Dec - 2018

Dear nature lovers,
Greetings from oikos !
And the River finally meets the Sea!
In her long and arduous journey, the river swells as tributaries, streams and rivulets join her. The entire landscape, which bestows its water to the river is called as Catchment Area, Drainage basin or Watershed of the river. As we have seen in the past 11 months, the catchment is broadly divided into 3 zones – Source, Plains and Mouth. In every zone, the river forms certain unique physical features and habitats which harbour a wide range of biodiversity and offer numerous ecological services to life on the planet. These are provisioning of clean potable water, spreading fertility on land, controlling flood, and others.
Unfortunately, these fundamental services are declining because of the severe impacts of POLLUTION. Untreated sewage gets into the rivers at such a great scale that her self-rejuvenating systems collapse, resulting into poor quality of water. With that, the fertiliser and pesticide run-offs enter the rivers and increase the nutrient levels manifold. This leads to proliferation of hydrophytes such algae and floating water plants like Water Hyacinth. Their growth reduces dissolved oxygen levels in water resulting in decline of aquatic animal life. Other toxic waste like plastics and oils contaminates the water and human life is exposed to waterborne diseases. Plastic waste is a critical water pollutant, mainly because of the poor waste management systems. If this were not enough, uncontrolled development along banks and slopes sends in loads of sediments.
To preserve these life lines, it is critical
(a) how we shape the land use of the catchment
(b) how we use the river water
(c) what is quality of used water going back into the rivers
(d) how we wish to shape our policies to preserve river ecosystems right from source to mouth.
It is already late, but we must think of careful and controlled use of catchment and river waters, and implement conservation and restoration measures for our Rivers ! In cities, nearly 75 % pollution in the rivers is from residential areas. There is an urgent need to shift to Chemical Free Life style and save our rivers from pollution and help them restore! This could be the first step any citizen can follow to save our rivers !
Ketaki & Manasi
With Team oikos !
Thanks to Madam Swati Gole for providing technical inputs as needed!
Thanks to Gurudas Nulkar for improving the language of the text, every month!
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Oikos for ecological services
Ph. 020-25451875