Before we move forward, let us understand what exactly water pollution is and how it is caused. Only then will we be able to understand the problems caused by water pollution.
What are water pollution?
Water pollution is defined as the situation when contaminants, impurities, microorganisms come into the water and pollute it to make the water unfit for human consumption. According to World Health Organization, polluted water is water whose composition has been changed to such an extent that it has become unusable.
In simple words, if understood, we can say that water that contains toxins and pollutants can neither be used for essential purposes such as agriculture and nor for human consumption. The primary pollutants that change the composition of water to such an extent are bacteria, viruses, fertilizers, pesticides, nitrates, phosphates, and many more that can be fatal for the health.
Surprisingly, you will not find any change in watercolor because they are very tiny. This is why small amounts of water are checked to determine the quality of water.
What is the cause of water pollution?
The leading causes of water pollution include but are not limited to:
- 1. Rise in CO2 leading to the rise in global warming. It ultimately leads to a decrease in oxygen content.
- 2. Deforestation, i.e., cutting of forests that eventually leads to the exhaustion of the water resources. It also leads to the reduction in organic residue that becomes the breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
- 3. Chemical, rubbish and fecal dumping is the other cause of water pollution. The industries do not care about throwing their waste into the environment. As a result, it becomes one of the leading causes of water getting polluted. According to the UN, around 80% of sewage water flows into rivers and lakes untreated.
- 4. Plastics and fuel spillage is another thing that can cause water pollution. As plastic is non-biodegradable, it causes considerable harm to aquatic life. Also, oil leakage and its derivatives when going into the water become a significant source of water pollution, and it becomes difficult to treat the water.
What are the problems caused by water pollution?
Water quality deterioration damages the environment, health conditions, and global economy at a more significant level. According to David Malpass, deterioration in water quality is the primary reason for the downfall in the economy's GDP and increasing poverty. He explained that as the biological oxygen demand (BOD) exceeds a specific limit, the GDP of the associated regions with that water body reduces significantly. In addition to it, there are various problems caused by water pollution. All of them are given here as below:
- 1. Water pollution harms biodiversity. It breaks the life of aquatic plants and animals, and as a result, the ecosystem of the whole planet got unbalanced.
- 2. Disturbance in the food chain of animals and plants. For their selfish reasons, humans do fishing and various other activities, which ultimately reduces the availability of food to the animals. Also, livestock and farming give out chemical water due to the use of chemicals that also reduce freshwater availability.
- 3. Lack of fresh water is another problem that is faced in water pollution. As per the United Nations (UN), billions of people worldwide have no access to clean and safe drinking water. How shocking and the sad situation is this?
- 4. Besides the UN data, World Health Organization (WHO) also has its data, which suggests that about 2 billion people who do not have access to clean and safe drinking water have ultimately to drink the contaminated water for their survival. It exposes those people too vulnerable to diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, etc.
- 5. Due to diarrhea diseases, hygiene is compromised, and as a result, it leads to an increase in infant mortality rate. It means that about 1000 children per day are due to water pollution.
It is high time for people to consider saving water and not polluting it. Otherwise, a day will come when we would be left with no water and would have to look for survival as an alternate means. To keep you away from diseases, steps should be taken not to pollute the water and always drink safe and clean water.
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