Water is a valuable resource in our everyday life. It helps us hydrate, clean, cook, and much more. However, the same water could become harmful or fatal if not treated correctly or if it's contaminated. If you consume it, the water with contamination can lead to a number of diseases like dysentery and cholera. It can even lead to death. Water contamination is a threat to the environment and human health.
History is awash with a number of contamination incidents that have an effect on the masses. They also brought immense suffering to victims. Incidents like water contamination at Camp Lejeune, Flint Water Crisis, Woburn Massachusetts Water Contamination, and others are some prominent cases. The victims here suffered rare and fatal diseases after consuming the contaminated water. Not only this, victims of many such incidents are still fighting to receive their disability claims and compensation.
Water pollution is an issue that requires immediate attention. Subsequent preventive measures can help also help the effects on the environment and humans.
One of the things that most people cherish is the natural beauty of the environment. However, contamination and water pollution can be a massive threat to this beauty.
Algae blooms can occur from fertilizers or pesticides. These can develop huge growths that contaminate the water and consume the oxygen necessary for other forms of life. These large algae blooms are extremely harmful to fish and humans if they enter our food supply.
Contaminated water also makes aquatic animals suffer as they are unable to breathe because of low oxygen levels in their habitat. This is primarily due to the massive algae growth. Also, contaminated water contains harmful components like mercury or lead, which can be consumed by aquatic animals through their diet. It poisons them and kills them in the water sources, such as lakes and streams.
Water pollution negatively affects human health. For example, water pollution can lead to communicable diseases like cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. Waterborne diseases transmit from one person to another through drinking water or foodstuffs. These items will have been in contact with contaminated water. Moreover, poor hygiene practices can transmit these diseases directly from person to person.
Water pollution can also cause skin irritation and rashes (dermatitis), respiratory problems such as asthma attacks and coughing fits (bronchitis), or even lead to cancer due to exposure to harmful chemicals in water sources like rivers or lakes.
Water pollution affects aquatic life, which, in turn, affects human health. Eating fish and other water animals who consume the water with contaminations can lead to stomach pains and other diseases in human beings.
Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of many countries. It contributes directly to national food security and generates employment for a large chunk of the population directly or indirectly. However, agricultural land is being polluted by runoff from farms and urban areas. Contaminated water can make crops less nutritious, which adversely affects humans, animals, and plants.
Runoff contains many pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste products, and excess nitrogen and phosphorus.
Polluted water can make crops less nutritious for humans to eat as well as for livestock animals like pigs or chickens to consume. This makes it harder for farmers to sell their products at market prices which eventually results in financial hardship over time.
Water pollution can seriously take a toll on the tourism industry as it affects the natural beauty of the environment. When water becomes contaminated, it can lead to a low level of oxygen in a waterbody, affecting fish populations and causing a decrease in biodiversity.
No tourist wants to go swimming in contaminated waters or play on beaches that have been polluted by human waste or industrial runoff. Contaminated water also affects tourism because people may no longer feel safe using public lakes and rivers if they are worried about getting sick due to exposure to harmful chemicals. Therefore, to improve these areas, we must reduce the threat to the environment.
When people do not feel safe around areas where they once enjoyed fishing or boating due to contamination from harmful chemicals, then they will be less likely to visit these areas anymore, severely impacting the local tourism and recreation businesses.
The threat of contaminated water to life and the environment is real and unfolding in front of our eyes. It is time to be proactive before it’s too late. As citizens, we have to take action by being aware of how water consumption affects the environment and sustainability. We can prevent negative impacts on the environment and human health by reducing our consumption, reusing products where possible, and recycling waste.
Although there are some ways to treat contamination. For example, by boiling water or using several chemical purifiers. However, we need to use other proactive steps as industries, governments, and residents. This is to ensure it no longer remains a threat to life, environment, and sustainability.