to worship gods who were thought to live in and command the waters. Whole cities have been build by considering the location and availability of pure drinking water. The place of gathering was around the wells, which is perhaps the following trend in building fountains in the middle of piazzas.

       Traditional and modern medicine have been makings use of the psychological and physiological diverse properties of water, in all forms of hydrotherapy (composite Greek word: hydro, of water and therapy, . We all know of the simple, yet effective, calming qualities of a warm bath or the invigorating qualities of a cold shower. For centuries,  numerous healing springs located all around the world have been recognized for their benefits. The famous Belgium spas in the Ardennes is a fine example. Historical records of these cold springs claim 'cures' since the fourteenth century. The hot Californian spas, the healing spas of Loutraki in Greece, the Dalhousie hot springs in the border of South Australia and Northern Territory, Moree in NSW, Hepburn mineral spas in Victoria are just a few examples.


  Contrary to the past, our recent developed technological society has become indifferent to this miracle of life. Our natural heritage (rivers, seas and oceans) has been exploited, mistreated and contaminated.

        The population decline of the marine and riparian life, the appearance of green algae in the rivers and the stench and slime that comes as a result of putrefaction in the water, are clear signs of the depth and extent of disruption that has been caused to this intricate ecosystem (a composite Greek word: eco, home and systema, a combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole). Government bodies and water authorities will have us believe that it is 'safe' and we should not worry about this global alarm. Awareness and action lies entirely upon us, as we need to become our own educators, physicians and innovators. Socrates had once said: "an unexamined life is not worth living....", Jesus took it a step further: "seek, and you shall find......the truth shall set you free..." So questioning everything and anything that anyone tells you until it makes sense, is of uppermost importance. If it is the truth it will feel right, set you free and lead you on the road of discovery and recovery.


       Our drinking water today, far from being pure, contains some two hundred deadly commercial chemicals. Add to that bacteria, viruses, inorganic minerals (making the water hard) and you have a chemical cocktail that is unsuitable (if not deadly) for human consumption. John Archer in his book 'THE WATER YOU DRINK, HOW SAFE IS IT ?' refers to an estimate of 60,000 tones of fifty different chemicals being deliberately added annually to Australia's water. Some of these are:

       Chlorine: studies  indicate that chlorine is involved in heart disease, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), anemia, high blood pressure, allergies and cancers of the bladder, stomach, liver and rectum. Further, chlorine can destroy protein in the body and cause adverse effects on the skin and hair. The US COUNCIL of environmental quality states that cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine". Chlorine binds and reacts with many other chemicals, forming carcinogens like Trihallomethanes (THMs), with chloroform being the most common one. Furthermore, recent real life evidence in the tap water of Sydney shows that certain viruses and parasites, like giardia and cryptosporidium, are being resistant to chlorine and can survive the long journey from the sewage treatment to your tap. That makes chlorination a even more pointless and dangerous practice.

       Giardia and cryptosporidium are protozoa (unicellular organisms) parasitic to the intestines of animals and humans. Once in the body, these parasites then multiply and cause the respective infections of giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis, which contribute or are associated to enteric (intestinal) diseases. Other than food, these parasites are transmitted from contaminated drinking water.   These infested waters are today in most major cities which is a direct result of  the unsuccessful treatment of recycled sewage effluent. These parasites initially venture their way into the sewage effluent, from Hospitals, abattoir and farms waste, which contain blood, intestines and faces.  While immune competed (the ability to develop an immune response) people may remain asymptomatic (presenting no symptoms) by ingestion of this parasites, immune compromised (ie malnutrition Cancer and Aids) patients are at risk.  U.S Health Officials estimate 900,000 people each year become ill, and possibly 900 die from waterborne disease. Notable outbreaks occurred in Milwauke, Wisconsin, in 1993 when over 400,000 people became ill after drinking water contaminated with the parasite. Symptoms associated with the infection of these parasites are, mild to profuse debilitating diarrhea, lassitude, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting with consequent loss of appetite and fever. The threat and danger of outbreaks similar to the dreaded great London epidemic in 1854 (were cholera due to contaminated water took the life of many unaware citizens) is now once again at our door step and unless drastic precautions are taken on these early sign's we could be expecting disasters of great magnitude (in the apocalypse it states, that one third of the waters will be contaminated, could this be it?). For now it is about time that water authorities admit to their erroneous ways and start looking for alternatives to maintain and preserve water safety and quality. Water is a living substance and as such it needs the same treatment as all other living forms (poisons cannot purify). Germany has been for long now pumping oxygen in its rivers and lakes in an attempt to revitalize its nearly dead waters, while Switzerland is experimenting with ozone treatments.

       Aluminum Sulphate: That is added to clarify water, has long been associated with memory loss, possibly Alzheimer’s disease and is believed to increase cardiovascular disease.

       Sodium Fluoride: This is not a water treatment and was initially added as a supplement to 'assumingly' prevent tooth decay in children. Its toxicity is high enough that in larger concentrations can be used as a pesticide and rat killer. In humans it can be damaging to the heart, lungs, liver, cause genetic mutations and have long term negative effects on enzyme production and the efficiency of the immune system. In the medical encyclopedia and dictionary by Miller-Keane, under fluoridation it refers that slight excesses of fluoride are poisonous and it can cause dental fluorosis (mottled discoloration of teeth) and when you look up further down under fluorosis, you can see clearly the irony of the system an enamel hypoplasia resulting from prolonged ingestion of drinking water containing high levels of fluoride". Tests carried out in Victoria in 1976 by the State Water Supply Commission indicated that fluoride is involved in the corrosion of the copper pipes, which causes more poisons leaching into the water. Copper at certain concentrations effects the uptake of essential zinc in the body and can bring on stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. Newer office blocks and high stories buildings are more risky, as taps are not regularly used, leaving fluorinated water standing in the copper pipes for longer periods of times, consequently allowing corrosion. As the debate about the safety of fluoride continuous, countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Sweden have terminated its use due to its potential health hazard.

