Water is a pervasive natural resource that profoundly impacts our everyday lives. You ingest water directly, where it’s used for the household activity, and you enjoy it for leisure and esthetic purposes. You need water to produce food and power plants; you need it to maintain your ecosystem services.
The oceans are three-fourths of the geographical area of Earth. Water fills 0.8% of the Earth and there is plenty of water left that can be used by humans. However, because only 29% of people have access to safe drinking water, over twice the amount is at risk of pollution. With so much scarcity of water and with the rising population, all these factors add up to the exploitation of water. This is what’s going to happen in the future.
Water pollution exists not only from industrial waste and natural causes but is caused by the unequal allocation of water supplies and the unnatural alteration of the natural flow of rivers and by human exploitation, if you have decent money to spare you have a water purifier ro at a twist of tap, whereas if people have to walk miles to fetch pots of water for days together.
Natural causes of water pollution occur when people defecate in open fields and forests or throw garbage in rivers and lakes. In some parts of the world, this is a common practice. For example, many people in India and Nepal relieve themselves outside, sometimes right in the midst of nature. And almost one billion people around the world use no toilets at all.
The toxic leakage into mining streams and pollutants are a result of natural causes, such as per-and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances, which are artificial (man-made) chemicals that may be strongly localized in distinct places where exposure is large yet has limited scope outside such regions.
Local oil spills are one of the major reasons for water pollution. These occur due to broken pipelines and oil tankers. Oil spills are one of the most unnoticed causes of all. In 1976, an accidental leak of fewer than 10 tons of crude oil killed more than 60,000 long-tailed ducks in the Baltic Sea. It was like the impact on seabirds in the Alaskan waters. For the nearly 40,000 tons of crude oil spilled from the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, approximately 30,000 birds were oiled. Even recently, Russia had declared a state of emergency on 3 June after a major oil leak in the Arctic region. Approximately 20,000 tons of fuel from the Norilsk power plant spilled into the river on May 29, 2020.
Plastic poses a threat to marine life in a variety of ways. The plastic we use, not only creates havoc on land but inside water also. Water pollution can have natural causes, like natural degradation over time. And it can be caused by religious aspects too, like throwing Hawan leftovers into a river in the name of religion
The Ganges is a natural body of water that suggests its origin might be divine. We’re an amazing journey tucked away in the flow of time and a maxim stuck with us when Mallet, Asia News Editor of the Financial Times said this: “Possibly the world’s most worshipped river is the most polluted river.”
Several factors, including untreated factory and domestic waste, as well as free defecation, have led to a troubling state of affairs in Cambodia. However, a remarkably high degree of contamination is due to certain religious practices. Statues of gods, trees, pots, and ashes are cast into the rivers with impunity. To make matters worse, many ceremonies in the Hindu religion make it mandatory for people to use rivers from time to time. Immersing the statues of the gods in the river is a hallmark of many large festivals.
The paintings that adorn idols are not environmentally conscious and can pollute the water, which in turn influences the flora and fauna. Hundreds of statues are submerged during the September-October festival season. Pilgrims stand at their makeshift campsite. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. But now when a pilgrim takes a ‘holy’ dive in the river, they swallow a huge amount of poisonous material and pollutants that come from power plants or from the garbage that is dumped into the river.
It’s clear that water is such an integral part of our daily lives and relationships that we are inclined to take it for granted, assuming it will always be in abundance. But that is not the true stance because Natural causes of water pollution.