Water is the most valuable natural resource, since it is required for human survival and the continuation of life on the planet. Water is an inorganic, tasteless, odourless, clear, and almost colourless substance that makes up most of Earth’s aquatic environment and known living organisms’ fluids.
Although it contains no organic nutrients, it is essential for known life forms. Each molecule contains single oxygen and two hydrogen atoms joined by covalent bonds (denoted by H2O). The hydrogen atoms are 104.45 degrees away from the oxygen atom. The fluid state of H2O at normal temperature and pressure is referred to as “water.”
What are the Sources of Water?
Some water sources are evident, such as rivers and lakes, while others, such as glaciers, are a bit more remote. With several people living near water, it is easy to assess the importance water has for humans. However, water sources are not available to all settlements despite their abundance. This is because humans need fresh water and freshwater sources are scarce.
Some of the most common sources of water are as follows:-
Ground Water: Any water source found inside the several soil layers is referred to as groundwater. Groundwater can be found in the soil or between rocks or other solid things. Most countries get their water from underground aquifers, which are massive rock formations that may store large volumes of fresh water. Only 3% of the water on the planet is categorised as freshwater, with only 30% of that quantity found as groundwater. Pollution, contaminated seawater, and overuse are all threats to this vital resource.
Surface water: Any above-ground collection of water, such as lakes, rivers, seas, and ponds, can be a source of surface water. Subsurface aquifers also supply some surface water sources. Humans use 80% of the water that is available on the surface.
Ocean water: Although ocean water makes up approximately 97% of all water on the planet, it cannot be used to generate potable water until salt and other contaminants are removed. Desalination, or salt removal from water, is a fast expanding practice. This method pushes saltwater through filters with small pores, filtering out salt and other germs. Reverse osmosis necessitates a lot of energy, making it an extremely costly procedure.
Glaciers: 70% of the 3% of the Earth’s water classified as freshwater is currently trapped in ice caps and glaciers. Frozen glacial & ice cap water may theoretically be melted and utilised, but the amount of energy required to melt and transport massive amounts of ice makes this economically impossible. Glaciers and ice caps also play a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate and global temperatures, making their preservation essential.
What is Water Pollution’s Definition?
Water pollution is described as an unexpected change or contamination of natural water bodies such as a lake, ocean, pond, or river by human activities. Water pollution generally occurs when any human activity contaminates the water body by dumping organic or inorganic waste. This type of water pollution can also develop naturally due to a tiny and unwanted element, contaminant, or impurity in water, in which case it is called contamination rather than pollution.
Water can be polluted by on-site sanitation systems, effluent from wastewater treatment plants, landfill leachate, petrol filling stations, leaking sewers, hydraulic fracturing, and agricultural abuse of fertilisers. Arsenic and fluoride, for example, are natural contaminants that can poison the environment. Contaminated water can cause poisoning or the spread of waterborne disease, putting people’s health at risk.
What are the Major Causes of Water Pollution?
Rapid Urban Development: Physical land disruption occurs whenever large numbers of people congregate in one compact region. The use of chemicals, detergents and exhaust emissions in the construction of new roads, houses, and factories impacts the water’s purity. When it rains, these pollutants flow into rivers and streams, eventually making their way into our drinking water.
Improper Sewage Disposal: Improper sewage disposal is becoming a serious global concern. The waste goes somewhere every time you flush, either to a sewage treatment facility or to the oceans, where the residual sewage is deposited.
In this article, we have read about the water causes, effects, and definition of water pollution. Water is one of our planet’s most valuable resources. Our communities, economy, and, most importantly, our health depend on clean water. Humans are composed of more than 60% water. Therefore, we require clean water to survive. Unfortunately, much of the world’s water is polluted, and it is one of the world’s most significant challenges today. Water contamination has various causes, and we will need to take several steps to safeguard this valuable resource.