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Effects of water pollution in the environment

Updated on September 25, 2014
LoryRich profile image

Lory, a development economist, did research projects on energy/anti-pollution topics for a national research agency in the Philippines.

Water Pollution: Lest we Forget

Some reliable statistics show that the Earth’s surface is covered by around 71% water (salt water oceans) with the remainder consisting of continents and islands which together have many lakes and other sources of water. All species and especially humans rely a great deal upon water from the oceans, rivers, and streams. It goes without saying that we all need to take care of our water resources. Today, numerous processing plants have already been set up to provide safe and purified drinking water, yet, water pollution remains a problem.

  • We have to bear in mind that large amounts of aquatic life thrives in these bodies of water. When the environment become polluted due to oil spills, chemicals, or other forms of dumped waste, such toxins can destroy these marine ecosystems. The scope, gradual and long-term effect from this type of damage is more than what most people can imagine.
  • Great amount of water from these contaminated sources eventually makes its way to the soil as well. Consequently, it can destroy crops; destroy potential food that is being grown; and also destroy various types of trees and plants that are planted in the area. Are we aware of what some of us are directly or indirectly contributing to this type of water pollution?

Sources of water pollution

Pollutants can either be man-made or cause by nature.

  • There are issues with offshore boats dumping various substance into the water as they don't think anyone will actually find out and would care to do something about it. The Coast Guard watches over for such incidents and encourages boats and fisherfolks to report the violations they witness. And they usually do report.
  • There can also be a great deal of water pollution from natural elements that we have no control over. The lava from volcanoes can destroy a water source and there is so little or really nothing that can be done about it.
  • Wild or even farm animals, especially if they are sick, can also sometimes contaminate water sources. In the country sides, it is natural for wild animals or for livestock to drink from various water streams. In order to help protect people from water pollution there are regular tests conducted. These tests help to ensure that levels of pollution are below the standard that people should be concerned about.
  • Human's irresponsible dumping of garbage like plastics is also a major source. From land, these wastes are washed away by rain unto the bodies of water and could settle there for who knows how long to clog our water pathways causing floods or to be turned into booby traps or into pieces and eaten by fish or birds which can endanger their species' long-term existence.

The Plastic Soup Evolution

Plastics are evidently so useful for human's unbridled daily consumption and seemingly harmless until plastic garbage find they way into the ocean waters and endanger our marine life. The ocean's plastic soup has finally evolved.

Watch the video below on the extent and danger of plastic footprints to our marine life.

Polluting bodies of water with waste materials, chemicals, oil, or other items that are harmful is a very grave crime against nature and humanity. Is it mere ignorance, irresponsibility or just helplessness? Sometimes this occurrence is accidental and yet the danger is not diminished. Companies are often (and should be) made liable for the cost of helping to clean up the mess. On the other hand, adequate system of pollution control should be installed. Otherwise, intentionally dumping such contaminants into the water can result in heavy penalties such as a long prison term and hefty fines. You can be the judge if these measures are effective deterrents.

Shall we surrender to our surroundings or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, to our land and to our water?”

-Richard Nixon (1913-1994), 37th U.S. President,
State of the Union Message, 22 Jan 1970


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    • profile image

      Patel urvi jitendrabhai 4 months ago

      These are very important a lesson for students. I am proud of this hub pages.

    • profile image

      Jsyka 10 months ago

      Excellent write up

    • profile image

      cool guy 23 months ago

      nasty man not cool

    • profile image

      nekhia 2 years ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      Natasha 2 years ago

      This was very nice about water pollution

    • profile image

      Jeremy 4 years ago

      helpful information!

    • profile image

      tala 4 years ago

      this is good infornation

    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 5 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Gary! Thanks for your question. The remaining 8% consists of other bodies of water within the continents or land masses of the earth. Anyway, I have edited the pertinent statement in the hub; please reread. Hope it's clearer and more accurate now.

    • profile image

      Gary 5 years ago

      Where is the other 8%?

    • profile image

      IRMA 5 years ago


    • leroy_maria profile image

      leroy_maria 7 years ago from london

      good hub mate I too am doing some thing semilar

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Very detailed hub and thought provoking.