       Lead: is another chemical ingredient found in the water that imposes risks to the nervous, circulatory and digestive systems. It is a teratogen, a substance known to cause physical defects in the developing embryo. Chronic exposure, even in small doses, may have serious implications to your well being. Symptoms to be wary of are irritability, nervousness, weight loss, anaemia, stomach cramps, constipation and mental depression. The main source of lead in the water is the plumbing and its corrosion.

       The list of chemicals continues: sodium sillicofluoride slurry, sulphuric acid, sodium hypochlorite solution, calcium oxide, silt, rust, algae, debris, larvae, asbestos (mostly from corroding cement pipe lines), pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers (from agricultural run offs), moulds, fungi, industrial waste, toxic metals, amoebas, clay and silica have all found their way into the water. As if this is not enough, chemical reactions of the different constituents in our drinking chemical and sewage cocktail make things even worse.

       Nitrates from fertilizers when brought in contact with chlorine and ammonia, can turn into nitrites. Nitrites once inside the body combine with amines and form nitrosamines which are highly carcinogenic. Nitrites can interfere with oxygen uptake and since babies are specifically sensitive to this aspect you could not fail to see a possible link between blue baby syndrome and the nitrite factor.

       According to studies by the state of California, women who drink tap water have twice as many miscarriages and birth defects as those who have filtering devises or are drinking bottled water. Five studies arrived to the same conclusion, according to State Health, Director Kenneth Kizer. This connection now is such a common knowledge that it even appeared as a passing comment during the movie 'ONE THOUSAND ACRES'.

       Inorganic minerals (minerals not suitable for human consumption) such as calcium carbonate have their effect. Unable to be assimilated they store in between joints, muscles, bones, nerves, inside arteries and become partners in many crippling dis-eases, such as arthritis, hardening of the arteries, gall stones, kidney stones, gout, tinnitus and perhaps even stroke and neuralgia. Dr Paul C. Bragg in his essay and book 'THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT WATER' argues that the human brain and other body structures will become hardened largely through the use of "chemicalized and inorganically mineralized water".

       Dr E. Banik, in his book 'THE CHOICE IS CLEAR', explains that inorganic minerals coat the crystalline lens of the eye with a fine film, resulting in cataracts. Glaucoma, the dreadful eye disease, can be another result of hard water. The tiny vessels film up with mineral deposits, which results in a build-up pressure in the eye.


       Dr Batmanghelidj talks about the shrinking of the vital organs due to insufficient hydration. Dr Bragg postulates how inorganic minerals in water turns people into 'stones' and advises the use of pure water. John Archer alarms of the dangers and condition of public (sewage) water

       You are what you drink so make sure what you drink is pure'

       Ten years ago the prospect of drinking only purified or bottled water was a fiction or a novelty for most people. Nowadays, it is becoming a necessity in maintaining and preserving good health. Finding pure water is becoming more than just food for thought and with our brain being 85 percent water, we better start thinking of the choices. It is my opinion and as well of others that tap water should not be drunk at all if other sources are available. However, if tap water is your only option, then boil the water for a few minutes, expose it to the sun for a while in a clear glass container and then aerate it by pouring it back and forth from one container to another. Keep in mind that boiling will only kill bacteria and that harmful chemical and minerals will still remain in the water. Rain water it is no longer the best available option with today's pollution. Water is a hungry solvent and as the rain falls, it begins to collect hundreds of potentially harmful substances, such as radioactive isotopes and their degradation products of atomic fission including barium, caesium and strontium from worldwide atomic experiments and "accidents" which travel around the atmosphere (<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">refer to chart). In addition industrial and exhaust fumes including carbon monoxide, sulphuric acid and lead are collected. That is why the sky looks so clean after a good 'acid' rain.

       Spring water contains those unwanted inorganic minerals and their purity is debatable if you consider the pollution of the soil. So use it sparingly or when nothing else is available. Don't be mislead by claims about the value of inorganic minerals, the body cannot make use of any minerals unless they are derived from the plant kingdom (organic minerals). A well balanced diet will provide an abundance of organic minerals that water never could.  In his book 'New Life through Nutrition' nutritionist Dr Shelton Deal debates that we should not look to water as our source of minerals. As for the inexpensive supermarket filters they don't eliminate all impurities and toxins (not that it is claimed that they do).

       Reverse osmosis is by far the most advanced technology for home installation available to the public. It is based on the process by which the human cells diffuse fluids between the intracellular and extracellular spaces, by separating and selectively preventing the passage of solute molecules (through a semi permeable membrane) and allowing the passage of the solvent H2O. Through this process almost all harmful bacteria, minerals and toxins are eliminated. Professional installation and surveillance is necessary for if the membrane is ruptured without your knowledge the final condition of the water could be worse than if it were not filtered.

