Water has been an integral part of the world. Long been created, it has endured natural catastrophes unharmed and serene as it was since the beginning. It composes at least 70% of both the Earth and the human body; from the most effective water forms like great oceans surrounding the continents, lakes in-between countries, rivers bordering states, and springs bathing forest fauna to small forms that include human extracellular and intracellular fluids.
At the same time, development and progress have also been noted to change its phase. With technology constantly upgrading, the Earth has been home not only to natural forms but also to the synthetic. As an aftermath of these improvements, pollution has been a no-brainer known globally to take its toll upon us.
The biggest horror of it all is that technology has been a friend and an enemy simultaneously, ready to inject us the truth that it has been unearthing throughout the years. Innovations on determining levels of pollution there are in the aqua sphere have been a part of these discoveries, and it found out what humans have done to the waters that Mother Nature does not deserve.
According to National Geographic Channel, water has been inhabited not only by aquatic life but also by a good bit of petroleum, pesticides, and even remnants of birth control pills. Water has then been dubbed as a “cocktail of chemicals” because of this uprooted information.
Water has also been an endpoint of biological waste. Untreated excreta by humans, animal sewages, and rainwater runoff infused with farm and yard fertilizers. All of these were possible through the obvious connection of land and water, freshwater systems being the entry point of biological waste, pollutants slithering their way from lakes to the oceans. The result is greatly devastating, aquatic life being destroyed via hypoxia or low oxygen levels within the bodies of water clouded by chemicals and wastes.
One of the world’s largest factories, China has been a nest of infrastructures known to contribute to the already depressed Mother Nature greatly. Being a center of manufactured products chemically-concocted, including leather and plastic, China’s waters have been suffering greatly. Calculations show that at least 70% of these bodies are contaminated only within the country, with 20% as groundwater utilized as drinking water within the Chinese households. On top of it all, at least 320 million Chinese residents don’t have access to the remaining percentage of safe drinking water within the country.
The oceans are known to have been a dumpsite for plastic materials; fourteen billion pounds of garbage has been determined to be thrown at these vast bodies, and it has taken its toll upon marine life. Tortoises punctured by plastic straws, dolphins, and even whales dying because of plastic ingestion; these life forms have suffered, and continually do, over time. Aquatic animals have been identified to go in extinction faster than terrestrial life forms, exponentially increasing at least three times faster every year.
The infamous tsunami that wreaked havoc on the coasts of Japan has made its contribution as well. In 2012, residential lots succumbed to the force of nature and commercial buildings and factories of radiotoxic materials. As a result, at least 11 million liters of toxic wastes have been dumped into the Pacific Ocean after the state of emergency. It also threw out 70 kilometers of floating debris to the Pacific Island, debris composed of garbage, toxic wastes, and sadly even remains of the dead.
In Bangladesh, groundwater has been identified to contain arsenic. Arsenic is a type of heavy metal known for its poisonous and carcinogenic tendencies. Very toxic, it comprises 80% of the freshwater sources available to Bangladeshis.
Asia has been a record holder of the most polluted rivers than anywhere else on the planet. Most of the waters are infested by human bacteria from feces and other excreta. Canada is known to have the ten most polluted rivers in the world, some of which are the Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick, Okanagan River bordering Canada and Washington, and Eastmain River in Quebec.
As per the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated 1.2 trillion of sewage being dumped in the water; this comprises household, industrial and chemical wastes in US waters every year alone. 40% of the lakes and 46% of the rivers within the continent are polluted and are considered non-safe for swimming, fishing, and toxic for aquatic life.
Cruise ships are also sources of pollution. They produce 200,000 gallons of sewage and 35,000 gallons of the oil spill, all of which are left behind the cruise’s route.
Earth’s waters have been infested with bacteria and viruses from various genus and species. These metrics show the level of bacteria from human excreta and other body wastes alone. This is why the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted their studies of the planet’s access to potable water. Based on their collated data, around 2.5 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water worldwide.
More than 3000 children under the age of five in developing countries globally die every day, with an estimated death rate each year of the same population each year. The causes of death of these children have been linked to water-ingested conditions, including diarrhea, typhoid fever, and cholera.
Water pollution has been rampant throughout the world. It has taken its toll on the inhabitants of the planet, from the creatures considering water as its habitat to the innocent children of the world, oblivious that they are already living in a depressing world. Yet, we have not made a step in changing the world for the next generation. It is not enough grounds that the damage has already been done. This is not the correct reasoning for not standing up and making the change for the betterment of the world. Start at home, start with yourselves.