Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies, where substances have built up in water bodies that affect the quality of the water for animals and people. The rapid increase in the human population is putting a strain on the water bodies around the world and leading to increase in water pollution, which is becoming a growing concern.
Causes of Water Pollution
Water pollution is usually caused by human activities such as sewage and wastewater, industrial waste, radioactive waste and oil spills. Oil spills are a good example of the detrimental effect water pollution can have, as when oil spills it cannot be dissolved in water so it forma thick sludge which suffocates fish and destroys the local marine wildlife. Oil spills are a common cause of water pollution, despite the heavy sanctions oil companies face for causing them.
Effects of Water Pollution
As previously discussed, there can be a catastrophic effect on marine wildlife due to water pollution but the effects of water pollution is not restricted to just aquatic animals, it also affects humans. Microbial pollutants from sewage waste can often contaminate drinking water and in developing countries, where water sanitation and hygiene is not up to the required medical standard, it can infect infant with harmful diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever, which in some areas is the main cause of infant mortality.
Water Pollution Prevention
Due to the harmful effects of water pollution many countries recognize that it needs to be prevented, hence many international treaties have been signed to acjnowledged the problem and to curb it. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is one such document signed by 120 countries. The document tries to tackle the problem of water pollution by setting forth rules ‘’governing all uses of oceans and their resources’’. It makes the responsibility of water pollution a global one in which all countries must unite to endeavor against.
As well as international conventions and treaties, many developed countries also have laws in place that ensures the water quality is of a good standard. One example of this is the US 1972 Clean Water Act. Many other countries have similar laws to make sure their waters are sanitized and clean.
Water Pollution is a great topic of concern as it affects not only humans, but animals too and causes great amount of grief on marine wildlife. While many efforts are taken to reduce water pollution it is still a persistent problem around the world, with many people suffering from fatal diseases due to water contamination.