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Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and

groundwater). This form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or
indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful
compounds.Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and
revision of water resource policy at all levels (international down to individual aquifers and
wells). It has been suggested that water pollution is the leading worldwide cause of deaths
and diseases,and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An
estimated 580 people in India die of water pollution related illness every day.Around 90% the
water in the cities of China is polluted, and as of 2007, half a billion Chinese had no access
to safe drinking water.In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing
countries, developed countries also continue to struggle with pollution problems. For
example, in the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent
of assessed stream miles, 47% of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent of assessed bays and
estuarine square miles were classified as polluted.The head of China's national development
agency said in 2007 that one quarter the length of China's seven main rivers were so
poisoned the water harmed the skin.Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is
impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such as
drinking water, or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic
communities, such as fish. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and
earthquakes also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water.

Let us now study the causes of water pollution.

1. Industrial waste:Industries produce huge amount of
waste which contains toxic chemicals and pollutants which
can causeair pollutionand damage to us and our
environment.Many industries do not have proper waste
management system and drain the waste in the fresh
water which goes into rivers, canals and later in to sea.

2. Marine dumping:The garbage produce by each

household in the form of paper, aluminum, rubber,
glass, plastic, food if collected and deposited into the
sea in some countries. These items take from 2 weeks
to 200 years to decompose. When such items enters
the sea, they not only cause water pollution but also
harm animals in the sea.

3. Accidental Oil leakage:Oil spill pose a huge

concern as large amount of oil enters into the sea and
does not dissolve with water; For e.g.: a ship carrying
large quantity of oil may spill oil if met with an accident
and can cause varying damage to species in the ocean
depending on the quantity of oil spill, size of ocean,
toxicity of pollutant.

3. Mining activities:Mining is the process of

crushing the rock and extracting coal and other
minerals from underground. Mining activities emit
several metal waste and sulphides from the rocks and
is harmful for the water.

The effects of water pollution depend on what

chemicals are dumped and in which

locations.Many water bodies near urban
areas(cities and towns)are highly
polluted.This is the result of both garbage
dumped by individuals and dangerous
chemicals legally or illegally dumped by
manufacturing industries,health
centers,schools and market places.




Pollution disrupts the natural food chain

as well.Pollutants such as lead and

cadcium are eaten by tiny animals.Later
these animals are consumed by fish and
shellfish,and the food chain continues to
be disrupted at all higher levels.

Eventually,humans are affected by this

process as well.People can get diseases such

as hepatis by eating seafood that has been
poisened.In many poor nations,there is always
outbreak of cholera and diseases as a result
of poor drinking water treatment from
contaminated waters.

1. Dont leave the tap running needlessly.If you are

washing your face and you need to get the tap warm, use
that initial cooler water to brush your teeth, and then
wash your face afterwards when the hot water starts
coming out.

2. Never throw water away.If you pour too much out

or have some left in your glass, use it. Pour the surplus
into your dogs water dish, water a plant, or add it to
your water kettle.
3. Set up a rain barrel this summer.You can
collect rain water from your eaves to water your
4. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of
tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash
rather than the toilet.
5. When washing dishes by hand, don't leave
the water running for rinsing.If your have a
double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one
with rinse water.