The World's Most Polluted Waterways

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I scanned the list of challenges to find a topic for my first quiz, and came up with the world's most polluted bodies of water. I hope you find this information as enlightening as I did!

It was once a gently flowing river, where fishermen cast their nets, sea birds came to feed and natural beauty left visitors spellbound. Villagers collected water for their simple homes and rice paddies thrived on its irrigation channels. Today, the Citarum is a river in crisis, choked by the domestic waste of nine million people and thick with the cast-off from hundreds of factories. So dense is the carpet of refuse that the tiny wooden fishing craft which float through it are the only clue to the presence of water.

Created by: Pretender
  1. While the title of "Most Polluted Waterway" might be open to interpretation, there seems to be little doubt about the "top" waterway on this list. The Citarum River is so choked with trash that you can hardly tell that there is any water under all of the garbage! Where in the world is this river disguised as a dumpster?
  2. Our next waterway is a rather well-known lake that borders three nations. Because no one nation bears responsibility for this lake, there are very few regulations governing its use. Consequently, the lake is used for dumping sewage, washing cars, bathing, and who knows what else! People who come into contact with the water are at risk for various diseases, including cholera. What lake is this?
  3. The next waterway on our list has been referred to as "the largest open pit toilet in the world." How does a river get such a title? Over 325,000 tons of sewage are dumped into it each day, that's how! To make matters worse, the river is only 65 miles long. In what South American nation would you find the Riachuela River?
  4. Pollution is truly an international phenomenon - every continent except Antarctica will appear somewhere on our list of most polluted waterways. Our next stop is a lake that has been polluted for so long that swimming in it was banned back in 1940! Unfortunately, the pollution did not stop then; fishing was prohibited in 1970, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated this lake as a "Superfund" site in 1995. What lake is this?
  5. . Imagine living along a river that frequently overflows its banks. Now imagine that same river being regarded as the most polluted river in its country, and perhaps in all of Europe! As is the case with many of the waterways on our list, sewage forms a big part of the problem; agricultural runoff also contributes to the high levels of pollution. Which Italian river am I describing?
  6. No list of polluted waterways would be complete without some radioactive waste being involved. Our next waterway is so contaminated with radioactive waste that the pollution is seeping out into the surrounding ground and rock beds. If this continues, nearby rivers could be threatened. The contamination started in the 1950s with discharges from the Mayak Nuclear Waste Storage Facility. Which Russian lake is this?
  7. It is hard to believe that one of the most beautiful sites in the world could be closely connected to one of our most polluted waterways, but that is the case. This river, which flows near the Taj Mahal, receives about 945 million gallons of sewage per day. Which river is this?
  8. Our next waterway is a lake which "hosts" more than 2,800 factories along its shores. As you might imagine, all of those factories lead to a large amount of industrial waste being dumped into the lake. Chinese governmental officials estimate that the cost to clean up all of the contamination would exceed $14 billion. Which lake is recognized as one of the most polluted in all of China?
  9. Two rather large rivers also make the list of the most polluted waterways in the world. While they are located literally around the world from each other, they each suffer from pollution from sewage and industrial waste. Due to their size, this pollution impacts large portions of the nations in which these rivers are located. Which two rivers am I describing?
  10. I had mentioned earlier in the quiz that each continent, other than Antarctica, would be represented on our list - so that brings us to Australia. The King River in Australia is acknowledged as the most polluted river in all of Australia, with millions of tons of mining waste having been dumped into the river since mining operations began in the late 1800s. Which Australian state is home to the King River?

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