       Distilled water, contrary to the wide held view that it leaches organic essential minerals and micronutrients from your body, its emptiness works in your favour. It dissolves and eliminates harmful inorganic minerals and toxic waste accumulation. Once the organic nutrients have been absorbed by the cells they cannot be taken away. Is there an inherent intelligentsia behind all this? The answer is yes! after all, what is the animating factor behind all things? but far from being just an esoteric answer, the key lies in the inherent 'instructions' of the human body's filtering system. The kidneys make sure that nothing valuable will be lost, there is a constant recycling,  so even if nutrients were to be 'stolen' they would be returned by the kidneys. Which explains the dark appearance of urine during times of inadequate hydration.  Distillation is achieved by boiling the water, steam then rises and is collected in a condenser where it is stored and cooled. The problem in this process is that together with the steam, percentage of the pollutant gases such fluorine and chlorine are also evaporated over into the condenser. To overcome these problem scientists developed other methods like fragmented distillation and C.M.D method (Cold Molecular Distillation) amongst others. C.M.D water is available from companies specializing in this area and supply water for medical purposes, allergy affected chemical sensitive people, cancer and dialysis patients (were even small traces of contaminants can send the patient into shock) and generally to anyone who is seeking good health. C.M.D water contains no solid matter and is solely consisting of two elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen.

       Another important factor is the amount of water necessary for our

body to function at its peak performance. Bearing in mind again that

your body is about 75 percent water it is easy to understand that water

must be your body's most essential daily ingredient. Your body looses

each day about 2-3 liters of water through elimination, urination,

perspiration and respiration. However, this may increase during illness,

high performance, exercise, pregnancy and nursing. The beverages

most people choose to consume are often counter-productive in promoting

hydration. Coffee, tea, alcohol, soft and sugary drinks are all diuretics

and will cause not only the loss of water they are dissolved in, but they

will also draw water the bodies reserves. In normal conditions your body

needs to replace the fluids it has lost throughout the day. Most of fluids

should be replaced by drinking pure water. The rest you should get from

fruit, vegetables and their juices. Attention must be given that the elderly

and children are meeting their daily requirements. Dry mouth is not the

only indication of dehydration; in fact it is the last sign. You need to acquire

the habit to drink water even when you think you don't need it and eventually your true thirst mechanisms will be reawaken. Signs to look for that identify with dehydration are constipation, headaches, indigestion, weight gain, fluid retention, dark and pungent urine, and their associated pathologies colitis, kidney stones, bladder and urinary track infections to name only a few.

       Water is involved  in all bodily functions: digestion, assimilation, elimination, respiration, maintaining temperature (homeostasis) integrity and the strength of all bodily structures. Today, the water is polluted with hundreds of toxins and impurities. Authorities only test for a small number of them. Your body, being primarily water, requires sufficient daily water replacement in order to function efficiently. Water treatments, that are aimed to render our drinking water bacteriologically safe, have been proven ineffective and the presence of certain pathogenic bacteria like giardia and cryptosporidium recently found in Sydney water is just one of the many examples. Viewing the effects of individual chemicals, inorganic minerals and their by-products, you can see a link to today's major diseases. If you drink devitalized, impure water how can you expect vitality and health. Dehydration, due to the offensive taste of the water and the introduction of commercial sugar loaded beverages, has become another contributing factor to dis-ease. The advice of Dr Batmanghelidj to stop treating thirst with medications holds lots of merit. Mineral water may be wonderful to bathe in, however, the presence of inorganic minerals makes it undesirable. Tap water has been proven unsuitable even for showering. In an article published in the magazine New Scientist, by Ian Anderson 18/9/86, he writes "Showers pose a risk to health". Pure water may become the medicine of the future. 'Oxygen enriched and free of radioactive and chemical compounds' may read on the label of our bottle water in the next millennium.... At this stage Reverse Osmosis and C.M.D water are our best available options.

 Groundwater reserves hit critical level as extraction rockets:

Groundwater is being extracted in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan at a rate faster than it’s replenished, according to the latest report of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

The status of groundwater extraction - the proportion of water drawn out to annual recharge - in Delhi and the three states is more than 100 per cent.

In Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Lakshwadeep, Pondicherry and Daman and Diu, the status of groundwater extraction is more than 70 per cent, while the figure for the rest of the nation is below 70 per cent.

In India as a whole, the status of groundwater extraction is 62 per cent, according to the recent report titled ‘Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India’ based on a 2011 assessment of resources.

‘Massive concern’:   Describing the overall scenario as “highly critical”, a senior CGWB official said: “The data is a matter of massive concern and the situation needs an urgent overhaul. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, (which mandates restraint in the indiscriminate use of groundwater) needs to be thoroughly enforced by the government. Ground water is fast depleting in several new areas. We have 162 notified areas (where extraction is prohibited); we are in the process of adding 45 more, as the situation has worsened,” the official told Mail Today.

“Most of the new places are in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.”

              According to the CGWB, the annual replenishable groundwater resources have been assessed at 433 billion cubic centimetres (bcm). While the net groundwater available annually is 398 bcm, 245 bcm is withdrawn in the same period.

              Agriculture remains the biggest consumer of groundwater, accounting for 222 bcm or 91 per cent of the total extracted in a year. Domestic and industrial uses account for nine per cent.

              Out of 6,607 units (including blocks, mandals, talukas and firkas) assessed for groundwater resources by the CGWB, 1,071 units across India have been categorised as “over-exploited”, as the annual groundwater extraction in these areas exceeded the net available ground water.

              A significant decline in the long-term groundwater level was also noted in pre- or post-monsoon periods, or both periods, in these regions.

             Besides, 217 units were classified as “critical” as the status of groundwater extraction at these places was more than 90 per cent and a massive decline was observed in both the pre- and post-monsoon periods. As many as 697 units were classified “semi-critical” as the status of extraction here was between 70 and 100 per cent, and there was a decline in water level in the pre- and post-monsoon periods.

              In addition to this, 92 blocks and firkas were completely underlaid by saline ground water. The over-exploited areas are mostly concentrated in northwestern, western and peninsular India.

              In the northwest, including Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and western Uttar Pradesh, there was indiscriminate extraction or over-exploitation of ground water.

              In western India, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the arid climate has reduced groundwater recharge. In peninsular India, the groundwater availability was lower due to poor properties of aquifers in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.


