Dissolved oxygen (DO) in the waters of Dhaka surrounding Buriganga, Balu, Turag and Shitalakhya rivers has reached almost the zero level during this dry season, posing a severe threat to aquatic lives, says an observation report of an environmental watchdog.Disclosing the report findings at its office in the capital on Monday, Poba executive general secretary Engr Abdus Sobhan at a press conference said if the DO is found 5 ppm (parts per million) in water it is useable for aquaculture, irrigation and household and industrial use.

“But, if DO is found almost zero level in the waters of four rivers –Buriganga, Balu, Turag and Shitalakhya-during the dry season that means the water of the rivers is not suitable for use anyway,” he said.

A Poba team recently visited the four rivers to inspect their pollution levels and grabbing state during March 1-4 this year and tested their waters to assess the quality.

Poba chairman Abu Naser Khan said people are aggressively withdrawing groundwater to meet their demand, resulting in the fall of water level by five metres a year in the capital, since the highly polluted surface water is not suitable for use or drinking.

If the trend of rampant water pollution continues, Dhaka will turn into an unlivable city within next the 20 years for lack of freshwater, he said, adding that an integrated effort is an urgent to overcome the existing situation. ?UNB

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