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How Has Water Pollution Affected Our Society

I choose the topic water pollution because the country I live in-India- has been greatly affected by pollution. In recent times, a lot of incidents have occurred involving water pollution, and this got me curious. As a result I started researching about how the quality of water has deteriorated over the years and how it has impacted people’s lifestyle. When the opportunity arose to write this topic as my individual report I grabbed it with open arms as it would enable me to expand the knowledge I have on this vast and very crucial subject.

It is no secret that water is the most important necessity in our daily life. It helps us in probably every aspect of our day to day life whether it be for cooking, drinking, manufacturing, to the extent that it even helps in the medical field in surgeries. In fact, not only does it help us humans but it also helps the tiny organisms from the animal world to trees and even algae.

Everyone knows that safe and healthy portable water is scarce in our world but it is still a necessity. Statistically water contamination is the number one leading cause of death according to the World Health organization and the United Nations.

As per data prepared by the WHO and the UN, there are 2.5 billion people on this planet who live without adequate amount of water, Out of which 1.8 billion of these people live in Asia. If we use the water that is being wasted wisely, we can give water to all 7.

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8 billion people. Contaminated water is one of the leading causes of death and accounts for approximately 3.5 percent of the deaths around the world. In india alone half a million children die to diarrhea ( cause of consuming contaminated water). 50% of the fresh water fish are at the verge of extinction. And all of this just barely scratches the surface about water pollution.

Global Perspective

Countries all over the world suffer from water pollution and the highly industrialized, most developed countries suffer the most. Countries like China, Russia, Japan, USA and India are the biggest contributors to water pollution. There are several factors which are responsible for this state of affairs such as industrialization, high growth of population and lack of sufficient water treatment plants

Water pollution is the leading cause of death killing approximately 6,000 people a day. The UN claims that everyday 2 million tons of waste is disposed into water bodies leading to contaminated water. Developing countries are the leading cause of water pollution disposing 70% of the waste products into water bodies.

Here are Some Ways on How Water Pollution is Caused

Rapid urban development: huge industries are needed to build houses, infrastructure development like roads, bridges, railways etc and this causes  huge waste to be dumped in the nearby oceans. People are also to blame because since the country is developing, laws are not that strict and many people are not educated. This means that people are not taught how to recycle waste.Sewage And Waste Water: Sewage, garbage and liquid waste of households, agricultural lands and factories are discharged into lakes and rivers without being filtered or disinfected. These wastes contain harmful chemicals and toxins which make the water acidic for all marine life.

Dumping: Dumping of solid wastes and litters in water bodies causes huge problems to the marine life. Litters include glass, plastic, aluminum, styrofoam etc. Every substance takes a different amount of time to degrade.Oil Pollution: Sea water gets polluted due to oil spilled from ships and tankers while being transported. The spilled oil does not dissolve in water and forms a thick layer polluting the water, decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide to escape and decrease the amount of oxygen to enter.Eutrophication: Eutrophication is the increased level of unnecessary nutrients being dumped into water bodies. This results in rapid reproduction of algae in water, Thus causing the oxygen level to be little to none, which negatively impacts all marine life.

China has the most polluted water in Asia with 80% of its industries dumping waste into water bodies. The contamination of water in China has led to several species of marine life to be endangered and in some cases even extinct. Japan is widely affected by industries dumping waste into water bodies, toxic chemicals are dumped into the oceans, the fish eat this becoming infected. These fish, when consumed by the local people, result in the locals being diagnosed by mercury poisoning which can cause paralysis, coma and even death.

In America it is possible to drink water straight out of the tap. This is because of the EPA, this is the American act laws which ensures that tap water should be safe to drink. Recent research proves that tap water is in fact safer to drink than from bottled water. This is because tap water comes under the EPA act while bottled water is not under the EPA’s jurisdiction. While it is possible to drink water from the tap, USA still has one of the most polluted waters

National

I live in a country where in which there is an adequate amount of water. unfortunately, India is one of the main contributors to water pollution. Due to rapid development waste, chemicals and minerals are being dumped into the ocean in mass quantities.

Rivers play a huge role in some religions in India. Like the Ganges river. People travel thousands of miles just to bathe in it. The Ganges River is the largest river in India providing water for approximately 40% of India’s population but at the same time it is said to be the 6th most polluted water in the world. This causes a serious health hazard as the water is contaminated causing all sorts of diseases like cholera, typhoid etc.

River water is used for cleaning cars, washing clothes and even bathing. But studies have found that a vast majority of rivers are considered ecologically dead as no life is safe in that water even humans should not use that water.

In Delhi studies have found a harmful bacteria Coliform in the water. If the water contains 50/100 ml of water than it is considered safe to drink if it is 500/100 ml of water than it is safe for bathing and if it exceeded five hundred we should not use that water. But in Delhi studies have found the water to contain a whopping 50,000 to 100,000 per 100 ml of water. This was found in the capital of India, so now try to imagine cities that are underdeveloped and that  have little to no water treatment facilities. The water is so contaminated that people could die drinking it.

