Water pollution

Matanza-riachuelo basin


The main sources of water pollution are Industrial waste which produces huge amount of waste which contains toxic chemicals and pollutants, Sewage waste that is produced by each household is chemically treated and released in to sea with fresh water, Mining activities that is composed by the processes which crush the rock and extract coal and other minerals from underground, Marine dumping produced by each household in the form of paper, aluminum, rubber, glass, plastic, food if collected and deposited into the sea in some countries, Burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil when burnt produce substantial amount of ash in the atmosphere, Chemical fertilizers and Leakage from sewer lines that can contaminate the underground water and make it unfit for the people to drink , Global warming which is the increasing of earth’s temperature due to greenhouse effect results in global warming. It increases the water temperature and result in death of aquatic animals and marine species which later results in water pollution, Radioactive waste which is produced using nuclear fission or fusion, Urban development and Underground storage leakage, transportation of coal and other petroleum products through underground pipes.

Finally, the pollution sources are industrial waste, sewage, every day rubbish and pesticides.


The use of fertilizers and pesticides affect the lakes and rivers, because when this pesticides are washed off they go to the rivers and lakes, and this encourage algae growth, the algae don’t let the sun light pass through them so the other water plants die, the bacteria start to decompose the plants and take the oxygen from the lake or river and the fishes die and the fishes also get contaminate from the pesticides.

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Matanza-riachuelo Basin

The territory covered by the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin covers the City of Buenos Aires and 14 municipalities of the province.

Riachuelo is its mouth and Matanza river in most of its development, is a watercourse of 64 km. It source is in the province of Buenos Aires , is the southern boundary of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and ends in the Rio de la Plata. This mouth originates the name of the Buenos Aires llneighborhood o La Boca.

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Health concequences

A study by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency in Argentina found that the level of lead and chrome in the children living around the river was five times normal levels. Exposure to lead can cause headaches, stomach pains, behavioral problems, anemia, it can effect a child’s brain development, decreased bone and muscle growth, damage to the nervous system, kidneys and hearing, and cause speech and language problems. The list of health impacts from chrome are no better, including rashes, ulcers, problems with the respiratory system and immune system, kidney/liver problems, and lung cancer. The study also found that child mortality is twice what it is in other areas of Buenos Aires.

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Goverment´s action

In 2004 Argentina received $250 million US from the Inter-America Development Bank, and matched that amount bringing the total to $500 million. This money was to be used to clean up the river basin, but most of it was used elsewhere in the country (only $1 million was used towards clean up, and charges were pressed for misappropriation of funds). In 2005 the environmental minister said that “In a thousand days we are going to be able to drink the water and I am going to be the first to drink it.” However, nothing ever happened. Then in 2006 Argentina’s Supreme Court gave the government 30 days to make a plan to improve conditions, The court has named the Matanza-Riachuelo a ‘Use 4” waterway, which basically means that if the river looks and smells ok then they’re not going to do anything about it. There is also disagreement within political blocs about what to do with the polluters. The dilemma is if they fine or close down a factory then people lose jobs, the government loses money, and the economy slumps.