The planet is reminding us more and more frequently that there is no life without water, such as the increasing droughts that threaten the supply of drinking water in different parts of the world. The different types of water pollution cause the quality of this precious resource to deteriorate, which represents a threat to the health of the planet. Unfortunately, due to human activities, water and pollution are two closely related words. Many people do not know well about the Consequences of water pollution.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you about the main consequences of water pollution and its types.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of water pollution
- 2 Consequences of water pollution
- 3 Consequences of water pollution in the ocean
- 4 How to avoid the consequences of water pollution
Types of water pollution
Oil spills almost always have an impact on local wildlife or aquatic life, but the potential for spread is enormous.
The oil adheres to the feathers of seabirds, which limits their ability to swim or fly and kills fish. The increase in oil spills and maritime spills has caused marine pollution. Important: The oil is insoluble in water and will form a thick layer of oil in the water, suffocating fish and blocking light from photosynthetic aquatic plants.
Surface water includes natural water found on the Earth's surface, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and oceans. These substances come into contact with water and dissolve or physically mix with it.
There are microorganisms in bodies of water. These include aerobic and anaerobic organisms. Water often contains microorganisms, either aerobic or anaerobic, depending on the biodegradable substances suspended in the water.
Excess microbes consume and consume oxygen, leading to the death of aerobic organisms and the production of harmful toxins such as ammonia and sulfur.
Rainwater leaches pesticides and related chemicals from the soil and absorbs them into the ground, polluting groundwater.
In developing countries, people drink untreated water directly from rivers, streams, or other sources. sometimes occurs a natural contamination caused by microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.
This natural pollution can cause serious human illness and the death of fish and other species.
Suspended Matter Pollution
Not all chemicals are easily soluble in water. These are called "particles." These types of substances can harm or even kill aquatic life.
Chemical contamination of water
It is well known how various industries use chemicals that are dumped directly into water sources. Agrochemicals overused in agriculture to control pests and diseases they end up in rivers, poisoning aquatic life, destroying biodiversity and endangering human life.
Many times we say that water has healthy nutrients for life, so it is not necessary to purify it. But finding high concentrations of agricultural and industrial fertilizers in drinking water changed the whole picture.
Many wastewater, fertilizers, and sewage contain high amounts of nutrients that can promote algae and weed growth in the water, make it undrinkable, and even clog filters.
Fertilizer runoff from farmland pollutes water from rivers, streams, and lakes all the way to the ocean. Fertilizers are rich in different nutrients needed by plant life, and the resulting fresh water upsets the natural balance of essential nutrients for aquatic plants.
Consequences of water pollution
The water is contaminated with the medicine that we flush down the toilet or the oil that we flush down the sink. Waste thrown into the sea and rivers are other examples. The same happens with microplastics, whose concentrations in the ocean are increasing rapidly. According to the United Nations, 8 million plastics end up in the ocean every year, changing the life of the ecosystems that live in it.
Precisely, this international organization defines water contamination as the contamination of water whose composition changes until it becomes unusable. Contaminated water means that humans cannot use this precious resource. This deterioration represents a serious threat to the planet and will only exacerbate the poverty of the most vulnerable.
Water pollution has devastating effects on the protection of the environment and the health of the planet. Some of the most important consequences of the different types of water pollution are: destruction of biodiversity, contamination of the food chain, including the spread of toxic substances to food and the scarcity of drinking water.
Groundwater reserves supply 80% of the world's population. 4% of these reserves have been contaminated. Of all the types of water pollution, the main ones are related to industrial activity after World War II and to this day. For example, each year more than 450 cubic kilometers of wastewater are dumped into the sea. To dilute this contamination, an additional 6.000 cubic kilometers of fresh water were used.
According to the United Nations, 2 million tons of sewage flows into the world's waters every day. The most important source of pollution is the lack of adequate management and disposal of human, industrial and agricultural waste.
Some liquids can contaminate large areas of water in low concentrations. For example, just 4 liters of gasoline can contaminate up to 2,8 million liters of water. Freshwater animals are going extinct five times faster than land animals.
Consequences of water pollution in the ocean
The most polluted maritime area is the Mediterranean Sea. The coasts of France, Spain and Italy are some of the most polluted regions on Earth. Next on the list are the Caribbean, Celtic, and North Seas. reason? Marine litter, one of the most serious pollution problems in the ocean. More than 60% of the waste that arrives is plastic. 6,4 million tons of plastic They end up in the ocean every year.
If we don't love our planet and take action to eliminate water pollution, the oceans could pass from our allies in mitigating the effects of climate change to our enemies. These large bodies of water act as natural sinks for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gases and the negative impacts of the climate crisis.
Right now, scientists and experts from around the world are warning us that if we don't change our habits and stop emitting this polluting gas, life in the oceans will not survive due to rising temperatures, and that will be another factor to take into account.
Furthermore, water scarcity and hydric stress are other problems that we have to face. According to estimates by the United Nations Environment Program, by 2025, half of the planet's inhabitants will face a shortage of this precious resource. Every drop of polluted water today means lost water tomorrow.
How to avoid the consequences of water pollution
Avoiding water contamination is in our hands. These are some of the things we can do to eliminate the presence of contaminants in our water:
- Reduce carbon dioxide emissions
- Eliminate the use of pesticides and other types of chemicals that threaten our nature
- Wastewater purification
- Do not irrigate crops with contaminated water
- Promotion of sustainable fishing
- Eliminate single-use plastics
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the consequences of water pollution.