Water Pollution and Its Effects on the Environment
Water is probably the most important resource we as people have. Humans can survive without food for several weeks, but without water we would
die in less than a week. On a slightly less dramatic note, millions of liters of water are needed every day worldwide for washing, irrigating crops, and cooling industrial processes, not to mention leisure industries such as swimming pools and water-sports centers. Despite our dependence on water, we use it as a dumping ground for all sorts of waste, and do very little to protect the water supplies we have.
Water pollution is starting all over the world. Water pollution occurs when waste products or other substances, such as microorganisms, chemicals, or sewage, change the physical, thermal, chemical or biological characteristics of the water, adversely affecting living species and reducing the water's beneficial uses. When the matter gets into the water, most of the time it deteriorates and makes the water unhealthy. When the water becomes polluted, animals that rely on the water source will die from drinking the harmful chemicals and other pollutants. These chemicals will not only harm the animals but will affect the plants greatly as well. The plants will stop growing and eventually will die. There are several threats to our water resources. Oil Spills kill thousands of seabirds and can wreck water desalination plants and industrial plants drawing their water from affected coastlines. However, oil can get into the sea from many other sources, and cause just as much damage. Poor management of existing water resources can lead to those resources running out or at least shrinking. Much of the pollution in rivers and seas comes from chemicals, mainly from agriculture. The effects of pollution can vary from localized damage to disturbance of the ecology of an entire waterway. The impact of pollution depends on the type and amount of contamination, the period of exposure, and on the characteristics of the waterway itself.
The enormous problem of water pollution could be solved by using filters on the sewage tanks that pump out harmful chemicals and by having the big corporations pay to clean up the water that they have polluted. More public awareness should also be raised as exampled in Earth Day. Earth Day is a good start, but it is only one day. People need to be taught more and learn more about pollution as a whole and their environment.