              In 2009, the CGWB, while assessing 5,842 units, had found 802 units to be over-exploited. Another 169 units were described as critical. The board found 523 units to be semi-critical.

              “Eighteen of 27 sub-divisions in Delhi are over-exploited, while in Haryana, 71 of 116 blocks have become over-exploited. The condition of Uttar Pradesh has worsened with 111 of 820 units over-exploited. Continuous discrepancies are observed in the implementation of environment protection and water laws,” activist Vikrant Tongad, whose petition in the National Green Tribunal led to a ban on commercial extraction of groundwater by realtors in UP’s Gautam Budh Nagar district in 2013, said.


              Experts have warned that Rajasthan’s groundwater reserves - its main source of water - will soon run out if it continues to be drawn at the current pace. According to the CGWB, groundwater reserves in 140 of the state’s 237 blocks are ‘overexploited’, while they are ‘critical’ in 50 others.

              If rainwater harvesting is not taken up in earnest immediately, experts say, the state could find itself in the grips of a severe water crisis in less than 10 years.
             The depleting reserves are far from Rajasthan’s biggest worry though, as groundwater here has been found to contain a higher level of toxic elements than WHO guidelines decree permissible. In short, it means the water is unfit for consumption.

A CGWB study also detected arsenic, in varying quantities, in over six districts.

NCR IS THE WORST: The latest CGWB report brings ominous news for Noida and Ghaziabad as they find themselves in a similar quandary as neighbour Delhi. According to the report, groundwater reserves in the Bisrakh development block, which covers Noida, have slipped from ‘semi-critical’ (as described in CGWB’s 2009 report) to ‘over-exploited’.

              The story is the same for Ghaziabad’s Bhojpur area, which is infamous for the prevalence of water-borne diseases arising from its polluted groundwater.

              The groundwater situation in Gurgaon, though, remains exactly the same. All four blocks of Gurgaon remain ‘over-exploited’, as they were found to be in 2009.

              Water conservation activists have long been waging a battle against powerful builders who employ pumps to de-water basements, and water packaging units that illegally use groundwater. To curb the exploitation, the National Green Tribunal passed an order last year restraining builders in Noida and Greater Noida from extracting groundwater for construction or any other purpose.

Recently, an NGT bench shut down over 30 water packaging units for operating without permission.

“However, many industries still draw groundwater, legally and illegally. At least 2 Lakh bore wells are operating in Ghaziabad alone,” environmentalist Vikrant Tongad said. –Baishali Adak

The depleting water table has pushed India’s food bowl into troubled waters. According to a recent study, groundwater reserves in central Punjab have gone down by over 20 meters in the past decade. What’s worse, the districts of Sangrur, Barnala and Moga, where the bulk of the cultivation of rice and other crops is centered, are the worst hit.

              The state requires 52 million acre foot (MAF) or 64.14 Lakh crore liters of water to sustain its crops, but only 14.54 MAF (17.93 Lakh crore liters) is available owing to a severely depleted water table.

              The Punjab government has been advocating direct seeding, with means sowing without prior tillage to prepare the soil, as a way to conserve water. The government will launch a joint venture with a Hyderabad-based private firm soon to promote the initiative described as a “game-changer” by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal. –Manjeet Sehgal  


             Groundwater is over-exploited in the central Gangetic plain primarily because it is drawn all-year round for cultivation of various crops. Apart from wheat and paddy, the region also relies heavily on sugarcane, which is known to be one of the thirstiest crops and can be cultivated throughout the year.

             The scanty rainfall over the past five years has only made matters worse in the region as it heavily dependent on the monsoon for irrigation.

              Social worker Saurabh Singh, who has been working for groundwater conservation in the state, described the situation in the stretch “between Varanasi and Gautam Budh Nagar” as particularly alarming. –Rajat Rai  

KARNATAKA: Alarmed by its dwindling reserves, the government introduced the Karnataka Groundwater Act, 2011, to regulate use of groundwater. However, the impact of the law is yet to be felt, as water continues to be overexploited by households, industry as well as the agriculture sector.

Capital Bangalore is one of the worst-hit areas owing to excessive extraction for commercial purposes.

              In other parts of the state, irrigation needs account for the largest share of groundwater. According to the Department of Mines & Geology, of the state’s 220 taluks, water is ‘over-exploited’ in 35, while the situation is ‘critical’ in three.

              A recent study put much of the blame for the depletion on the government as they had incentivized use of groundwater for irrigation. –Aravind Gowda

HARYANA: With agriculture accounting for 91 per cent of the groundwater drawn annually, it comes as no surprise that Haryana, one of the largest food-grain producers, finds itself in dire straits.

             According to a study, the water table in Haryana is going down by 0.33 meters every year. The Haryana Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009 - which prohibits farmers from sowing early maturing rice crop varieties - as an effort towards arresting the depletion.

              The law also prohibits paddy sowing before May 15 and rice before June 15. Farmers violating the law can be fined Rs 10,000 per hectare under cultivation

Water Pollution:

              Water pollution is a major environmental issue in India. The largest source of water pollution in India is untreated sewage. Other sources of pollution include agricultural runoff and unregulated small scale industry. Most rivers, lakes and surface water in India are polluted.

              Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). This form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

              Water pollution affects the entire biosphere of plants and organisms living in these water bodies, as well as organisms and plants that might be exposed to the water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities.

Introduction: Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels (international down to individual aquifers and wells). It has been suggested that water pollution is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 580 people in India die of water pollution related illness every day.  About 90 percent of the water in the cities of China is polluted.  As of 2007, half a billion Chinese had no access to safe drinking water.  In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, developed countries also continue to struggle with pollution problems. For example, in the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 44 percent of assessed stream miles, 64 percent of assessed lake acres, and 30 percent of assessed bays and estuarine square miles were classified as polluted. The head of China's national development agency said in 2007 that one quarter the length of China's seven main rivers were so poisoned the water harmed the skin.

              Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such as drinking water, or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earthquakes also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water.

Categories: Although interrelated, surface water and groundwater have often been studied and managed as separate resources. Surface water seeps through the soil and becomes groundwater. Conversely, groundwater can also feed surface water sources. Sources of surface water pollution are generally grouped into two categories based on their origin.

 Point sources: Point source water pollution refers to contaminants that enter a waterway from a single, identifiable source, such as a pipe or ditch. Examples of sources in this category include discharges from a sewage treatment plant, a factory, or a city storm drain. The U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA) defines point source for regulatory enforcement purposes. The CWA definition of point source was amended in 1987 to include municipal storm sewer systems, as well as industrial storm water, such as from construction sites.

 Non-point sources: Nonpoint source pollution refers to diffuse contamination that does not originate from a single discrete source. NPS pollution is often the cumulative effect of small amounts of contaminants gathered from a large area. A common example is the leaching out of nitrogen compounds from fertilized agricultural lands. Nutrient runoff in storm water from "sheet flow" over an agricultural field or a forest are also cited as examples of NPS pollution.

              Contaminated storm water washed off of parking lots, roads and highways, called urban runoff, is sometimes included under the category of NPS pollution. However, because this runoff is typically channeled into storm drain systems and discharged through pipes to local surface waters, it becomes a point source.

Groundwater pollution: Interactions between groundwater and surface water are complex. Consequently, groundwater pollution, also referred to as groundwater contamination, is not as easily classified as surface water pollution.[8] By its very nature, groundwater aquifers are susceptible to contamination from sources that may not directly affect surface water bodies, and the distinction of point vs. non-point source may be irrelevant. A spill or ongoing release of chemical or radionuclide contaminants into soil (located away from a surface water body) may not create point or non-point source pollution but can contaminate the aquifer below, creating a toxic plume. The movement of the plume, called a plume front, may be analyzed through a hydrological transport model or groundwater model. Analysis of groundwater contamination may focus on soil characteristics and site geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, and the nature of the contaminants.

 Causes: The specific contaminants leading to pollution in water include a wide spectrum of chemicals, pathogens, and physical changes such as elevated temperature and discoloration. While many of the chemicals and substances that are regulated may be naturally occurring (calcium, sodium, iron, manganese, etc.) the concentration is often the key in determining what is a natural component of water and what is a contaminant. High concentrations of naturally occurring substances can have negative impacts on aquatic flora and fauna.

              Oxygen-depleting substances may be natural materials such as plant matter (e.g. leaves and grass) as well as man-made chemicals. Other natural and anthropogenic substances may cause turbidity (cloudiness) which blocks light and disrupts plant growth, and clogs the gills of some fish species.

              Many of the chemical substances are toxic. Pathogens can produce waterborne diseases in either human or animal hosts. Alteration of water's physical chemistry includes acidity (change in pH), electrical conductivity, temperature, and eutrophication. Eutrophication is an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in an ecosystem to an extent that increases the primary productivity of the ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, subsequent negative environmental effects such as anoxia (oxygen depletion) and severe reductions in water quality may occur, affecting fish and other animal populations. China's extraordinary economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization, coupled with inadequate investment in basic water supply and treatment infrastructure, has resulted in widespread water pollution.

Pathogens: Disease-causing microorganisms are referred to as pathogens. Although the vast majority of bacteria are either harmless or beneficial, a few pathogenic bacteria can cause disease. Coliform bacteria, which are not an actual cause of disease, are commonly used as a bacterial indicator of water pollution. Other microorganisms sometimes found in contaminated surface waters that have caused human health problems include:

Burkholderia pseudomallei

Cryptosporidium parvum

Giardia lamblia


Norovirus and other viruses

Parasitic worms including the Schistosoma type

              High levels of pathogens may result from on-site sanitation systems (septic tanks, pit latrines) or inadequately treated sewage discharges. This can be caused by a sewage treatment plant operating without a sterilization stage or long retention polishing capability. Older cities with ageing infrastructure may have leaky sewage collection systems (pipes, pumps, valves), which can cause sanitary sewer overflows. Some cities also have combined sewers, which may discharge untreated sewage during rain storms. Silt (sediment) from sewage discharges also pollutes water bodies.

Pathogen discharges may also be caused by poorly managed livestock operations.
Organic, inorganic and macroscopic contaminants
Contaminants may include organic and inorganic substances.
A garbage collection boom in an urban-area stream in Auckland, New Zealand.

Organic water pollutants include:
Disinfection by-products found in chemically disinfected drinking water, such as chloroform
Food processing waste, which can include oxygen-demanding substances, fats and grease
Insecticides and herbicides, a huge range of organohalides and other chemical compounds
Petroleum hydrocarbons, including fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels, and fuel oil) and lubricants (motor oil), and fuel combustion byproducts, from storm water runoff
Volatile organic compounds, such as industrial solvents, from improper storage.
Chlorinated solvents, which are dense non-aqueous phase liquids, may fall to the bottom of reservoirs, since they don't mix well with water and are denser.
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)
Various chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products
Drug pollution involving pharmaceutical drugs and their metabolites
Inorganic water pollutants include:

