Waterpollution is among the highly debated issues in the modern world. Itis a form of environmental degradation that occurs when differentpollutants are indirectly or directly discharged into water bodies(including lakes, dams, groundwater, rivers, or oceans) withoutproper treatment to remove toxic substances (Yee, 2015). Thedischarge of toxic substances into water bodies endanger the lives ofaquatic organisms as well as the lives of people who depend on waterfrom the polluted sources. Water pollution is mainly caused by humanactivities as people strive to meet their economic needs throughoverexploitation of natural resources. Excessive pollution of waterhas put human lives at risk and resulted in the closure of businessand schools (Killelea & Healy, 2015). It is evident that waterpollution is mainly cause by the implementation of faulty technology,irresponsible disposal of waste, poor enforcement of law, andindustrialization that leads to emission of greenhouse gases.
Althoughtechnology is, in most cases, implemented to increases efficiency andreduce the cost of doing business, faulty technology can lead tonegative effects in human lives. For example, the adoption ofhydraulic fracturing in oil and gas mining is known to increase theefficiency of oil companies and lower the cost of extracting gas andoil from the ground. However, this type of technology has been shownto inject harmful chemicals into ground water in the nearbyhomesteads. Fracturing involves the injection of chemicals into theground at a high pressure in order to break up the rock that trapsgas and oil (Fleur, 2015). However, the fracturing causes some cracksthat allow chemicals and organic products to infiltrate and reach thewater in the nearby wells, thus polluting water that is used by thepeople neighboring the gas and oil fields.
Industrialdevelopment is among the human activities that pollute water directlyand indirectly. The discharge of industrial waste into the waterbodies leads to a direct pollution. Emission of greenhouse gases fromfactories, on the other hand, results in indirect pollution of waterbodies. Storm water collects harmful substances that are releasedinto the air and on the grounds that these waters run on (Bakalar,2015). Studies have shown that the storm water is harmful to livingorganisms. For example, a study reported by Bakalar (2015) indicatedthat exposing insects and fish to storm water leads to their deathwithin the first 12 hours. This confirms the high level of toxicityin the storm water after collecting harmful substances from the airand the ground.
Irresponsibledisposal of waste products makes a significant contribution towardsthe pollution of water bodies. As the world continues toindustrialize, the amount and types of waste products continues toincrease. For example, Insensitive and irresponsible owners offactories have been discharging harmful chemicals (such as nuclearwaste, copper, mercury, lead, and carcinogenic organic products) intoGowanus Canal (Yee, 2015). Water in the canal now serves as a hub formicroorganisms (such as bacterial and viruses) that endanger thelives of communities living near the canal. Moreover, populationpressure near the water bodies has also contributed towards waterpollution. For example, the disposal of raw sewage can either beattributed to a high population living near the water bodies orirresponsibility of the Brooklyn sewer system (Yee, 2015).Irresponsibility can be associated with the lack of information aboutthe impact of human activities on the water bodies or negligence.
Peoplemay ask how water pollution has been taking place in spite of thestrict laws and the existence of enforcement agencies, especially inthe developed world. The answer to this question is poor orinsufficient enforcement of law that has been formulated to protectthe environment. For example, it has been reported that the sewersystem has been discharging the raw sewer into the Brooklyn canalsince the nineteenth century, and nothing has been done to stop thevice (Yee, 2015). All that the Environmental Protection Agency hasdone is to consider the canal as a superfund that needs to berehabilitated by removing the sludge. In an efficient andenvironmentally conscious society, it would be expected that EPAshould by now have taken appropriate legal actions against themanagement of the sewer system.
Inconclusion, water pollution has become a common topic of discussionin the modern society, but the efforts to contain pollution areinsufficient. Human activities play a critical role in waterpollution. The increase in the population size and industrializationhas intensified the exploitation of natural resources and increasedthe amount of water pollutants. Human efforts to exploit moreresources (such as gas) to address the current demand has resulted inthe use of technology (including the hydraulic fracturing) that leadsto water pollution. However, most of the cases of water pollution canbe attributed to negligence on the part of the management ofindustries. This leads to the discharge of raw and harmful waste intowater bodies. Water pollution puts the human life as well as thelives of other organisms at stake.
Bakalar,N. (2015, January 26). Cleaning up water by running it through dirt.TheNew York Times.Retrieved May 11, 2015, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/science/cleaning-up-water-by-running-it-through-dirt.html
Fleur,N. (2015, May 4). Fracking chemicals detected in Pennsylvaniadrinking water. TheNew York Times.Retrieved May 11, 2015, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/science/earth/fracking-chemicals-detected-in-pennsylvania-drinking-water.html?ref=topics
Killelea,E. & Healy, J. (2015, January 20). Traces of Montana oil spillsare found in drinking water. TheNew York Times.Retrieved May 11, 2015, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/21/us/traces-of-montana-oil-spill-are-found-in-drinking-water.html
Yee,V. (2015, April 22). Swimmer braves Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, asuperfund site. TheNew York Times.Retrieved May 11, 2015, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/nyregion/swimmer-braves-brooklyns-gowanus-canal-a-superfund-site.html?ref=topics&_r=0