What is water pollution?
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater), very often by human activities.
Water pollution occur when pollutants (particles, chemicals or substances that make water contaminated) are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without enough treatment to get rid of harmful compounds. Pollutants get into water mainly by human causes or human factors. Water pollution can be a Point-source, Non Point-source, or Transboundary in nature (Click here to learn more).
Water pollution is the second most imperative environmental concern along with air pollution.
Any change or modification in the physical, chemical and biological properties of water that will have a detrimental consequence on living things, is water pollution.
The water pollution problem Water covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface. It is a very important resource for people and the environment.
Water is obviously crucial to human health. The WHO advises that at least 7.5 litres per day per person are necessary to meet “the requirements of most people under most conditions” and at least another 20 litres per day to cover basic hygienic needs.*
(WHO, 2015a). UNEP, ISBN Number: 978-92-807-3555-0 Page 17
As long as humans live, water will be needed and consumed. This means humans are bound to create wastewater. It also means we will produce other non-water items and the disposal of waste (metals and other liquids) from that process will affect fresh water ad the environment in some way.
Water pollution affects drinking water, rivers, lakes and oceans all over the world. In many developing countries, it is usually a leading cause of death, by people drinking from polluted water sources.
More to this, water pollution affects not only individual living species but also populations and entire functioning ecosystems that exist in the waters.
Humans have now realised the importance of clean water as a foundation for life. In recent time, more and more organisations and councils are working hard to educate, protect, restore waterways and encourage practices that help keep waters from contamination, and also to preserve water ecosystems from destruction.