Acidity caused by industrial discharges (especially sulfur dioxide from power plants)
Ammonia from food processing waste
Chemical waste as industrial by-products
Fertilizers containing nutrients--nitrates and phosphates—which are found in storm water runoff from agriculture, as well as commercial and residential use
Heavy metals from motor vehicles (via urban storm water runoff) and acid mine drainage
Secretion of creosote preservative into the aquatic ecosystem
Silt (sediment) in runoff from construction sites, logging, slash and burn practices or land clearing sites.
Macroscopic pollution – large visible items polluting the water – may be termed "floatables" in an urban storm water context, or marine debris when found on the open seas, and can include such items as:
Trash or garbage (e.g. paper, plastic, or food waste) discarded by people on the ground, along with accidental or intentional dumping of rubbish, that are washed by rainfall into storm drains and eventually discharged into surface waters
Nurdles, small ubiquitous waterborne plastic pellets
Shipwrecks, large derelict ships.
Thermal Pollution: Thermal pollution is the rise or fall in the temperature of a natural body of water caused by human influence. Thermal pollution, unlike chemical pollution, results in a change in the physical properties of water. A common cause of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant by power plants and industrial manufacturers. Elevated water temperatures decrease oxygen levels, which can kill fish and alter food chain composition, reduce species biodiversity, and foster invasion by new thermophilic species. Urban runoff may also elevate temperature in surface waters.

Thermal pollution can also be caused by the release of very cold water from the base of reservoirs into warmer rivers.

Transport and chemical reactions of water pollutants

Marine Pollution: Most water pollutants are eventually carried by rivers into the oceans. In some areas of the world the influence can be traced one hundred miles from the mouth by studies using hydrology transport models. Advanced computer models such as SWMM or the DSSAM Model have been used in many locations worldwide to examine the fate of pollutants in aquatic systems. Indicator filter-feeding species such as copepods have also been used to study pollutant fates in the New York Bight, for example. The highest toxin loads are not directly at the mouth of the Hudson River, but 100 km (62 mi) south, since several days are required for incorporation into planktonic tissue. The Hudson discharge flows south along the coast due to the coriolis force. Further south are areas of oxygen depletion caused by chemicals using up oxygen and by algae blooms, caused by excess nutrients from algal cell death and decomposition. Fish and shellfish kills have been reported, because toxins climb the food chain after small fish consume copepods, then large fish eat smaller fish, etc. Each successive step up the food chain causes a cumulative concentration of pollutants such as heavy metals (e.g. mercury) and persistent organic pollutants such as DDT. This is known as bio-magnification, which is occasionally used interchangeably with bio-accumulation.

              Large gyres (vortexes) in the oceans trap floating plastic debris. The North Pacific Gyre, for example, has collected the so-called "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", which is now estimated to be one hundred times the size of Texas. Plastic debris can absorb toxic chemicals from ocean pollution, potentially poisoning any creature that eats it.[24] Many of these long-lasting pieces wind up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals. This results in obstruction of digestive pathways, which leads to reduced appetite or even starvation.

              Many chemicals undergo reactive decay or chemical change, especially over long periods of time in groundwater reservoirs. A noteworthy class of such chemicals is the chlorinated hydrocarbons such as trichloroethylene (used in industrial metal degreasing and electronics manufacturing) and tetrachloroethylene used in the dry cleaning industry. Both of these chemicals, which are carcinogens themselves, undergo partial decomposition reactions, leading to new hazardous chemicals (including dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride).

              Groundwater pollution is much more difficult to abate than surface pollution because groundwater can move great distances through unseen aquifers. Non-porous aquifers such as clays partially purify water of bacteria by simple filtration (adsorption and absorption), dilution, and, in some cases, chemical reactions and biological activity; however, in some cases, the pollutants merely transform to soil contaminants. Groundwater that moves through open fractures and caverns is not filtered and can be transported as easily as surface water. In fact, this can be aggravated by the human tendency to use natural sinkholes as dumps in areas of karst topography.

              There are a variety of secondary effects stemming not from the original pollutant, but a derivative condition. An example is silt-bearing surface runoff, which can inhibit the penetration of sunlight through the water column, hampering photosynthesis in aquatic plants.

Measurement: Water pollution may be analyzed through several broad categories of methods: physical, chemical and biological. Most involve collection of samples, followed by specialized analytical tests. Some methods may be conducted in situ, without sampling, such as temperature. Government agencies and research organizations have published standardized, validated analytical test methods to facilitate the comparability of results from disparate testing events.[25]

Sampling:  Sampling of water for physical or chemical testing can be done by several methods, depending on the accuracy needed and the characteristics of the contaminant. Many contamination events are sharply restricted in time, most commonly in association with rain events. For this reason "grab" samples are often inadequate for fully quantifying contaminant levels. Scientists gathering this type of data often employ auto-sampler devices that pump increments of water at either time or discharge intervals.

Sampling for biological testing involves collection of plants and animals from the surface water body. Depending on the type of assessment, the organisms may be identified for biosurveys (population counts) and returned to the water body, or they may be dissected for bioassays to determine toxicity.

Further information: Water quality § Sampling and measurement

Physical testing:

Common physical tests of water include temperature, solids concentrations (e.g., total suspended solids (TSS)) and turbidity.

 Chemical Testing:

water chemistry analysis and environmental chemistry

              Water samples may be examined using the principles of analytical chemistry. Many published test methods are available for both organic and inorganic compounds. Frequently used methods include pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) chemical oxygen demand (COD), nutrients (nitrate and phosphorus compounds), metals (including copper, zinc, cadmium, lead and mercury), oil and grease, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), and pesticides.

Biological testing: Bioindicator- 
Biological testing involves the use of plant, animal or microbial indicators to monitor the health of an aquatic ecosystem. They are any biological species or group of species whose function, population, or status can reveal what degree of ecosystem or environmental integrity is present. One example of a group of bio-indicators are the copepods and other small water crustaceans that are present in many water bodies. Such organisms can be monitored for changes (biochemical, physiological, or behavioral) that may indicate a problem within their ecosystem.

