Coastal Climate Action - Doing a little every day

Facts and Figures Point To the Demise of the World's Clean Water

Even if you've heard a lot about the water pollution crisis that's facing the world, there are probably a lot of facts you don't know that would help you realize just how dire the situation is. Only 3% of the water on the globe is fresh water, even though water covers about 70% of the Earth's surface, and every year people worldwide dump the largest part of 400 billion tons of waste products into what we do have. If something isn't done about this problem, our planet is headed for sure disaster in the not-too-distant future.

As you might expect, Asia has the most polluted rivers due to the fact that they have the bulk of the world's population. People create waste wherever they are, and human waste and the bacteria it generates makes their rivers 3 times more polluted than the average for the other six continents. In the country of Bangladesh, about 85% of the groundwater is polluted with arsenic. Because of this and the high-density population, more than 1.2 million people in the country are exposed to arsenic poisoning every day of their lives.

No continent is blameless in adding to the water pollution problems. In Europe, about 30% of Ireland's water resources are contaminated with fertilizers and sewage. In Australia, it has been estimated that more than 1 million sea birds, 100,000 marine animals, and numerous other creatures have been killed by acidic water in the King River.

Oil spills in the oceans account for another destructive force for marine plants and animals, and in industrialized countries worldwide, construction materials are poured into the water where they are more destructive than the biological wastes which dilute much more easily. At least 40% of the water resources in the United States are too polluted for human or animal use.

The list of this type of negative information goes on and on, but you only need a few facts in order to get the picture. Eventually this pollution is going to be in everyone's water and will be absorbed by both animals and agricultural crops. This means that everything you eat or drink will be tainted, and your body systems are going to have to get used to it, even if it's lethal.

We can't just sit back and see this happen, especially since there are things we can be doing about it now. Certain major contaminants, such as chemical fertilizers, need to be eliminated, even if it means that farmers work harder and have lower yields. Of course, no one wants the solution to the problem to affect them, so where does that leave us?

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By Kristie Brown


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