Covering over 70% of earth’s surface, water is undoubtedly the most valuable and precious resource that exists on our planet. Without this resource, life on earth would not be the same, in fact, life would be non existent. Clean water is undoubtedly a basic human right. We as humans need water to survive and rely on water to make our world and its living things grow and flourish.
Although a fact, we disregard it by polluting our rivers lakes and oceans. As a result we are slowly but surely harming our planet to the point where organisms are dying at a drastic rate, and our drinking water has become greatly affected causing health risks to those who consume polluted water. This epidemic began during the industrial revolution however we are still struggling to contain the situation today. We are the ones causing our own harm, showing no apathy towards others and their human dignity or the care for God’s creations. In order to combat water pollution we must understand the problem and become part of the solution. Water is under assault from numerous types of pollution. In the 1850s, the effects of coal-powered plants were beginning to be felt in countries around the world. For centuries, humans were unknowingly contaminating sources of drinking water with raw sewage, which led to diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
According to a CNN report, one gram of human feces contains “10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs.” During the mid-19th century, the industrial revolution brought new technological advances, which in part introduced new sources of air and water pollution. The effects of these changes were beginning to be felt in countries around the world by the middle of the 20th century. With the emergence of the industrial revolution, water pollution increased rapidly, when factories began releasing pollutants directly into rivers and streams. In 1969, chemical waste released into Ohio’s Cuyahoga River burst into flames this disaster proved how industrial pollution was destroying the worlds natural resources. Additionally, water resources face an ongoing threat from man-made environmental disasters such as the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, during which approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil were accidentally dumped into the sea off Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Hundreds of thousands of birds, fish and other wildlife were killed instantly in the 3,000-square-mile oil slick, and devastated the area for years afterward.
Even with these hazardous facts well known to those in the industrial industry, we still continue to dump our toxic waste. In the developing world as much as 70 percent of industrial waste is just dumped untreated into the rivers and lakes. Water sources are also contaminated by rain runoff from such things as oil-slick roads; construction, mining and dump sites; and livestock wastes from farm operations.
Leaky septic tanks, pesticides and fertilizers are among the other sources that can contaminate groundwater. In 2007, CNN reported that “up to 500 million tons of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge slip into the global water supply every year. Although we have made positive strides in developed nations to combat water pollution, developing nations, where there is less infrastructure to deal with the contamination in the freshwater and all of the species that rely on it.Humans are largely affected by water pollution globally. Many in the world are forced to drink untreated water in which their body immediately reacts to it. After all, people can’t survive without drinking water, and if their freshwater resources are polluted, they can become ill from drinking them. Water-borne diseases account for the deaths of 3,575,000 people annually.
One of the greatest dangers to human health is water pollution. Different types of pollutants affect human health in different ways. These illnesses are particularly dangerous for young children; in fact, they account for almost 60 percent of early childhood deaths worldwide. Today, over 1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water and every 15 seconds somewhere on the planet, a child dies from a water-related disease, according to WaterPartners International (www.water.
org). Although sewage treatment plants have reduced the occurrence of water-related illnesses in some nations, less developed nations still struggle to find safe, fresh water. In 2006, the Environmental News Service (ENS) reported that “more than 62 percent of industrial and municipal facilities across the country discharged more pollution into U.S. waterways than their Clean Water Act permits allowed between July 2003 and December 2004.” The ENS also noted that over 40 percent of American waterways were unsafe for swimming and fishing. But yet we continue to pollute our waters with our own garbage, sewage and chemical waste, do we not care for the human dignity of those who are so greatly affected?While we humans only feel the harmful consequences of water pollution when we consume contaminated water, animals are easier victims of the harmful effects of water pollution. While we have the option of treating polluted water to make it safe and drinkable, animals do not have any alternatives to escape the polluted water that has been contaminated by human and industrial waste.
industrial wastes carries chemical toxins which kill smaller aquatic organisms. This, causes a loss of food source for bigger aquatic creatures, causing them to consume poisoned, dead fish and die, or leave their natural habitat to go in search of food in an unnatural habitat. Often, this leads to sickness and death of these animals due to the inability to adapt to their new conditions Dumping solid trash such as plastic, block aquatic channels, and can also cause small animals to get trapped in the debris or larger animals to choke and die. We are not caring for or looking after God’s creation, in fact we are destroying it. Although pollution is still a very large issue the greatly affects our ecosystem and human survival, we have made positive strides in the fight to combat it.
We as humans and the animals that help us survive are greatly affected when water is contaminated. In the developed world, regulation has restricted industry and agricultural operations from pouring pollutants into lakes, streams, and rivers. Alongside numerous federal and international laws monitoring the dumping of chemical waste. Technology has also offered a solution in the form of expensive filtration and treatment plants that make our drinking water safe to consume. We as Individuals can do our small part by refraining from littering beaches and lakes with paper, plastic and other garbage.
Water is undoubtedly the most valuable and precious resource that exists on our planet. Without this resource, life on earth would not be the same, in fact, life would be non existent. We as humans need water to survive and rely on water to make our world and its living things grow and flourish. Although a fact, we disregard it by polluting our rivers lakes and oceans.
As a result we are slowly but surely harming our planet to the point where organisms are dying at a drastic rate, and our drinking water has become greatly affected causing health risks to those who consume polluted water. We are the ones causing our own harm, showing no apathy towards others and their human dignity or the care for God’s creations. In order to combat water pollution we must understand the problem and become part of the solution.