The planet keeps us reminding us by testing us with severe famines that water is the soul of life. Just take a moment and think, can you live without water? Obviously no. It is a significant source upon which all living organisms depend and it is also essential for the economic and social growth of a nation. But unfortunately we no longer respect this blessing nowadays. Due to human negligence, we have polluted most of the water sources. According to a study, 63% of US drinking water is polluted. Now the question is how can we prevent our water sources from becoming polluted?
Forming local communities for beach cleanups is a good way to increase awareness among the youth about the importance of these cleanup projects. Moreover, the increasing plastic contamination in oceans can be controlled by volunteers like you! Yes, you can now volunteer for beach cleanup projects and play a vital role in the conservation of water resources.
What is Water pollution?
Water pollution is caused when toxic substances, mostly chemical compounds or microbes accumulate in the oceans, rivers, lakes or on any other water source. This results in the degradation of the quality of water thus leading to harm to living organisms and the environment. So, in order to create a sustainable environment, conservation of water is very necessary.
What causes Water pollution?
As we all know water is known as a “Universal solvent” because it can dissolve many substances. So it is mostly at risk to get polluted. The main cause of water pollution are human beings, which is done in so many ways. Waste materials of human activities such as deforestation, industrial waste are contaminated in the water and cause water pollution. Sometimes, it is also caused by nature e.g. Global warming but the most common cause of this pollution are solely human beings. Now, let’s discuss some causes of water pollution.
Industries around the globe release toxic chemicals as a byproduct of their manufacturing procedures which is then dumped into the nearby streams or lakes. This contaminates the water and compromises the quality of water.
Temperatures are rising due to an increase in global warming. This causes an increase in the temperature of water, which can harm or even kill the aquatic organisms which further pollute the water.
Forests help to maintain the water quality as they act as filters in keeping pollution out of water sources. Strong roots of healthy trees prevent soil erosion. But when the forest habitat is disturbed and deforestation is carried out, the sedimentary rocks flow into the water sources and leads to poor water quality.
In the process of transporting or storing oil through ships, accidently oil leaks into the oceans. This is also one of the biggest causes of water pollution.
Untreated sewage system
According to the UN, more than 80% of the world’s sewage system is not efficient. And rubbish and faecal dumps are seen in seas and oceans.
According to a report, approximately 8 million tons of plastic is contaminated in the water per year. It is estimated that by 2050, there would be less population of fish as compared to plastic in water. Plastics are chlorinated and when dissolved in water, they can cause life threatening side effects on the health of aquatic organisms and human beings as well.
What are the effects of Water pollution?
Effects on human beings
According to a WHO report, it is estimated that 2 billion of the world’s population does not have access to pure drinking water. This makes humans vulnerable to many lethal diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A, and even thyroid cancer. Annually, 1000 children die on a regular basis due to intestinal infections caused by unsafe water.
Effect on Aquatic organisms
Disposal of toxic waste materials into seas or oceans is a huge threat to marine life health. This contamination causes eutrophication and oxygen content of the water is reduced. As a result, aquatic organisms die.
Use of polluted water for agriculture purposes or fishing in polluted water sources transfers toxic substances in foods also which are injurious to human health.
Ecosystems are quite diverse in nature, they react even to the smallest changes in the surrounding environment. Water pollution can collapse the whole ecosystem if neglected.
6 ways to prevent Water pollution
- Better sewage system
Sewage system can be made better by treating the waste products before disposing them in the water. This can help in controlling water pollution on a large scale. Efficient processes must be used in removing the contaminants from water in order to make the water safer for use.
- Green Agriculture
Planting trees, grasses on the sides of water sources on agricultural land. These trees can act as barriers and can prevent soil erosion. So, sedimentary rocks are no longer there to flow into the water sources and contaminate them.
- Reduction in plastic usage
More than 80% of the plastic contamination in water is due to human activities. In order to restrict the amount of plastic in oceans, there is a need to minimize the production and usage of plastic worldwide and also there should be proper plastic waste management. You can read about the solutions of plastic contamination in this blog https://oceanblueproject.org/scientific-solutions-to-plastic-pollution/.
- Preserve water
Most importantly, there is dire need of conserving the water sources. It is essential to be aware of the scarcity of water and behave responsibly in managing the water sources accordingly.
- Prevention of Air pollution
Air pollution is also one of the leading causes of water pollution. Approximately 25% of human made carbon dioxide are immersed in oceans. This leads to an immediate increase in acidification of water sources which is life threatening for marine life. Thus prevention of air pollution is also necessary for controlling water pollution.
- Management of stormwater
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stormwater management is an attempt to decrease runoff of water from rain, melted snow or floods into local streets, or other areas and the enhancement of water quality. It is very essential to prevent contaminants from polluting the water sources and assists in utilizing water efficiently.
You can also read about the best beaches in the US in this blog https://oceanblueproject.org/best-beaches-in-the-us/.