Water Pollution and Its Effects on the Environment Water

Water Pollution and Its Effects on the Environment Water
Water Pollution and Its Effects on the Environment Water is the most important resource available to people this day and age. Humans can survive without food for several weeks, but would die very shortly if water sources were removed. But now, these scarce sources are being threatened by industries and the common ?thoughtless? human. On a less dramatic note, millions of gallons of water are needed every day worldwide for various reasons including: washing, irrigating crops, cooling industrial plants and corporations, and for hydro-electricity. This is not to mention leisure industries such as swimming pools, water parks, etc. Despite our dependence on water, we use these sources as a dumping ground for all sorts of waste, and do very little to protect the specific water supplies we have. Today, this pollution is being heavily over-looked throughout numerous parts of the world.
Water pollution occurs when waste products or other substances, such as microorganisms, chemicals, or sewage, are dumped into various bodies of water and change the physical, thermal, chemical or biological characteristics, adversely affecting living species and reducing the water?s beneficial uses. Contamination occurs when the water is subject to these pollutants. There are several threats to our water resources. Large amounts of pollutants have been emptied into lakes, rivers, and streams, and now the world is witnessing the effects of it in the ecosystem. Oil spills kill thousands of seabirds, exotic fish, and numerous plant-like structures on the sea bottom as well as damage water desalinization plants and industries drawing their water from affected coastlines. Large salt contents have also been found and prove threatening to much wildlife living in fresh water. It is common for someone to think of salt as a ?non polluter?, but that is not the case in fresh water. These pollutants often end up invading and destroying wildlife while destroying water organisms that are vital to the food chain. Corporations, using hydro-electricity on major rivers around the world, dump wastes, produced by their own industrial plants, into these same rivers that purification sites draw from. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency (1991), ?Coliform, bacteria from human and animal wastes, may be found in drinking water if the water is not properly treated. These bacteria may cause disease themselves or indicate that other harmful organisms may be present in the water.? Waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, infectious hepatitis, and dysentery have been traced to improperly disinfected drinking water as well. Today?s society puts little emphasis on the problems at hand, therefore our water supplies such as aquifers, rivers, lakes, and oceans are suffering extreme pollution factors. Once stated by A. F. Bainstrop (1989), ?Alternative water pumped through pipelines are being transferred here to supplement our needs until those sources dry up or become polluted.? Water purification plants are too expensive to run and maintain. Few things are being done about these pollution problems in today?s society. Big corporations could be fined for the cleaning of the water they pollute but, this would require more laws. Laws enforcing higher fines for certain ways of distributing wastes would deal with many extreme cases of dumping refuse such as big industrial dumping problems and the dispensing of trash into rivers, lakes, and other sources. This would reduce cleaning costs tremendously and discourage those polluters fined from doing it again. For many years, fresh water has been an ecological wonderland full of many animals and fish that we depend on in today?s society. The only way to help aid in reducing the amount of pollution that goes into our lakes, rivers, streams, etc. is by getting involved. Learning anything possible about the problem should be the first priority in coming up with a logical plan to control pollution and keep our water sources clean. As little as talk among a single group or an article to the editor of a small paper is helpfully aiding to out safety. Serious actions will only be taken when the faucet runs dry. Earth Day is a wonderful start in the area of planet cleanliness and protection. But, it is only one day of the year. Give Water A Hand (1997) is national watershed education program designed to involve young people in local environmental service projects. More public awareness should be raised using these methods to try to keep the world?s water as clean as possible. Please help out by learning and teaching more about pollution as a whole in your environment.

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