We already know that Water is the most important resource on the planet. It is the essence of all life on earth. And yet if you ever see a river or lake around your city, it would be evident to you that we are facing a very serious problem of Water pollution. Let us educate ourselves about water and water pollution.
Water and Water Cycle
Two-thirds of the Earths surface is covered by water, seventy-six perfect of your body is made up of water. As you already know water is everywhere and all around. However, we have a fixed amount of water on earth. It just changes its states and goes through a cyclic order, known as the Water Cycle.
As shown in the image above, the water cycle is a natural process that is continuous in nature. It is the pattern in which the water from oceans, seas, lakes etc gets evaporated and turns to vapour. After which it goes through the process of condensation, and finally precipitation when it falls back to earth as rain or snow.
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What is Water Pollution?
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (like oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, aquifers, and groundwater) usually caused due to human activities. Water pollution is any change in the physical, chemical or biological properties of water that will have a detrimental consequence of any living organism.
Drinking water, also called Potable Water, is the water that is considered safe enough for human and animal consumption. This is water that is generally used for drinking, cooking, washing, crop irrigation, etc. These days chemicals, bacteria, and other pollutants are even affecting our drinking water.
Learn more about Air and Air Pollution here.
Sources of Water Pollution
Some of the most commonly occurring water pollutants are
- Domestic Waste
- Industrial effluents
- Insecticides and pesticides
- Detergents and Fertilizers
Some of the water pollution that is caused is by Direct Sources, such as factories, waste management facilities. refineries etc, that directly release waste and harmful by-products into the nearest water source without treating them. Indirect sources include pollutants that enter the water bodies via groundwater or soil or via the atmosphere as acid rain.
Effects of Pollution of Water
- Diseases: In humans, drinking or consuming polluted water in any way has many disastrous effects on our health. It causes typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and various other diseases.
- Destruction of Ecosystems: Ecosystems are extremely dynamic and respond to even small changes in the environment. Water pollution can cause an entire ecosystem to collapse if left unchecked.
- Eutrophication: Chemicals in a water body, encourage the growth of algae. These algae form a layer on top of the pond or lake. Bacteria feed on this algae and this decreases the amount of oxygen in the water body, severely affecting the aquatic life there.
- Effects the food chain: Disruption in food chains happens when toxins and pollutants in the water are consumed by aquatic animals (fish, shellfish etc) which are then consumed by humans.
The best way to prevent large-scale water pollution is to try and reduce its harmful effects. There are various small changes we can make to protect ourselves from a scary future where water is scarce.
- Save Water: Conserving water is our first aim. Water wastage is a major problem globally and we are only now waking up to the issue. Simply small changes you can make domestically will make a huge difference.
- Better treatment of sewage: So treating waste products before disposing of it in a water body helps reduce water pollution on a large scale. Agriculture or other industries can reuse this wastewater by reducing its toxic contents.
- Use environmentally friendly products: By using soluble products that do not go on to become pollutants, we can reduce the amount of water pollution caused by a household.
Solved Example for You
Q: What is thermal water pollution?
- Colour of the water is changed
- A change in Water pressure
- Change in temperature of water
- pH of water changes
Solution: The correct answer is “c”. Thermal pollution is the rise and fall in the temperature of a natural body of water caused by human influence. And Thermal pollution, unlike chemical pollution, results in a change in the physical properties of water.