About 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. It is believed that water concealed a much greater surface area, but it later evaporated, and the land was formed. However, out of the 71% of all the water on earth, 96.5% is in the oceans. Other than that, water is present in rivers and lakes, ice caps and glaciers around the world. Water is that one resource people are most irresponsible about. The abundance of water does not mean that we will never run out of drinking water or usable water on earth, rather 96 countries are at the brink of a drinking water crisis. It is believed that World War III will actually be fought over water. In this article, we will talk about water pollution, water being inexhaustible, and also ways in which we can conserve water.
Is Water Inexhaustible?
If we take into account facts and evidence, we can say that water is a renewable resource, which means that it is continuously made by nature and will never exhaust. This means that we do not have to worry about ever running out of the water. If this was said a century ago, it would have been right, but today, the dynamics say otherwise. The pace at which the population is increasing, demands enormous reservoirs of water. Despite the fact that we have vast reserves of water, if we keep wasting water, we will soon run out of our inexhaustible resources. In addition to this, the water reserves around the world are unevenly distributed. Nine countries that include Brazil, Canada, Russia, the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Colombia, and Congo are responsible for 60% of the freshwater resources. While 40% of the world’s population is deprived of freshwater resources, around 300 million people in the world are right now facing extreme water shortages. These countries have been experiencing droughts and no vegetation patches for the longest time, which has impacted not only their economy but also the nutrition of the people living in these regions.
It is also feared that by the year 2030, 3 billion people belonging to 40 different countries and regions will face severe water shortage.
Why Should We Conserve Water?
Oceans cover 70% of the earth, but this does not mean that we have inexhaustible freshwater resources as well, only 1% is freshwater and consumable. It means that we have to be more responsible with its use so that our coming generations can also enjoy the luxury of fresh water. Humans can live without food for a very long time, but without water, it is impossible to survive. This increases our responsibility as responsible citizens of the country since our country has been blessed with water resources. While we cherish these resources, we must keep in mind the people deprived of this luxury. As the saying goes, “little drops make the mighty ocean,” and that is why no action taken to conserve water will ever be wasted. The smallest of actions that you perform in order to conserve water, may it be washing your car with a bucket, closing the tap in between washing dishes, or any small act will have a more significant impact.
Why is it Important to Conserve water?
It is essential to conserve water, so the resources that we have may last longer and also reach the people who do not have access to it. Many of us do not realize the importance of freshwater and how, over time, we have polluted the water. When we talk about the United States, only 10% of the wastewater is treated. In many parts of the country, drain water and sewage water is also dumped in the ocean directly, which has contributed significantly to water pollution. If water pollution is not resolved anytime soon, we will be pushed to consume unhealthy and unpalatable water, because the consumable water resources will be scarce. About 1 billion people in the world get sick every year because of water-related issues, and even thousands of people die due to water-related diseases like severe pneumonia, etc.
When nature blesses you with more resources, it also puts immense responsibility upon your shoulders. We are accountable for these resources, and hence we need to use them more responsibly to conserve water for the future.
What is Water Pollution?
Water pollution is caused when harmful toxins like chemicals and other bacteria contaminate freshwater reserves like streams, rivers, and lakes, degrading the water quality and making the water toxic for human use. Water pollution has emerged as a very serious problem in the last few years. Contaminated water is one of the major causes of updates in underdeveloped and developing countries. A few types of water pollution are:
Surface Water Pollution
A lot of the water from the lakes and streams is used in homes in America. But according to research, nitrates and phosphate released into these freshwater resources significantly contributed to surface water pollution. This makes the water unusable.
Due to marine dumping and oil spills, marine pollution is becoming a serious problem that has left our oceans polluted.
When rain falls, it seeps down into the earth through cracks and porous spaces, improving the water level of the land. The pesticides and fertilizers used on land are responsible for groundwater pollution.
What are the Causes of Water Pollution?
There are many causes of water pollution, but a few major ones have been listed below:
1. Agricultural wastewater
Agricultural wastewater is generated after activities on different farms and fields and is often polluted with toxins and chemical waste
2. Industrial wastewater
This is the wastewater that is generated by different factories and industries. The leather industry is the major contributor to industrial wastewater.
3. Domestic sewage
Domestic sewage mainly refers to the waste and wastewater from humans or produced from household tasks. This water is often treated before it is disposed of in the ocean.
4. Oil pollution
Oil spills and oil leaks in the oceans refer to oil pollution. These release large quantities of hydrocarbon in the environment.
5. Release of radioactive material
When radioactive materials like uranium or radium are released, they can be released in the form of gas, liquid or particles, it causes radioactive pollution. This is often a result of a nuclear accident.
Humans are responsible for all the major causes of water pollution.
What are the Effects of Water Pollution?
The effects of water pollution are severe as well as long-lasting. Water pollution does not only affect the ecology of the earth but also has direct impacts on human health.
- About Human Health
When we consume polluted water, it affects our health and can also be deadly if the condition gets worst. Severe pneumonia is one example of a severe condition that is produced by water pollution. Gastrointestinal diseases, vomiting, and skin diseases are also some of the results of water pollution.
- About the Environment
Several species live in freshwater bodies, and when we pollute these resources, we also disrupt other ecosystems. Water pollution also affects the scenic beauty of the region.
How to Prevent Water Pollution?
A few easy and simple ways in which we can prevent water pollution are as follows:
- Keep oil, fats, and grease out of the kitchen sink.
- Restrict flushing of contaminated liquids, drugs, and other medications down the drain.
- Make sure to use minimal amounts of bleach and other detergents.
- Reduce the use of pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers.
- Dispose of the garbage correctly.
- Plant more trees.
- Ensure using environment-friendly products and encourage such services as well.
These are a few simple ways in which water pollution can be prevented and contained to a certain extent. We need to understand that even though water pollution cannot be terminated entirely, we can still try and make small changes to reduce it. Small changes in our lifestyles will have a massive impact on water pollution.