Discussion and evaluation of water quality in river systems of West Bengal, India: An assessment of physicochemical and biological parameters as markers of water quality

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Review Paper 06/05/2024
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Discussion and evaluation of water quality in river systems of West Bengal, India: An assessment of physicochemical and biological parameters as markers of water quality

Sagarika Mukherjee, Manas Paramanik
J. Bio. Env. Sci.24( 5), 8-23, May 2024.
Certificate: JBES 2024 [Generate Certificate]

Abstract

The process of declination of water quality (WQ) in several natural sources of water is now an immense problem for mankind. Rivers are naturally flowing water bodies that have now become sewage carriers in most cases. Several workers monitored the deterioration of the WQ in rivers. This article reviews the WQ parameters of the river flow in the state of West Bengal (WB) in India. It also analyses and compares the WQ between the rivers of the northern and southern ranges of WB, emphasizing the complex interplay of geographies and anthropogenic influences. The rivers of northern WB, generally thought to be non-polluted, benefited from a slower pace of industrialization due to their hilly terrain. But recent evidence suggests a concerning decline in WQ, particularly in rivers like Torsha, attributed to factors like the initiation of industrialization, urban runoff, and agricultural practices. Conversely, rivers in southern WB face pronounced pollution from industrial effluents and untreated sewage, exacerbating contamination levels in rivers like Hooghly, Haldi, and Damodar. The direct discharge of pollutants into water bodies significantly impacts aquatic ecosystems, leading to nutrient enrichment, loss of biodiversity, and potential health hazards for both wildlife and human populations. The period of lockdown due to COVID-19 provided a distinct chance to observe the beneficial impacts of reduced anthropogenic activities on WQ, highlighting the potential for rejuvenation with proactive interventions. Comprehensive monitoring and treatment measures are urgently needed to address pollution from industrial, urban, and agricultural runoff. Effective policies and management strategies should be put in place. Thoughtful human activities can help alleviate the negative effects of water pollution and protect the sustainability of water sources for generations to come.

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