Untreated sewage: A 2007 study found that discharge of untreated sewage is the single most important source of pollution of surface and ground water in India. There is a large gap between generation and treatment of domestic waste water in India. The problem is not only that India lacks sufficient treatment capacity but also that the sewage treatment plants that exist do not operate and are not maintained.And Maintenance Of Sewage Treatment Plants In India-2007|publisher=CENTRAL POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD, Ministry of Environment

             The majority of the government-owned sewage treatment plants remain closed most of the time due to improper design or poor maintenance or lack of reliable electricity supply to operate the plants, together with absentee employees and poor management. The waste water generated in these areas normally percolates into the soil or evaporates. The uncollected waste accumulates in the urban areas causing unhygienic conditions and releasing pollutants that leach into surface and ground waters.

              A 1992 World Health Organization study reported that out of India's 3,119 towns and cities, just 209 have partial sewage treatment facilities, and only 8 have full wastewater treatment facilities. Downstream, the river water polluted by the untreated water is used for drinking, bathing, and washing. A 1995 report claimed 114 Indian cities were dumping untreated sewage and partially cremated bodies directly into the Ganges River. Lack of toilets and sanitation facilities causes open defecation in rural and urban pill areas of India, like many developing countries. This is a source of surface water pollution.

             Sewage discharged from cities, towns and some villages is the predominant cause of water pollution in India. Investment is needed to bridge the gap between sewage India generates and its treatment capacity of sewage per day. Major cities of India produce 38,354 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage, but the urban sewage treatment capacity is only 11,786 MLD. A large number of Indian rivers are severely polluted as a result of discharge of domestic sewage.

             The Central Pollution Control Board, a Ministry of Environment & Forests Government of India entity, has established a National Water Quality Monitoring Network comprising 1429 monitoring stations in 28 states and 6 in Union Territories on various rivers and water bodies across the country. This effort monitors water quality year round. The monitoring network covers 293 rivers, 94 lakes, 9 tanks, 41 ponds, 8 creeks, 23 canals, 18 drains and 411 wells distributed across India. Water samples are routinely analyzed for 28 parameters including dissolved oxygen, bacteriological and other internationally established parameters for water quality. Additionally 9 trace metals parameters and 28 pesticide residues are analyzed. Biomonitoring is also carried out on specific locations.

             The scientific analysis of water samples from 1995 to 2008 indicates that the organic and bacterial contamination is severe in water bodies of India. This is mainly due to discharge of domestic waste water in untreated form, mostly from the urban centres of India.

Organic Matter: In 2010 the water quality monitoring found almost all rivers with high levels of BOD (a measure of pollution with organic matter). The worst pollution, in decreasing order, were found in river Markanda (490 mg/l BOD), followed by river Kali (364), river Amlakhadi (353), Yamuna canal (247), river Yamuna at Delhi (70) and river Betwa (58). For context, a water sample with a 5-day BOD between 1 and 2 mg O/L indicates a very clean water, 3 to 8 mg O/L indicates a moderately clean water, 8 to 20 indicates borderline water, and greater than 20 mg O/L indicates ecologically-unsafe, polluted water.

              The levels of BOD are severe near the cities and major towns. In rural parts of India, the river BOD levels were sufficient to support aquatic life.

Coliform levels: Rivers Yamuna, Ganga, Gomti, Ghaghara River, Chambal, Mahi, Vardha are amongst the other most coliform polluted water bodies in India. For context, coliform must be below 104 MPN/100 ml, preferably absent from water for it to be considered safe for general human use, and for irrigation where coliform may cause disease outbreak from contaminated-water in agriculture.

              In 2006, 47 percent of water quality monitoring reported coliform concentrations above 500 MPN/100 ml. During 2008, 33 percent of all water quality monitoring stations reported a total coliform levels exceeding those levels, suggesting recent effort to add pollution control infrastructure and upgrade treatment plants in India, may be reversing the water pollution trend.

              Treatment of domestic sewage and subsequent utilization of treated sewage for irrigation can prevent pollution of water bodies, reduce the demand for fresh water in the irrigation sector and become a resource for irrigation. Since 2005, Indian wastewater treatment plant market has been growing annually at the rate of 10 to 12 percent. The United States is the largest supplier of treatment equipment and supplies to India, with 40 percent market share of new installation. At this rate of expansion, and assuming the government of India continues on its path of reform, major investments in sewage treatment plants and electricity infrastructure development, India will nearly triple its water treatment capacity by 2015, and treatment capacity supply will match India's daily sewage water treatment requirements by about 2020.

Other problems: A joint study by PGIMER and Punjab Pollution Control Board in 2008, revealed that in villages along the Nullah, fluoride, mercury, beta-endosulphan and heptachlor pesticide were more than permissible limit (MPL) in ground and tap water. Plus the water had high concentration of COD and BOD (chemical and biochemical oxygen demand), ammonia, phosphate, chloride, chromium, arsenic and chlorpyrifos pesticide. The ground water also contains nickel and selenium, while the tap water has high concentration of lead, nickel and cadmium.

Flooding during monsoons worsens India's water pollution problem, as it washes and moves solid waste and contaminated soils into its rivers and wetlands. The annual average precipitation in India is about 4000 billion cubic meters. From this, with the state
of Indian infrastructure in 2005, the available water resource through the rivers is about 1869 billion cubic meters. Accounting to uneven distribution of rain over the country each year, water resources available for utilization, including ground water, is claimed to be about 1122 billion cubic meters. Much of this water is unsafe, because pollution degrades water quality. Water pollution severely limits the amount of water available to Indian consumers, its industry and its agriculture.

