Global Water Pollution: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions Essay
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Water pollution has become a huge problem in many countries all over the world. It is known that water is a very significant factor in life, but if this water becomes contaminated, it will be very dangerous for the humanity and wildlife. Pollution is defined as ' to make fetid or unclear and dirty' (American College Dictionary). So, water pollution means the change in the water composition to be dirty or unclear. This essay will examine the causes of water pollution, the effect of that issue in life and how to overcome this problem.
Pollution of water in the world can be caused by several reasons. Firstly, direct reasons which impact immediately in the composition of water. For example, discharging the sewage water into the sea has…show more content…
As a result of all these causes of water pollution, there are some unwanted effects. First of all, this type of pollution definitely impacts the health of humanity, because many use large quantities of water for drinking or cooking. Thus, it is crucial to have pure water. Moreover, contaminated water can damage wildlife. The second effect of water pollution is the environmental influence such as the odour of water and the terrible sights on beaches or rivers. Finally, there are economical consequences which can occur when the government starts to cleanup this contamination as it might spend an enormous amount of time and money. Furthermore, wasting fresh water is an intractable problem that may be faced when they minimize the volume of dirty water. Therefore, the prevention is much better and cheaper than the cleanup (Miller, G. T. 2007).
Everyone in society can do some helpful things to deal with the water pollution issue. Governments can control oil transfer in the sea and put more laws and severe penalties on defaulting companies. Also, they can find another solution for sewage rather than dispose of it in the sea. In addition, traders should not throw industrial waste and chemical products in the sea. Moreover, human beings have a considerable part by not disposing plastic items down the toilet, and never throw oil products down the drain either (Australian Marine Conservation Society. 2004). Such solutions will
1 | Stop polluting
There is a common belief that huge infrastructure will solve the problem, but mega-projects are causing huge problems because they deal with all sorts of polluted water. When household water, industry water and rainwater are mixed, treatment becomes more complex and more expensive. The best way to stop pollution is not to clean the polluted water, but to stop polluting. This means, in particular, stopping the use of toxics in industry and agribusiness. Claudia Campero, water campaigner, Food and Water Watch/Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking
The global water crisis in 13 photographs
2 | Protect government sovereignty
El Salvador has had a moratorium on metal mining in place since 2008. This is a powerful example of a small country standing up to industry. Unfortunately, El Salvador is now facing a lawsuit by Canadian-Australian mining giant Oceana Gold for acting in the interest of its own population. If this company actually got its way and were able to build its massive gold mine, it would jeopardise the Lempa River watershed, which is the source of drinking water for more than two-thirds of the population of El Salvador, and is also shared by Honduras and Guatemala. Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner, Blue Planet Project
3 | Teach children about pollution
We believe in the role of children as change agents and have been supporting ministries of education in each country we work in on a curriculum for health, hygiene and environmental resources. It is a slow process but if students aren’t learning the importance of protecting natural resources from parents and grandparents, they must learn it in schools with their brothers and sisters. Mark Duey, Latin America regional manager, Water for People
4 | Inform the public
It’s all about information; the power is in knowing about laws and regulations so people can demand they are enforced. The government takes a lot of time to inform the community about water quality conditions, so we take the responsibility to inform and empower people with accurate information about health, the environment, as well as the laws and civil rights we have. We have also installed a lab so that we can take a weekly sample of our coastline’s water to monitor its quality and publish the results on our own app, because the results given by the government are taken monthly, published too late and are not accessible to the public. Margarita Diaz López, director, Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental AC
5 | Enhance the role of civil society
Giving civil society a voice is crucial. This can be done through citizens’ surveys and citizen report cards, improved grievance mechanisms, awareness campaigns, handling customers complaints as part of regulatory systems, and participation in watershed/river basin organisations.
Gustavo Saltiel, lead water and sanitation specialist, Water Global Practice – World Bank
Five of the best water-smart cities in the developing world
6 | Respect community rights
Central governments with the power to grant concessions must respect the rights of communities to say no to environmentally destructive projects, and the rights of indigenous communities to prior and informed consent before permits and concessions are granted. These rights are being violated throughout the region in favour or the “rights” of big industries. Meera Karunananthan
7 | Treat wastewater at home
Here in Tijuana, we have three treatment plants, but the energy to move the sewage to the treatment plant is more expensive, and the clean water is not reused. The solution is that each households and businesses should treat and reuse their water on site, instead of counting on the government, because it is cheaper and more efficient. Margarita Diaz López
8 | Promote healthy watersheds
Native ecosystems can contribute to reducing the level of contaminants and sediments by their own filtering capacity. We must emphasise the importance of the water services provided by nature, as well as to recognise the fundamental role local communities and smallholders have when they conserve and restore native ecosystems. This will be more and more critical to guarantee water quality and quantity in perpetuity. Fernando Veiga, Latin America freshwater manager, the Nature Conservancy
9 | Democratise water management
Local communities need mechanisms to help them decide how to manage their water. Leaving decisions to democratically-elected governments and development agencies that condition loans is a huge risk, whereas communities are likely to be more concerned about the long-term effects of decisions. Of course, democracy takes more time, but since water is life, this is a matter of life and death. Claudia Campero
The human right to water: Salvadoran NGOs leading a global campaign
10 | Establish water justice
We cannot limit our solutions to conservationist strategies because the problems arise from the political and economic decisions that have been made by governments, and also forced upon them by international financial institutions and foreign governments. As Susan Spronk and I noted in a recent paper about the Salvadoran water crisis, environmental movements in El Salvador are tackling the social and political factors that have determined how water is used and distributed. They have put forward bold proposals (for example, the recognition of water as a human right, a national water bill and a ban on metal mining) to permanently close the door to metal mining, improve access to water resources, and establish mechanisms for the social control of water. This is the type of solution that needs to be implemented everywhere. Meera Karunananthan
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