Human activities are polluting natural resources one of which is water. Polluted water is one of the gravest threats to our existence today. Read on to understand how to prevent water pollution.
By Arun Sharma
Water — the elixir of life — makes up 60 per cent of our body and covers about 71 per cent of the Earth, the planet we live on.
So, ponder on the question — "Can we ignore the importance of water without putting our lives and the future of the Earth at risk?"
The answer is 'No'. But, unfortunately, that is what we are doing. With our habit of being careless with our resources, and in the pursuit of progress and development, we are contaminating our water resources.
Two-third of the Earth's surface is water, of which, almost 97 per cent is in the oceans and is unfit for human consumption. The remaining water, which is freshwater, is distributed between glaciers, groundwater and lakes and rivers.
Water pollution is the contamination of all the above-mentioned sources of water. It is one of the most serious ecological disasters we are facing today.
With water bodies being scattered throughout the globe, the ways in which we pollute water is also diverse. However, all the sources of contamination are grouped under two categories:
When the source of pollution is a single identifiable source, it is called point source pollution. Non-point source pollution happens when water flowing downstream gets contaminated at different points. The pollutants at every point are usually different from each other. For example, a river may get polluted by sewage, industrial waste, construction waste and so on. Non-point-sources of pollution are more difficult to identify and control than point sources of pollution.
Point sources of water pollution in India are:
Non-point sources include:
In India, rivers are considered sacred. Most sacred places around the world are situated on the banks of rivers and many of our religious rituals are performed on riverbanks.
In fact, water, especially fresh water, is one of the most important elements that helped in the spread, sustenance and continuation of human civilisation. Living beings can go without food for a few days, but not without water.
However, with increasing levels of water pollution, we are beginning to suffer from its adverse effects. Let's look at how contaminated water affects us:
Effect on health
Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine — Slovakian proverb
Water not only quenches our thirst, but also plays a critical role in keeping us healthy. But, with sources of water getting polluted, contaminants are finding their way into the water we use for our daily needs. As a result of using unsafe water, more and more individuals are beginning to suffer from ill-health. Here are some of the diseases caused by use of contaminated, unsafe water:
Effect on the environment
Contaminants in polluted water are a health hazard. While some of them are visible to our eyes, most of them aren’t. So, do you know how to find out if the water before you is polluted or not? Here are some time-tested and easy ways:
While there are enough natural resources to meet our needs, there isn't enough to satisfy our greed or negligence. So, together with doing all you can to prevent water pollution, also sensitise your family members and others around you to become a part of your efforts.
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