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Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of bodies of water including rivers, oceans, lakes, aquifers and groundwater. Water pollution is when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into a body of water without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

Water pollution affects the plants and organisms that reside in these bodies of water. In almost all of the cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but to the natural biological communities as well.

This pollution is a significant global issue which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels. It has been suggested that it’s the leading worldwide cause of diseases and death, and that it is held accountable for the deaths of more than 14,000 people on a daily basis.

Water is usually referred to as polluted when it’s impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either doesn’t support human use, and/or undergoes a noticeable shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities. Natural phenomena such as algae blooms, storms, volcanoes, and earthquakes cause major changes in water quality as well as the ecological status of the water.

Specific contaminants leading to pollution of water include a wide spectrum of pathogens, chemicals, and physical or sensory changes. While many of the chemicals and substances that are regulated might be naturally occurring, the concentration is frequently the key in determining what is a natural component of water, and what is a contaminant. High concentrations of naturally occurring substances have the potential to cause negative impacts on aquatic fauna and flora.

The majority of water pollutants are inevitably carried by rivers into oceans. In some regions of the world, the influence can be traced hundreds of miles from the mouth buy studies utilizing hydrology transport models.

Image Caption: The New River flows at 200 cfs as it enters California. The water at this point is three colors: dark green, white (foam), and milky brown/green. The septic stench is pungent, particularly during the summer season when temperatures can reach up to 120º (48ºC). The contaminated soil along the riverbanks is black . A layer of foam frequently forms on the surface of the New River near the International Boundary. This foam is often blown by the wind to areas near the river, including parking lots and a shopping center. In particular, foam often blows into the parking lot of a grocery store located near the International Boundary. Fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci have been consistently detected in the New River at the International Boundary. Their presence indicates that fecal contamination of the river has occurred. Credit: Calexico New River Committee (CNRC)/Wikipedia

Water Pollution


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