Goa’s river water quality second best, thanks to monsoon showers


Abundant monsoon showers are turning out to be a blessing for Goa’s polluted rivers as they act as a cleansing agent and help in washing away the water pollutants,
which mainly comprise of human excreta and sewage.
An analytical report of the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) indicates that the quality of water in the state’s rivers is fairly good and it is mainly due to the abundant rain showers the state receives in the monsoon. The showers help in washing away the pollutants resulting in better quality of river water. In fact, the water quality in Goa’s rivers is rated the second best in the country after Himachal Pradesh.
Under a sponsored project of the Central Pollution Control Board – the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme (NWMP), the GSPCB undertakes an annual sampling of the river water from different rivers and water bodies in the state. The GSPCB has collected 597 samples from 50 different monitoring points across the state’s rivers, wells and canal water and analysed considering three main parameters – physical, chemical and microbiological.
“Goa’s river water quality has been rated the second best in the country after Himachal Pradesh,” said GSPCB chairman, Mr Jose Manual Noronha. He added that in the last 12 years, the number of monitoring stations along the rivers has gone up with weekly, monthly and twice a year data collection.  
The major rivers in North Goa where a monthly monitoring is undertaken are River Mandovi, Rivers Kalna and Chapora in Pernem, River Assanora at Assanora, River Valvanti in Sanquelim, River Mhadei in Valpoi and River Khandepar in Ponda. Similarly, the major rivers monitored in South Goa are River Zuari, River Talpona and River Sal.
According to the report of the GSPCB, the water quality of rivers in North Goa is better as compared to that of the rivers in South Goa. “The quality of water in North Goa rivers is much better than the quality of water in South Goa rivers,” said GSPCB’s senior scientist, Dr Mohan Girap. He said that rivers in North Goa are less polluted when compared to the rivers in South Goa.
Mr Girap further said that the major source of pollution in Goan rivers is fecal coliform. In scientific terms, fecal coliform is pollution caused due to human interference or discharge of human waste in water bodies. “In most of the rivers, the presence of fecal coliform is traced either at minor or major level,” said Dr Girap. “If we consider an overall picture of Goa, the presence of fecal coliform is higher in South Goa rivers,” he said.
Dr Girap said that the heavy monsoon showers act as a pollution purification agent as the pollutants either get washed off or are diluted with the large volume of monsoon water the rivers receive. He said that in summer, the pollution level recorded is higher as compared to pollution level in rivers during the other seasons. The state of Himachal Pradesh, which is rated as the best state for quality of its river water is blessed with natural topography, hilly areas and flow of glaciers, said Dr Girap. [NT]