is Water (H20) ?
more than two-third of the earth's surface. But fresh water
represents less than 0.5% of the total water on the earth's surface.
The rest of the water is either in the form of seawater or locked up
in icecaps or soil. Worldwide, the consumption of water is doubling
every 20 years - more than twice the rate of increase in population.
Due to the increase in population there has been a rise in the
demand for food, space for housing, consumer products, etc., which
has in turn resulted in increased industrialization, urbanization,
and demands in agriculture thereby leading to both river and
What is water pollution?
When toxic substances enter lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, and
other water bodies, they get dissolved or lie suspended in water or
get deposited on the bed. This results in the pollution of water
whereby the quality of the water deteriorates, affecting aquatic
ecosystems. Pollutants can also seep down and affect the groundwater
Sources of Water Pollution
Domestic sewage refers to wastewater that is discarded from
households. Today, many people dump their garbage into streams,
lakes, rivers, and seas, thus making water bodies the final resting
place of cans, bottles, plastics, and other household products. Also
referred to as sanitary sewage, such water contains a wide variety
of dissolved and suspended impurities.
Agricultural Run off
The use of land for agriculture and the practices followed in
cultivation greatly affect the quality of groundwater. The high
nitrate content in groundwater is mainly from irrigation run-off
from agricultural fields where chemical fertilizers have been used
Wastewater from manufacturing or chemical processes in
industries contributes to water pollution. Water pollution is
concentrated within a few sub sectors, mainly in the form of toxic
wastes and organic pollutants.
Effects of Water Pollution
Water pollution is not only affect the people but also to animals,
fish, and birds. Polluted water is unsuitable for drinking,
recreation, agriculture, and industry It diminishes the aesthetic
quality of lakes and rivers. Contaminated water destroys aquatic
life and reduces its reproductive ability.
Health impacts of water pollution
Water-borne diseases are infectious diseases spread primarily
through contaminated water. Hepatitis, cholera, dysentery, and
typhoid are the more common water-borne diseases that affect large
populations in the tropical regions. Exposure to polluted water can
cause diarrhea, skin irritation, respiratory problems, and other
diseases, depending on the pollutant that is in the water body.
Stagnant water and other untreated water provide a habitat for the
mosquito and a host of other parasites and insects that cause a
large number of diseases especially in the tropical regions.
Cholera, Paratyphoid fever, Bacillary, dysentery
Hepatitis (jaundice), Poliomyelitis
- Proper management of water resources has become the need of the hour
as this would ultimately lead to a cleaner and healthier environment.
- The city water supply should be properly checked and necessary steps
taken to disinfect it. Water pipes should be regularly checked for
leaks and cracks.
- At home, the water should be boiled, filtered, or other methods and
necessary steps taken to ensure that it is free from infection.
Over the years rising population, growing industrialization and
expanding agriculture have pushed up the demand for water. So
conservation of water has become the need of the day.
Rainwater harvesting essentially means collecting rainwater on
the roofs of building and storing it underground for later use. It
is essential to improve groundwater decline and groundwater levels,
arrest seawater ingress, i.e. prevent the sea from moving further
land ward, and conserve surface water run-off during the rainy
season and urban wastewater.
What are the ways to conserve
- Use only as much water as you require.
- Close the taps well after use.
- While brushing your teeth do not leave the tap running, open
it only when you require it.See that there are no leaking taps.
Get a plumber to come in and seal all leaks.
- Use a washing machine that does not consume too much
- Do not leave the taps running while washing dishes and
- Install small shower heads to reduce the flow of the
- Water in which the vegetables and fruits have been washed can
be used to water the flowers and ornamental potted plants.
- At the end of the day if you have water left in your water
bottle do not throw it away, pour it over some plants.