Global water crisis – resource readings

Cocaine, Spices, Hormones Found in Drinking Water.”

Caffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific Northwest
Human waste in coffee country has unknown effect on marine life.

Emerging contaminants in the environmnet

Freshwater threats

Water pollution and the freshwater threat

“Water pollution adds enormously to existing problems of water scarcity by contaminating large volumes of available water, thus making it unsuitable for use. This situation is worst in third world countries, where human health is gravely damaged by accelerating contamination of water supplies by eutrophication, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, acidification and sewage pollution.
For example, in the city of Varanasi in India, the Ganges River is severely polluted with sewage (faecal coliform levels range from 50,000 cfu/100mL to over 5,000,000 cfu/100mL). Inadequate treatment of the city’s sewage has also caused severe contamination of groundwater, resulting in high nitrate, heavy metal and faecal coliform levels.”

Global Water Crisis Overview

“The companion of modernization has always been pollution. In developing countries that are just entering the industrial age, water pollution presents a serious problem. According to United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), “in developing countries, rivers downstream from major cities are little cleaner than open sewers”. The UNEP also reports that 1.2 billion people are being affected by polluted water, and that dirty water contributes to 15 million child deaths every year.[14] In recent years, scientists have become aware of the problems involved with the contamination of groundwater. Aquifers move very slowly, so once they are polluted it takes decades or centuries for them to cleanse themselves.

Food production contributes significantly to water contamination. When nitrogen fertilizer is applied to a field, the water runoff will contain excess amounts of nitrates. Nitrates have been shown to have a very harmful effect on plant and animal life,[15] can cause miscarriages, and can harm infant development.[16] The industrial livestock business also presents a serious danger to water systems. The disposal of vast amounts of animal feces destroys nearby ecosystems and is very hazardous to humans.[17]
Water pollution is reaching epic proportions. In the U.S. 40% of rivers and lakes are considered too polluted to support normal activities.[18] In China 80% of the rivers are so polluted that fish cannot survive in them.[19] In Japan 30% of groundwater has been contaminated by industrial pollution.[20] The Ganges River, which supports around 500 million people, is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world. And the list goes on…”

Learn about the water crisis

The sources of the pollution of our planet’s water are varied and include aggressive agricultural practices, industry and municipal uses. In the United States, 40% of waterways—from rivers to brooks—are unsuitable for fishing, bathing or drinking. In developing countries, 90% of sewage is dumped—untreated—into bodies of water.

Water pollution threatens ecosystems and access to water for our generation and those to come. All over the world, water is becoming less suitable not only for human consumption but also for agricultural and industrial use. It can even cause death, disease and other health issues.

… Just one litre of lubricating oil can contaminate one million litres of water. But a single drop of effort can change poor water habits or provide access to safe drinking water.

The global water crisis

Drinking water contaminants

History of Water Pollution Control (Japan)

Tuna contaminated with Fukushima radiation found in California
Scientists amazed that bluefins swimming in Pacific five months after Japanese disaster contained tiny amounts of caesium

Radiation found in tunnels and soil outside Japan nuclear plant

Japan: Food and Water Contamination


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