WATER AS OUR NATURAL RESOURSE
There are more than 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth. Less than 3 % of all this water is fresh water and of that amount, more than two-thirds is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. With so much water around it seems like there is enough to see us through for millions of years. But did you know that even water, which seems to be in abundance, might one day become scarce? Each time you throw something as garbage, think of where it will finally end up. Whether it is a plastic glass, your broken cell phone or the used up battery cells from your portable CD/MP3 player, they all contribute in some way to environmental pollution and are also hazardous to life. Not only are they biodegradable, but also disposing of them has their own risks as they release harmful toxins into the air and surrounding soil and ground water. All these cause water pollution .!
What is water pollution?
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities. Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels. It has been suggested that it is the leading word wide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and 1,000 Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Some 90% of China's cities suffer from some degree of water pollution, and nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, developed countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well. In the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent of assessed stream miles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent of assessed bays and estuarinesquare miles were classified as polluted. Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such as drinking water, and/or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earthquakes also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water.
Sources and effects of water pollution
Water pollution can be caused in a number of ways, one of the most polluting being city sewage and industrial waste discharge. Indirect sources of water pollution include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils or groundwater systems and from the atmosphere acid rain. Ground water pollution
Interactions between groundwater and surface water are complex. Consequently, groundwater pollution, sometimes referred to as groundwater contamination, is not as easily classified as surface water pollution. By its very nature, groundwater aquifers are susceptible to contamination from sources that may not directly affect surface water bodies, and the distinction of point vs. non-point source may be irrelevant. A spill or ongoing releases of chemical orradionuclide contaminants into soil (located away from a surface water body) may not create point source or non-point source pollution, but can contaminate the aquifer below, defined as a toxin plume. The movement of the plume, called a plume front, may be analyzed through a hydrological transport model or groundwater model. Analysis of groundwater contamination may focus on...
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