GEOGRAPHY IN THE NEWS:
A "census" of the world's major rivers finds they are in poor shape for a variety of reasons: "A recent synthesis of research on the world’s 32 greatest rivers reveals the perilous state of many large river basins. ... In addition to the relatively well-publicised stresses associated with climate change and large-scale damming, the world’s big rivers are also facing serious threats from other human activities. Pollution is now so bad in some big rivers, such as the Ganges, that the waters are a toxic mixture of faecal, industrial, agricultural, plastic and domestic waste, which causes widespread disease and thousands of deaths every year. ... Sediment mining and dredging are also now producing a crisis in the availability of sand, and causing deleterious effects on riverine ecology, river bank stability and the downstream accumulation of sediment in the world’s great river deltas, which support vital agricultural production and huge populations. The effects of sediment starvation caused by sediment mining and trapping behind dams add to the substantial problems already faced by such deltas, and their inhabitants, due to land subsidence, sea-level rise and the pollution of groundwater. As a catastrophic example, the World Health Organization has called the staggering scale of arsenic contamination in the groundwaters of the Ganges delta ‘the largest mass poisoning of a population in history’." geographical.co.uk/opinion/item/3322-dangerous-river-basins
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