Environmental_Issues_of_S_and_SE_Asia edited 2015

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Transcript Environmental_Issues_of_S_and_SE_Asia edited 2015

Southern and
Eastern Asia
Environmental Issues
Water Pollution
The causes and effects of pollution on the
Yangtze and Ganges Rivers
The Ganges River - India
Source is high in the Himalayan Mountains
Flows 1600 miles through India and Bangladesh
Empties into the Bay of Bengal
Over 400 million people live in its river valley
Provides water and transportation
“Mother Ganges”
Ganges River
• India’s most sacred river
• Used for funeral rites
• Cremated bodies
• (not) cremated bodies
• Used by millions for drinking and bathing
• Poor sewage systems drain directly into the river
• Ganges Action Plan 1985
• Water treatment plans attempting to clean-up the
Ganges River
Ganges Action Plan
Program started in 1985 to clean up the river
Many sewage and water treatment plants have been
built along the river
Challenges to the clean up efforts:
Growing population
Run-off from industries and farm production
• Chemical fertilizers
• Animal fertilizers
Quality of Water
Chemicals used in fertilizer and industry wash
into the river every day
Human and animal waste
Bodies of dead animals
Cremated remains of humans
Still, people use river for bathing, drinking, and
Ganges River
Cities along the
Highest rates of water-born diseases of any who
live in India
Pour millions of gallons of sewage into the river
which is then carried to other cities and villages
farther south.
Outbreaks of many diseases are common
The Yangtze River
China’s longest river
4000 miles from the NW part of the the country to the East
China Sea
Pumping stations take water out to supply people with
water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial uses
Millions of gallons of sewage, chemicals from agricultural
and industrial wastes are dumped into the river every day
Nitrogen and arsenic are leading pollutants
Yangtze Pollutions
Many species of plants and animals are
High levels of nitrogen and phosphates lead to
growth of blue-green algae
This reduces oxygen in the water causing fish
to die
These fish are caught and eaten leading to
human health problems
Yangtze River
• China’s longest river
- 4,000 miles from the Northwest regions to the East
China Sea
• Passes through over 185 towns and villages (400
million people)
• Poor sewage drains millions of gallons into the river
• Fertilizer run-off into the river
• Millions of people use the river to catch fish (most
have been contaminated by factory chemicals)
Yangtze River Pollution - China
Three Gorges Dam
You Tube Video:
Three Gorges Dam
China building more water treatment facilities
Encouraging cities along river to build sanitary
landfills for garbage rather than dumping in the
International organizations like the World Bank
have worked with China on these programs
India’s Air Pollution
One of India’s most serious environmental issues
Due to enormous and growing population and rapid growth of
cities and development of industry and number of automobiles
and trucks
Some of the highest rates of respiratory diseases in the world
Difficult for Indian government to enforce laws on industry and
transportation that might improve air
Air Pollution
Rural areas have pollution due to material used in
homes (wood, animal dung, coal, etc.)
India has some 500,000 annual deaths from indoor air
Can form “brown clouds” which can reduce rainfall and
Air Pollution
Many cities in China have growing populations and
China is the world’s fastest growing economy—with no
environmental regulation
Leading cause of death are respiratory and heart disease
that can be tied to long exposure to air pollution
The burning of coal provides much of China’s energy
Leads to the release of soot, ash, and chemicals into
the air
Air pollution also contributes to acid rain
Air Pollution China
Beijing Municipal Environmental
Protection Bureau
(set up before the 2008 Olympics; athletes were
Works on improving the quality of the city’s air
Automobile traffic was reduced and many
factories were closed for a period of time
Arguments from the World Bank to encourage
the government to enforce these laws:
Cost of health care far outweighs the
economic profits from activities that contribute
to air pollution
Flooding in India
Monsoon winds bring heavy
amounts of seasonal
Because the rain continues
for months the ground
becomes saturated and
mudslides occur.
Standing water in flooded
streets breeds mosquitoes.
Diseases spread by them,
such as malaria, spread
Flooding India
Flooding in China
• The Yangtze River has flooded more than 1000
times but the Yellow River is responsible for the
most catastrophic floods.
• The Yellow River has killed more people than any
other river in the world – called “River of Sorrow”
• People have tried to control the river with levees
and drainage ditches
• When the levees were built, more sediment
accumulated in the river, causing more flooding
Yellow River – China Flooding
The 1887 Yellow River flood was a
devastating flood on the Yellow River (Huang He)
in China. This river is prone to flooding due to the
elevated nature of the river, running between
dams above the broad plains surrounding it. The
flood that began in September 1887 inundated
the area, killing some 900,000 people. It was one
of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded.
Yellow River Flooding in History
The 1938 Yellow River flood was created by
the Nationalist Government in central China in an
attempt to stop the advance of Japanese forces.
They opened the dikes (dam like structures), It has
been called the "largest act of environmental
warfare in history,“ An estimate of 800,000 were
The floods covered and destroyed thousands of
square kilometers of farmland and shifted the mouth
of the Yellow River hundreds of miles to the south.