Water is essential to our lives – for drinking, cooking, washing, swimming, and much more. But water pollution is a serious problem, as it can cause health problems for people who use it.
What is water pollution?
There are many different pollutants that can pollute water, including pesticides, chemicals, faecal waste, and garbage. These substances can change the color and composition of the water, and can also affect aquatic organisms.
The agricultural industry is one of the largest consumers of freshwater resources in the world, and it is also a major source of water pollution. Every time it rains, fertilizers, pesticides, and animal waste from farms wash into our waterways, contaminating them with nutrients and pathogens that kill fish, wildlife, and humans.
Other sources of pollution include sewage, industrial waste, and solid waste. These substances can clog our sewer systems and cause sewage leaks that spill into our waterways.
Land pollution, which includes runoff and soil erosion, can also impact water quality. This pollution can cause algae blooms and other harmful algal growth, which can lead to a decrease in dissolved oxygen levels.
Thermal pollution is another common type of water pollution, as it can increase water temperatures and reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. This can harm valuable species of fish that need to have dissolved oxygen levels at least 10 parts per million for their survival.
Water pollution is a major threat to the environment, economy, and human health. It can disrupt the complicated relationships between species that are vital for ecosystems to function. It can also contribute to the death of wildlife, and it can impact public health and property values.