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Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen, that is essential for the survival
of many known forms of life . In typical usage, water refers only to
its liquid form or state, but the substance also has a solid state, ice, and
a gaseous state, water vapor or steam. Water covers 71% of the Earth's
surface. On Earth, it is found mostly in oceans and other large water bodies,
with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air
as vapor, clouds (formed of solid and liquid water particles suspended in
air). Oceans hold 97% of surface water and other land surface water such
as rivers, lakes and ponds 0.6%. A very small amount of the Earth's water is
contained within biological bodies and manufactured products. Water moves
continually through a cycle of evaporation reaching the sea.

Clean, fresh drinking water is essential to human and other life forms. Access
to safe drinking water has improved steadily and substantially over the last
decades in almost every part of the world. There is a clear correlation
between access to safe water and GDP per capita. However, some observers
have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be
facing water-based vulnerability. Water plays an important role in the world
economy, as it functions as a solvent for a wide variety of chemical
substances and facilitates industrial cooling and transportation.
Approximately 70 percent of freshwater is consumed by agriculture.

Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers,

oceans, and groundwater. All water pollution affects organisms and plants
that live in these water bodies and in almost all cases the effect is damaging
either to individual species and populations but also to the natural biological
communities. It occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly
into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful
constituents. Water is typically referred to as polluted when it does not
support a human use, like serving as drinking water, and lose its ability to
support its 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. Water pollution
has many causes and characteristics.

Surface water and groundwater have often been studied and managed as
separate resources, although they are interrelated. Sources of surface water
pollution are generally grouped into two categories based on their origin.

Point source pollution

Point source pollution refers to contaminants that enter a waterway through

a discrete conveyance, 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.

Non-point source pollution

Non-point source pollution refers to diffuse contamination that does not

originate from a single discrete source. NPS pollution is often accumulative
effect of small amounts of contaminants gathered from a large area. The
leaching out of nitrogen compounds from agricultural land which has been
fertilized is a typical example. Nutrient run off in storm water from "sheet
flow" over an agricultural field or a forest are also cited as examples of NPS

Water Pollution in Dhaka City

Water pollution in Dhaka watershed has reached alarming levels and is

posing significant threats to health and economic activity, particularly among
the poor and vulnerable. With all the frequent power outages, horrendous
traffic jams and the like already complicating life in the city, the shortage of
water promises to create new nightmares for everyone. In most large city
areas -- notably Rampura, Kalyanpur, Shekher Tek and Mohammadpur and
old Dhaka -- citizens have been suffering from lack of water for the past
several days. Scarcity of water is so acute in several areas that residents are
now thinking of leaving those places. The problem has become acute due to
inadequate water supply and contaminated water. A number of residents are
now using contaminated water as the special supply of water by the Water
Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is not enough. People facing the
crisis claimed the water supply by the WASA Lorries hardly fulfills their daily
demand.Rice productivity in the watershed area, for example, has declined
by 40% in recent years and vegetable cultivation in the riverbeds has been
severely damaged. Its also found significant correlation between water
pollution and diseases such as jaundice, diarrhoea and skin problems.

The causes of water pollution in Dhaka city:

• Excessive rainfall

• Population growth and unplanned development

• Waste management system

• Encroachment

• Capacity and gravity of drainage system

• Drainage management system

• Development works during rainy season

• Storage of construction materials

• Lack of public awareness

• Lack of regulations and its implementation

• Disruption of normal life

• Damage of household goods

• Damage of underground service lines

• Water born diseases

• Increase mosquito

• Damage of trees and vegetation

• Increase of construction and maintenance cost

• Death of fish


Experts say it is not environmentally and practically feasible to extract

ground water indiscriminately. It will not be possible to meet the growing
demand for water with ground water and that’s why main focus should be in
collecting river water no matter how costly it is. The wetlands around the city
should be protected from the grabbers and turned into water reservoirs
involving the water supply agency, Dhaka City Corporation, Rajdhani
Unnayan Kartripakkha, and environmentalists. Successful implementation of
such efforts will reduce the city's water crisis to a considerable extent.