Jaipur: The overall quality of water bodies in the state has improved during the lockdown which should be seen as a positive sign. As per the latest report published by Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB), the overall water quality of the canals and rivers has improved in all major parametres.
To know the impact of lockdown on surface water quality in the state, sampling and analysis of water quality was carried out in the last week of April, 2020 in all the sixty monitoring stations for surface water (river, canal, lake and dam). The analysis results of the samples collected were compared with the analysis results of the samples collected in April 2019.
For evaluating the impact of lockdown on water quality; data of April 2019 and April 2020 was compared on five parameters, i.e., Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Total Coliform and Conductivity.
The concentration of BOD in rivers and canals of Rajasthan ranged between 1.24 to 5.56 mg/l in April 2019, whereas the same ranged between 1.08 to 4.32 mg/l in April 2020. The concentration of COD in rivers and canals of Rajasthan ranged between 13.94 to 70.89 mg/l in April 2019, whereas the same has ranged between 8.28 to 41.20 mg/l in April 2020.
The water quality of the rivers and canals monitored with respect to Total Coliform, meets stipulated water quality criteria at all stations. Total Coliform values show increasing trend in all the rivers and as coliform is not harmful, this is a positive sign.
Similar decline has been seen in other parameters as well.
Besides, it has been observed that water quality of the lakes and dams in terms of all the above parameters has improved including Pushkar Lake, Ajmer, upstream of Chhapi Dam and Piplaz Dam, Bhawani Mandi.
Improvement of water quality of the lakes located in Udaipur and Mount Abu may be due to minimal tourist inflow in the lockdown period. Similarly, the improved water quality in Pushkar Lake can be attributed to minimal pilgrims and almost nil community bathing and washing activities at the ghats.
The water quality of upstream of Chhapi Dam, Piplaz Dam at Bhawani Mandi, Kodar Dam at Mount Abu and Gambhiri Dam at Nimbahera has improved as compared to April 2019. Improvement of water quality in these dams may be due to minimal human intervention at the dam and their catchment areas during the lockdown period.