The Current State of Water Pollution
One of the most differentiating factors of the planet Earth is the abundant presence of water. The Earth is almost 75% water. The substantial amount of water on the planet allows the vast and diverse biotic population to thrive. Without water, none of the life on the planet would be living, Earth would look less green and blue, and more dry like Venus or Mars. However, one of the most prominent environmental epidemics is the pollution of the Earth’s water bodies. According to the WWF, water pollution is characterized by “toxic substances” entering water bodies, and then “getting dissolved in them, lying suspended in the water or depositing on the bed” (WWF, 2017). A body of water is considered polluted when it is no longer safe to drink or if the life processes that used to occur can no longer be supported. Water pollution effects every aspect of life on Earth, tiny microbes, marine life, land animals, and humans. Similar to other pollution types on Earth, water pollution is highly due to the effects of humans. Continuing and strengthening the efforts to cease water pollution will only help every aspect of life on Earth.
Like many other pollutants on the planet, there is natural pollutions to water like animal waste. However, humans began dumping their waste into water bodies – poisoning many animals and humans with diseases (Asimov, Pohl, Leinwand, Markham, 2017). Even today, diseases like cholera are still prominent due to polluted water. Water pollution started to pick up more when countries started becoming industrialized. When factories started building, they were usually centralized around water bodies. Water such as rivers or streams were seen as convenient outlets for disposals of all kinds of waste. After World War Two, industry around the world began to seriously boom. In the newly developed nations, industry and engineering advances exploded. Industrial waste, pesticides, and other types of fossil fuels were being dumped into water bodies without any repercussions or restrictions. One example of extreme water pollution was the Cuyahoga River in Ohio. The river was so polluted with human waste, oil, and other flammable industrial waste that it caught fire multiple times (Asimov, Pohl, Leinwand, Markham, 2017). These fires led to the enactment of the 1972 Clean Water Act, which prohibited dumping waste into navigable waterways (Asimov, Pohl, Leinwand, Markham, 2017). Although the United States passed this law, there had already been decades of damage to the water bodies around the nation. The pollution to the water bodies had already contributed to preventable diseases and deaths of many people around the world, as it still does today.
Something that is tough about combatting water pollution is that it can come from point locations or non-point (Zapadka, 2017). A point type of water pollution is when the location of the pollution is able to be found, like a pipe that puts led into the water that is...