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Thames (Europe)

With 125 species of fish thriving in its ultra-clean waters, Thames undeniably takes the cake. From time to time, even seals, dolphins and otters are seen on its banks in the city of London! But just about half a century back, the iconic river was declared biologically dead on account of large volumes of sewage being discharged onto it. Tackling the pressing problem, warranted immediate construction of treatment plants to clean dirty water from homes flowing into the river. It was done in no time and in the 1960s factories were even banned from discharging their dirty waters into the river. The efforts bore remarkable results over the course of the next few years. Today over half of London’s sewage sludge is sold as fertilizer for agricultural use instead of being dumped in its largest waterway.

Rivers with cleanest waters in the world

Rivers are a source of life. Entire civilisations have shaped and flourished on their fertile banks. Since ages, their waters have been used for cleaning, drinking and farming. With the dawn of industrialisation, they found use in electricity generation and in the booming manufacturing sector too. However, it also resulted in their waters becoming polluted with reckless, unchecked dumping of industrial and household waste onto them. This gradually rendered them unfit for human use, threatened the marine life in them and even made the surrounding banks polluted.

So far, very few rivers have been able to escape the scourge of stifling pollution. While those afflicted with it are mostly in news, those few that remain surprisingly clean – either because of human efforts or their course through sparsely populated regions – rarely find a mention anywhere.

This slideshow picks out those rivers that can still boast of clean waters that support countless species of marine animals and are perfectly safe for human use as well.