Current Event #4
Mexico is commonly associated with their poor water quality and the complications due to these problems, but according to recent studies, one of the most serious problems is in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Researchers have found products such as pharmaceuticals, shampoo, illicit drugs, toothpaste, pesticides, chemical run-off, and other pollutants that are infiltrating the giant aquifer under the Riviera Maya. The pollutants occupy a series of water-filled caves near the popular tourist attraction of the Yucatan Peninsula and eventually run off into the Caribbean Sea (ScienceDaily, “Pollutants in Aquifers May Threaten Future of Mexico's Fast-growing 'Riviera Maya'.”).
The problems and effects of these problems may become detrimental and the causes of the pollution are numerous. The researchers concluded that four of the five locations contained pollution that originated from domestic sewage, pinpointing septic tanks and leaking sewer lines as the major causes. Another source of the pollution comes from the groundwater runoff of chemicals from highways, parking lots, and other hard surfaces Maya (ScienceDaily, “Pollutants in Aquifers May Threaten Future of Mexico's Fast-growing 'Riviera Maya'.”). Mexico struggles to protect their nation’s pollution levels, which can also be consider a cause of the pollution, as they lack the equipment and expertise to monitor and track sources of pollution.
The effects of the current situation surrounding the Riviera Maya are not an immediate danger, but as there is a projection of a ten-fold population increase by 2030, the problems are likely to worsen. Mexican citizens are presently sick with stomach problems, abdominal pain, weight loss, and in the most severe cases, death (Gutierrez, “Water Polluted beyond Drinkability.”). As the pollutants run through the aquifers, they end up off the coast of Mexico. The pollution has contributed to destroying the environment, where up to fifty percent of the region’s coral...
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