Polluted Yamuna river covered in foam

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Blighted holy river

A man bathes and fills bottles with water from a foamy, polluted section of the Yamuna River on May 24 near the outskirts of New Delhi, India.

The holy river runs over 800 miles through several major urban centers like New Delhi, which dumps 58 percent of its waste into the waters, before finally merging with the Ganges River in Allahabad.

Despite the heavy pollution, 57 million people depend on the Yamuna's sewage-filled waters for washing, drinking, religious ceremonies and waste disposal.

* * * 

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.