Unfortunately, as time goes on, we’re seeing more and more environmental concerns cropping up. With that comes more causes to identify and more potential solutions. In this post, the second part of our 6-part series, we’re going to be taking a look at water pollution, and the drastic impact it is having on our environment.
Why is water an environmental concern?
Water pollution is an increasingly dangerous problem, affecting people across the world. Some people believe that water pollution is an unavoidable result of human activity. That, if we want to have cars, ships, factories and oil, we must predict and accept pollution to some extent.
However, this is far from the truth. The economic cost of water pollution far outweighs the benefits of skimping on quality of oil tankers, petrol cars and large factories. It isn’t just the financial cost of water pollution that is causing a global problem, either.
Toxic and chemical waste that is getting into our waterways can cause illness in humans and poison the marine life living nearby. As mentioned in our last post, the destruction of certain ecosystems is having a devastating effect on our biodiversity.
What causes water pollution?
Before we can start to make changes, we need to understand what causes the pollution in the first place. Water can be polluted from a range of different sources and activities, from plastic pollution to the residual sludge and wastewater from industrial mills:
- Industrial waste – Pollutants such as lead, mercury, sulphur and nitrates are produced by industrial companies and drained in fresh water, ending up in the sea.
- Sewage – Sewage and waste water are chemically treated before being released into the sea, carrying harmful bacteria and damaging chemicals that can cause severe health problems for humans and sea life.
- Oil leakage – Oil tankers that haven’t been adequately protected can be involved in an accident and spill large quantities of oil into the sea, which causes huge damage when entering the sea as it doesn’t dissolve.
- Plastic waste – The vast amount of plastic used by the human population is not biodegradable and will inevitably end up in our oceans, where it will harm and kill a great deal of our sea life.
Making a change
There’s no quick fix for water pollution. It’s taken years for the waters to become heavily polluted and will take years to undo the pollution. But there are a few things we can do to improve the problem.
First of all, we need to educate people on the causes and effects of water pollution. Increasing public awareness can only help to reduce the amount of pollution. One of the main issues with water pollution is the grey areas in the laws across the world. With tougher environmental laws across national and international borders, we can make it much tougher for people to pollute.
By working together to keep the environment clean, we can make a healthier, better world for the plants, animals and people that depend on it. To find out more about the biggest environmental concerns in 2019, be sure to check out our next post, on deforestation.