Water is a critical resource for sustaining life, but we don’t think about its potential scarcity until it’s often too late. How do we get to the point that we face shortages in filling our taps or discover that a local source is unsafe to drink? Human impact on water pollution and shortages is our blame to shoulder, whether the root is accidental mismanagement or selfishness.
How Do Humans Affect Water Pollution?
Water pollution causes and effects create numerous health risks within our populations. Toxins from leftover chemicals, pesticide sprays or waste find ways into our water sources. A handful of direct and indirect sources of human pollution include:
- Intentional or improper garbage dumping around lakes, rivers and streams
- Runoff from industrial factories, farms, ranches, construction sites and mining quarries
- Seepage from landfills, particularly from plastics and electronic batteries, into groundwater
- Lack of infrastructure maintenance with area supply and septic systems
How Do We Cause Water Shortages?
We don’t typically think about our usage habits when we’re at home or work, such as running the tap while brushing our teeth. Production facilities and agricultural properties are also examples of sites needing vast amounts of water to operate. It’s these instances when we disregard the rate at which we pull from our environment’s available freshwater, often using it faster than it can replenish.
We’re also still far from understanding how the effects of climate change are influencing our water resources. Reservoirs around the world are depleting from strings of harsher dry seasons and natural droughts, causing waterways to divert. These changes are posing a problem to urban and rural communities alike that are depending on them as a source.
How Should We Solve Water Crises?
It costs additional money, time and rationing to fix an issue rather than preventing it, which means prevention is key. Empowering global responsibility for our water systems is one route we can all take. Informed leadership also has to step in on occasion, enforcing environmental standards and setting volume guidelines for community use. Instead of casting blame toward individuals or groups, we should collectively, systematically and impartially examine our missteps and how we arrived at a crisis — very often, there isn’t just one cause.
Much of a proactive approach in mitigating water issues involves listening to the consensus of the experts, who monitor current situations and anticipate the possibilities. That’s why we require effective scientific communication expressing the concerns of water management to everyday people.
What Can We Do to Save Our Water?
We aren’t powerless in the water-related situations mentioned here. In fact, each and every one of us can take steps to improve our access to clean water. Here are some options:
- Participate in recycling programs: Take advantage of these services in your area to responsibly dispose of your garbage and prevent the contamination of nearby water supplies.
- Support environmentally conscious manufacturers: Purchase your goods from facilities with a proven record for limiting their pollution footprint.
- Ask for water quality testing: Reach out to your local utility provider or go online to find the mandatory yearly reports on the quality of your local water.
- Be an involved citizen: It’s ultimately a group effort. Speak to your local organizations in government, factory industries and agriculture to ask about their practices and inform them of more sustainable measures.
The actions we take today are steps to securing safe, abundant water for all. Reach out to Polymer Solutions International Inc. for additional information about how you can more sustainably store and use water.