Chemical water pollution
Water pollution is the existence of certain substances in water sources that makes it unsuitable for consumption by man and animals. Major sources of water can sustain and get rid o small amounts of wastes. However, pollution occurs depending on the amount of toxin released as well as the amount of water available. For instance, a small amount of chemical released into an ocean will have little effect, but the same amount of chemical would have a larger effect if released into a lake. Human activities have been the major cause of water pollution worldwide with the major cause of water pollution originating from industries where chemicals used in production of different materials are released into the atmosphere as smoke which later falls back as rain on the surface and eventually into rivers and lakes.
Improper sewage and waste water disposal has also contributed largely to water pollution especially in highly populated cities which lack basic hygiene. Poor construction of sewage systems causes these wastes to find their way into lakes, rivers and eventually into the sea. Consumption of this polluted water results to illnesses such as diarrhea. The most effective way of solving water pollution problem is treating all waste water and sewage waste before pumping them into the sea. Sewage wastes are natural substances and therefore should be completely broken down into harmless compounds before disposing them into the sea (Glennon, 2010, 1). Most sewage disposals consist of toilet wastes which may cause serious illnesses such as typhoid especially when it is from people infected with viruses.
Treatment of waste water before disposal would ensure the safety of citizens by providing them clean and fresh water for consumption. The biggest percentage of sewage waste consists of water, treating the wastes for recycling would help in maintaining a constant supply of water.
Pesticide water pollution
Pesticides contain chemical elements that are used in preventing infections by pests either in plants or in animals.
Although pesticides are advantageous to farmers, they always pose a threat to water resources. This is because only a small amount of the pesticides that is applied is actually used. The rest of it falls out to the atmosphere and eventually finds their way into water reservoirs as they get washed away by rain water down into lakes and rivers and finally into the sea. Industries manufacturing these pesticides may as well dispose solid wastes containing pesticide residues which end up being washed by rain water and into the nearest water bodies. Pesticides may as well be used in water bodies to destroy algae and hence polluting the water (Stier, 2010, 1). Pesticides have been found to kill all the fish population in any water body. Other types of pesticides that are applied to water bodies to destroy wild organisms such as algae may destroy aquatic plants which may result to reduced or depleted food supply for the fishes. When these plants are killed, they start rotting, a process which may cause reduced oxygen amount in the water.
Water sources that are enriched with pesticides have been found to delay the development of tadpoles into frogs. In order to avoid the possible effects of pesticides water pollution, it is advisable to use them only when there is the need to do so. Practicing the use pesticides when there is no rain can be quite helpful in preventing washing of these chemicals into water bodies. Users should be careful when administering these chemicals to ensure that they only apply the recommended amount. Proper disposal of all unused pesticides as well as containers is essential to prevent leaching of the chemicals during rainy season. Farmers are, as well, encouraged to use organic manure which only requires natural materials to be produced (Singh, 2010, 1).
Crop rotation is also important in preventing chemical runoffs from the farm. All these efforts would help keep water safe for human and animal consumption as well as maintaining a natural population of the aquatic habitats.
Oil and petroleum pollution
Liquid petroleum can be released into the environment by human activities especially in oil transportation and production. Spills may also occur naturally as oil blowouts (Embach, 2010, 1). Both sources contribute to large volumes of oil into the sea and other water bodies. Large oil spills can cause death to aquatic organisms with the most affected being the birds. Smaller volumes of oil spills do no necessary kill the organisms but reduce their feeding rates leading to low growth rates as well as reduced reproductive rates. Ability of the affected animals to resist diseases can also be reduced decreasing survival ability of the organism.
Prevention of oil spills could be largely contributed by consumers by using petroleum properly to avoid any leaks from equipments.
Climate impacts on water demand
Global warming has caused a lot of changes in climate patterns worldwide. These climate changes affect the demand for water especially in countries which depend on rain water for domestic use, farming and in industrial productions.
Citizens would, therefore, have increased demand for water from other resources other than rainfall. The reinforcement of water supplies such as dams and other reservoirs requires high costs due to inadequacy of resources. Human activities that may lead to global warming such as burning of fossil fuels should be avoided to prevent loss of rainfall thus ensuring a constant natural supply of water (Pizyborski, 2010, 1). This way, public funds will be used in other development projects and the natural environment will be preserved as well.
Climate impacts on water supply
A change in climate will definitely affect water supply. A lot of human activities have caused global warming which in return alters climate especially rainfall patterns and amount (Riebeek, 2010, 1).
Since most people rely on rain water, they end up lacking adequate supply of water. This would call for other sources of water which may only supply limited amounts which may not be adequate for the user’s needs especially for the farmers. Low productivity will be experienced in such situations. Practicing human activities that do not provoke climate changes would be helpful in preventing inadequate water supply. This would ensure constant production in farms as well as in factories.
Effects of urban growth on water resources
Change in water quality
Population in urban areas has been increasing as people move to towns in search for job opportunities. Urbanization has increased the rate at which runoffs are released into water bodies.
Large volumes of sediments are being disposed in water bodies most of which are not suitable for water users. The quality of water is therefore reduced especially due to residues from factories and domestic waste water from toilets. These residues may increase the temperature of water this increasing water pollution. If this water is consumed, people may get diseases such as typhoid and diarrhea. Proper disposal of domestic and industrial wastes in urban areas would prevent the destruction of water quality in nearby water bodies.
Decrease in water bodies
The increased demand for water in urban areas has caused the complete depletion of water in many water sources. Misuse of water may as well result to destruction of water bodies.
Lack of maintenance in water resources also causes depletion of water where residents only use it without putting efforts to conserve some for the future. The effect of decreased water bodies will be later felt when the supply of water gets inadequate. Better uses of water and conservation efforts are important in maintaining water sources for future use.
Increase in water demand
As the population in urban areas increases, so does the demand for water. The need for electricity for the growing population in many urban areas where water is used to produce energy raises the demand for water in such towns (Marsalek, 2007, 1).
There is also the need to supply water to the many homes for household use. This problem could be solved by controlling the rural to urban migration in order to keep a maintainable population of citizens in the urban areas. A minimal population would be much easier to provide with adequate water supplies.
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