Water Pollution Water Is an Important Natural Essay

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Water Pollution

Water is an important natural resource upon which all the living beings rely for their existence and growth. Nature has blessed the earth with uncountable water resources but usable quantity is limited. Hence, it is important to use water sparingly. The irony is, human activities result is high water pollution which further shortens the water supply for use.

"In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference" (Carson, 2002, p. 39).

Water is considered to be most crucial one among all the world's natural resources. Although it covers the largest part of the earth's surface (70%), yet it is the limiting factor most of the times. This is because most of this water is not available for use in agriculture or for other human needs due to the presence of significant amounts of mineral salts and heavy metals that make water unfit for use. In each home of an American in New York, 99 gallons of water is an average daily requirement (Fishman, 2012). Water consumption increases by a factor of 2-3% each year while the fresh water total supply remains comparatively constant (Dowdeswell, 1996). Thus, the demand of water is a big dilemma today.

A major problem related to water is the issue of water pollution. It is basically the contamination of water with pollutants that may be from human, animal or industrial origin. Natural as well as anthropogenic activities lead to the spoilage of rivers, streams and ground water. This polluted water may also move from one place to another leading to water pollution at greater level (Chiras, 2012).

Pollutants in surface waters can be of organic or inorganic nature. Processed or un-processed waste material from either animal or human origin can be released into water ways by waste disposal plants etc. Oil spills are also major contributors of water pollution that give rise to organic pollutants.
When water gets saturated with this organic waste, bacteria begin to multiply rapidly. Because of the metabolic activity of the micro-organisms, oxygen gets depleted in such water reservoirs. Oxygen depletion may prove lethal to the life of bodies that rely on oxygen for living. The oxygen level in such bodies can be maintained if the organic influx in such water resources is controlled or minimized.

The inorganic pollutants in surface water are basically the nitrates or phosphates which increase the plant growth that lead to inhibition of aquatic life. This is because when plants die, their decay leads to oxygen depletion which effects the aquatic environment greatly.

Another important phenomenon related to water pollution is eutrophication which is the deposition of nutrients in lakes. These nutrients come from both natural and human sources and may result in aging of lakes prematurely (Chiras, 2012).

Some man made products like plastics, medical wastes and sewage sludge also add significant amount of pollutants to the water. Plastic, because of being resistant to degradation is a great environmental hazard. Although direct dumping of sewage is controlled to a great extent, yet a lot of waste is being introduced into oceans and rivers by the sewage treatment plants (Chiras, 2012).

Water may also contain infectious pathogenic micro-organisms that may lead to water-borne disease and ultimately deaths. Parasites as well as bacteria seeping into drinking water may lead to chronic diarrhoea, severe infections of ear and stomach diseases (Duhigg, 2009).

Contamination of both ground and surface water through chemical pollutants such as pesticides increases production of carcinogens in the public water supplies. According to National Cancer Institute, the danger of cancer from the consumption of contaminated water will increase greatly in future. A study in Holland supported the view that cancer may be caused because of pollution of waterways. Cities which get water from the rivers have a higher mortality rate than those who use water from less susceptible sources like wells. Arsenic is the major pollutant in.....

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