We live in an industrial civilization where industrial wastes are being discharged into rivers and where these polluting discharges are mixtures of chemicals which are difficult to treat.
Some industrial wastes are so toxic that they are strictly controlled, making them an expensive problem to deal with. Some apathetic factories try to cut the costs of safely dealing with waste by illegally dumping chemicals at times and in places where they think they will not be caught.
Nowadays, there are more polluted rivers than non-polluted ones. It is a saddening fact that governments in highly polluted countries give little consideration to the importance of their rivers.
Rivers and the surrounding land drained by them (catchments) are highly significant wildlife habitats. The water itself provides the environment for fish, plants and other aquatic animals, while the banks and nearby land support creatures such as otters, kingfishers, frogs, dragonflies and a variety of water-dependent plants.
A sad fact: England and Wales experienced a decrease in the total length of rivers and canals in having top quality water between 1985 and 1990. Meanwhile the total length of unpleasant quality waterways increased.
It’s a good thing that in 1990 the situation in England and Wales has improved. The Environment Agency reports an increase in length in the best quality grades of waterway and a reduction in the poorest. Indeed there has been significant improvement in 10.7% of the total length of rivers and canals in England and Wales. These are just a few facts about rivers.