One of the main reasons why India’s water bodies are so polluted is due to the fact that knowledge of this crucial subject is not widespread enough. Water treatment facilities are not able to filter out heavy metal such as lead. This water is used for agriculture when consumed it can lead to lead poisoning.

States all over India have already begun fighting for water. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Karnataka are fighting over the river Kaveri. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are fighting over river Krishna.

Personal Perspective

I believe a day will come when fresh water will be scarce,  countries will be going to war just to get their hands on the water. But at the same time I also believe that if we act quick those problems can be solved. India is a country where rainfall is plenty, if we were to harvest the rainfall it can be utilized in several different ways. It is said that we can save around 40%-50% of the water consumption in every household if the water is harvested properly

Many sites such as housing.com believe that rainwater harvesting is the best way to end water shortages.

India celebrates a festival known as Holi it is estimated that people use 30 liters of water during Holi, on average over 500,000 people play Holi, so in just one day 150,000,00 liters of water is wasted. I feel people including myself should reduce the amount of water we use.

There is also a festival known as Diwali, Diwali causes a lot of pollution which can lead to acid rain.

The facts above are devastating and can have a huge impact on our future but they can be lowered if actions are taken quickly.

Possible Scenarios

Today water is a major issue which is predicted to become even worse in the near future this is due to the rise in agriculture, industries and several other reasons.

People’s health are already affected severely. Diseases spread like wild fire via water and cause an outbreak of diseases and infections. There are vaccinations for some of these diseases and more are being developed but the sad part is that not everyone can afford it, some are also not aware of it, and there are few people who do not give their children as they believe it is bad for them.

If this continues diseases will be rampant and the water will not be safe to drink. States and countries will wage war on each other to get access to clean drinkable water. Riots will be started. If these issues are not acted upon now, the future will be devastating.

Possible Courses of Action

Water pollution needs to be contained immediately. Simple measures can be taken. We need to put in more effort and work together to reduce water pollution.

These might seem simple and basic but are actually very helpful:

  • you should turn off the tap when not in use,
  • water should be reused,
  • rainwater should be collected.

Strict laws should be passed ensuring that industries reduce the harmful chemical released in the air and also ensuring that the water is filtered before being dumped into the oceans.

Governments should have more and better water treatment facilities. Industries should be made aware of the problems they are creating.

These are some small but necessary steps we can take to help jump start the process. If countries all over the world abide and follow these steps we could possibly live in a water pollution free environment. All we need to do is initiate the first step and hope others follow along.

Personal Response

After researching about this issue my understanding on the issue of water pollution has grown and my perspective has changed. Before doing this research I knew that water was being wasted, but I never knew how and why it really mattered as we have so much. After the research I have learnt the impact water pollution has caused to my country and if not prevented the damages that will incur because of it.

After realizing the essential role we have on having a better and safer future, I have reduced the time I spent on having a shower and leaving the tap on. I have instructed the house hold help and family members to reduce the amount of water they use by instructing them to reduce the amount of water we use while cleaning clothes, utensils etc.

I have also decided to stop wasting water and bursting crackers during the festival holi and Diwali. This decision of mine has been backed up by my family who has also taken the initiative to stop wasting water and bursting crackers during the month of the festivals.

Some initiatives that I have taken which other people can take to help prevent water contamination are.

Stop disposing oil, pills, fats, contaminated liquids and waste in the sink or flushes.

Use little to no plastic.Ensure that your society has proper sewage systems in place.

I personally believe theses tiny easy do to do steps can lead us into a better tomorrow. I am convinced that spreading awareness and taking the first initiative is the only way to tackle this problem.

Work Cited

  1. http://factsanddetails.com/russia/Nature_Science_Animals/sub9_8c/entry-5064.html
  2. http://www.sydneywater.com.au/safedrinkingwater/
  3. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/most-polluted-countries/
  4. https://www.owlshall.co.uk/rainwater-harvesting/knowledge-base/much-water-can-rainwater-harvesting-system-save/
  5. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution_of_the_Ganges
  6. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Dry-floral-Holi-can-curtail-water-loss/articleshow/19230993.cms
  7. https://www.eartheclipse.com/pollution/amazing-ways-to-prevent-water-pollution.html
  8. https://theberkey.com/blogs/water-filter/9-things-that-causes-water-pollution-and-its-possible-solution
  9. https://solarimpulse.com/water-pollution-solutions
  10. https://www.simsbury-ct.gov/water-pollution-control/pages/ten-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-water-pollution
  11. http://lrwg.com.au/5-major-causes-of-water-pollution/
  12. https://www.commonfloor.com/guide/what-are-the-major-causes-of-water-pollution-in-india-27741.html
  13. https://www.activesustainability.com/water/causes-consequences-water-pollution/
  14. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/facts-and-figures/all-facts-wwdr3/fact-15-water-pollution/
  15. https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/quality-and-wastewater/
  16. https://www.unenvironment.org/explore-topics/water/what-we-do/tackling-global-water-pollution
  17. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/water-pollution-everything-you-need-know
  18. https://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/waterstat/water-pollution-level-statistics/
  19. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/pollution/

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How Has Water Pollution Affected Our Society. (2021, Mar 26). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/how-has-water-pollution-affected-our-society-essay

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