The Atoyac River : A study about its problems and possible futuresolutions from a sustainable perspective

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik; KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: Because of extensive industrial and domestic wastewater discharge, the Atoyac river has become one of Mexico's most polluted rivers. The aim of the paper is to investigate the contaminations of the river due to the different polluters and what impacts it has on the environment and society. Further the paper aims to identify necessary solutions in order to restore the river to its natural state, within a sustainable point of view, by using the model of sustainable development proposed by Peter Glavič and Rebeka Lukman (2007). The study is based on literature reviews, where it was concluded that the Atoyac river is polluted by different contaminations such as BOD, coliforms, metals, heavy metals and toxic chemicals, which has affected the environment, ecosystem services, people's health and agriculture in a negative way. There is an understanding that violating social and environmental aspects will also have an impact on the economy in the long run in form of sick work force, loss of necessary ecosystem services and the cost for repairing the environmental damages. It was investigated that if change and effective actions are to be achieved within a sustainable development approach, methods/tools such as Purification, Polluters Pays Principle, Pollution Control, Waste Minimization, Cleaner Production, Environmental Legislation and Environmental Engineering, suggested by Glavič and Lukman(2007) need to be assimilated. These tools were connected to an earlier stage of suggested potential solutions of big variety. The paper also concludes that the progress towards sustainability in the case of the Atoyac river and Mexico in general lies on a very fundamental level and still has a long way to go.

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