Specific Rivers:
The Ganges: More than 500 million people live along the Ganges River.  An estimated 2,000,000 persons ritually bathe daily in the river, which is considered holy by Hindus. Ganges river pollution is a major health risk.

              NRGBA was established by the Central Government of India, on 20 February 2009 under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. It also declared Ganges as the "National River" of India. The chair includes the Prime Minister of India and Chief ministers of states through which the Ganges flows.

The Yamuna: By an estimate by 2012, Delhi's sacred Yamuna river contained 7,500 coliform bacteria per 100cc of water. A lot number of NGOs, pressure groups, eco-clubs, as well as citizens' movements, have been active in their task to clean the river.

             Even though India revised its National Water Policy in 2002 to encourage community participation and decentralize water management, the country's complex bureaucracy ensures that it remains a "mere statement of intent." Responsibility for managing water issues is fragmented among a dozen different ministries and departments without any coordination. The government bureaucracy and state-run project department has failed to solve the problem, despite having spent many years and $140 million on this project.

Buddha Nullah, a seasonal water stream, which runs through the Malwa region
The Mithi River, which flows through the city of Mumbai, is heavily polluted.
Mithi River pollution
Mula River pollution
Gomti River pollution

Control of pollution: Decisions on the type and degree of treatment and control of wastes, and the disposal and use of adequately treated wastewater, must be based on a consideration all the technical factors of each drainage basin, in order to prevent any further contamination or harm to the environment.

             In urban areas of developed countries, domestic sewage is typically treated by centralized sewage treatment plants. Well-designed and operated systems (i.e., secondary treatment or better) can remove 90 percent or more of the pollutant load in sewage. Some plants have additional systems to remove nutrients and pathogens.

             Cities with sanitary sewer overflows or combined sewer overflows employ one or more engineering approaches to reduce discharges of untreated sewage, including:

              utilizing a green infrastructure approach to improve storm water management capacity throughout the system, and reduce the hydraulic overloading of the treatment plant. repair and replacement of leaking and malfunctioning equipment. increasing overall hydraulic capacity of the sewage collection system (often a very expensive option).

             A household or business not served by a municipal treatment plant may have an individual septic tank, which pre-treats the wastewater on site and infiltrates it into the soil.

Industrial waste water treatment: Some industrial facilities generate ordinary domestic sewage that can be treated by municipal facilities. Industries that generate wastewater with high concentrations of conventional pollutants (e.g. oil and grease), toxic pollutants (e.g. heavy metals, volatile organic compounds) or other non-conventional pollutants such as ammonia, need specialized treatment systems. Some of these facilities can install a pre-treatment system to remove the toxic components, and then send the partially treated wastewater to the municipal system. Industries generating large volumes of wastewater typically operate their own complete on-site treatment systems. Some industries have been successful at redesigning their manufacturing processes to reduce or eliminate pollutants, through a process called pollution prevention.

Heated water generated by power plants or manufacturing plants may be controlled with: cooling ponds, man-made bodies of water designed for cooling by evaporation, convection, and radiation cooling towers, which transfer waste heat to the atmosphere through evaporation or heat transfer cogeneration, a process where waste heat is recycled for domestic or industrial heating purposes.

Agricultural wastewater treatment: Non point source controls, Sediment (loose soil) washed off fields is the largest source of agricultural pollution in the United States. Farmers may utilize erosion controls to reduce runoff flows and retain soil on their fields. Common techniques include contour plowing, crop mulching, crop rotation, planting perennial crops and installing riparian buffers.

              Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are typically applied to farmland as commercial fertilizer, animal manure, or spraying of municipal or industrial wastewater (effluent) or sludge. Nutrients may also enter runoff from crop residues, irrigation water, wildlife, and atmospheric deposition. Farmers can develop and implement nutrient management plans to reduce excess application of nutrients and reduce the potential for nutrient pollution.

              To minimize pesticide impacts, farmers may use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques (which can include biological pest control) to maintain control over pests, reduce reliance on chemical pesticides, and protect water quality.

Point source wastewater treatment: 
Farms with large livestock and poultry operations, such as factory farms, are called concentrated animal feeding operations or feedlots in the US and are being subject to increasing government regulation. Animal slurries are usually treated by containment in anaerobic lagoons before disposal by spray or trickle application to grassland. Constructed wetlands are sometimes used to facilitate treatment of animal wastes. Some animal slurries are treated by mixing with straw and composted at high temperature to produce a bacteriologically sterile and friable manure for soil improvement.

Erosion and sediment control from construction sites:

Sediment from construction sites is managed by installation of:
 erosion controls, such as mulching and hydro seeding, and sediment controls, such as sediment basins and silt fences. Discharge of toxic chemicals such as motor fuels and concrete washout is prevented by use of: spill prevention and control plans, and specially designed containers (e.g. for concrete washout) and structures such as overflow controls and diversion berms.

Control of urban runoff (storm water): 
Effective control of urban runoff involves reducing the velocity and flow of storm water, as well as reducing pollutant discharges. Local governments use a variety of storm water management techniques to reduce the effects of urban runoff. These techniques, called best management practices (BMPs) in the U.S., may focus on water quantity control, while others focus on improving water quality, and some perform both functions.

              Pollution prevention practices include low-impact development techniques, installation of green roofs and improved chemical handling (e.g. management of motor fuels & oil, fertilizers and pesticides). Runoff mitigation systems include infiltration basins, bioretention systems, constructed wetlands, retention basins and similar devices.

             Thermal pollution from runoff can be controlled by storm water management facilities that absorb the runoff or direct it into groundwater, such as bioretention systems and infiltration basins. Retention basins tend to be less effective at reducing temperature, as the water may be heated by the sun before being discharged to a receiving stream.




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