February 27, 2011
Mitigation Strategies and Solutions/Water Pollution
Comprising over 70% of the Earths surface, water is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exists on our planet. Without the seemingly invaluable compound comprised of hydrogen and oxygen, life on Earth would be non-existent: it is essential for everything on our planet to grow and prosper. Although we as humans recognize this fact, we disregard it by polluting our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Subsequently, we are slowly but surely harming our planet to the point where organisms are dying at a very alarming rate. In addition to innocent organisms dying off, our drinking water has become greatly affected as is our ability to use water for recreational purposes. In order to combat water pollution, we must understand the problems and become part of the solution. Keywords: water pollution, sustainability, earth, oxygen
All around the world there are issues with our water resources, from conservation and preservation to pollution and depletion. We need to increase public awareness within our local governments, citizens of our country, and the world on how important clean and fresh water are to every living organism. With the increase in human population, increase in pollution, the demand for clean water is essential for the existence of mankind. Water pollution is a concern in the world today. The governments of many countries have looked to find solutions to reduce the problem. Many different pollutants threaten the water ways, especially in underdeveloped countries where disposal of raw sewage in natural waters are a common place, the constant new construction that is being done around the world also appears to be a factor which is affecting pollution to our water resources . (Buzzle 2010) Construction developments affect the waters by the chemicals they use and the regard for proper disposal of toxic chemicals that run-off in the soils and then into the water systems which in turn affects our drinking water. These disease causing contaminants enter our systems in our water, from untreated sewers, septic tanks, boats and storm drains not properly cleaned. Water borne ailments can cause hookworms, intestinal parasites, typhoid fever, diarrhea and numerous other bacterial and viral diseases. (USEPA 2010)Water that is polluted has caused earaches, conjunctivitis, upper respiratory infections skin rashes, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammation of the brain and other ailments. These types of water borne disease are more prevalent in third world countries or in severe poverty stricken states. According to the American College Dictionary, pollution is defined as: to make foul or unclean; dirty. Water pollution occurs when a body of water is adversely affected due to the addition of large amounts of materials to the water. When it is unfit for its intended use, water is considered polluted. Two types of water pollutants exist; point source and nonpoint source. Point sources of pollution occur when harmful substances are emitted directly into a body of water. The Exxon Valdez oil spill best illustrates point source water pollution. A nonpoint source delivers pollutants indirectly through environmental changes. An example of this type of water pollution is when fertilizer from a field is carried into a stream by rain, in the form of run-off which in turn affects aquatic life. The technology exists for point sources of pollution to be monitored and regulated, although political factors may complicate matters. Nonpoint sources are much more difficult to control. Pollution arising from nonpoint sources accounts for a majority of the contaminants in streams and lakes. Many causes of pollution including sewage and fertilizers contain nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates. In...