Water is one of the most important natural resources. Even though more than two-thirds of the earth is covered with water, less than 3% is available to all living organisms for their use. This includes us humans, animals, plants and every other organism. But as per the current scenario, humans have exploited this resource to such an extent that reversing the effects of water pollution has become almost impossible.
What is Water Pollution?
When water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers, and groundwater get contaminated with industrial and agricultural effluents, water gets polluted and it adversely affects all lifeforms that are depended on this source.
Water pollution occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution affects plants and animals living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases, the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations but also to the natural biological communities.
Did you know that around 6 billion kgs of garbage are dumped in the oceans every year? Apart from this, there is also untreated sewage, industrial effluents, oil spills, nuclear waste, and other such pollutants being dumped into water bodies around the world.
As a result, rivers, lakes and even groundwater are rendered unfit for use. The river Ganges is reported to be one of the most polluted rivers in the world as hundreds of industries around this area release their effluents into the river. Apart from this, religious activities such as burials and cremations near the shore contribute towards the pollution. Apart from the ecological implications, river pollution gives rise to many diseases like cholera and typhoid.
According to a survey, around 4 billion people will face the shortage of water by the year 2026 (present population is over 7 billion). Currently, around 1.2 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean, potable water and proper sanitation. It is estimated that around 1000 children in India die every year due to water related diseases. Humans aren’t the only ones facing issues related to water pollution. There are many organisms that face water scarcity and even death as a result of pollution.
The major causes of water pollution in India are
- Religious and Social Practices
- Withdrawal of water and drying up of water bodies
Control of Water Pollution:
To a large extent, water pollution can be controlled by diluting its effects. Instead of disposing sewage waste into water bodies, it is better to treat them before discharge. By doing this, the initial toxicity is reduced and the remaining work is done through natural treatment by the water body itself. If the secondary treatment of water is done, then this can be reused in agricultural fields and sanitary systems.
Water Hyacinth is a very special plant which can absorb dissolved toxic waste like cadmium and other such elements. Planting these in areas prone to such kinds of pollutants will reduce the harmful effects to a large extent.
There are certain chemical methods which help in the control of water pollution such as the ion exchange process, reverse osmosis, precipitation, coagulation. As an individual, reducing, reusing and recycling wherever possible will go a long way in reducing the effects of water pollution.
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