One of the biggest problems that humanity will face in the coming decades will be the shortage of drinking water due to climate change, which will increase the periods of droughts, as well as the high rate of pollution that many of the main drinking water sources. Due to this situation, it is becoming more and more urgent to implement solutions to water pollution, since it is one of the most important natural resources, since, in fact, most human activities depend on it. If you want to know some of the most important measures that must be carried out to protect water, keep reading AgroCorrn and we will tell you the solutions to water pollution .
- Water pollution: causes
- Where does water pollution come from
- Solutions to water pollution
Water pollution: causes
The first thing to keep in mind is that water pollution can come from many places and take many forms. Thus, water pollution can be divided into two large groups, physical pollution and chemical pollution:
- Physical pollution : when we talk about physical pollution we are referring mainly to garbage that can be seen with the naked eye, such as plastics that are commonly consumed.
- Chemical pollution : on the other hand, when we talk about chemical pollution, we are referring to those pollutants that, being present in the water, cannot be seen with the naked eye, but which mean that this water cannot be drinkable. In this sense, we are talking, for example, of chemical pesticides, or fecal bacteria, by-products of industry or even plastic in its smallest size, the so-called nanoplastics.
Where does water pollution come from
Whether it is physical or chemical pollution, water pollution always comes from human activity . In this sense, there is no considerable differentiation between chemical or physical contamination. In fact, if we think of the pollution produced by an average citizen, we can think of the garbage that they produce on a daily basis, which would be physical pollution; or in the use of cosmetic or hygiene products, which would release chemical pollutants into the water, which would lead to chemical contamination of the water.
Likewise, beyond the pollution produced by the average citizen, large companies deserve a special mention. Because their volume of activity is much higher, the use of water they do is also, and with it their level of contamination. In fact, agriculture and industry are two of the sectors that pollute the water the most, along with transport. In this way, because they are activities that we cannot do without, it is necessary to reformulate their activities and their way of working so that the impact they have on the environment as a whole and on the water resources in concrete.
Solutions to water pollution
Obviously, the only way to solve the problem of water contamination comes from two sides: not to pollute it and clean the one that is already contaminated. In this way, pollution that ends up destroying both aquifers and other water reserves can be avoided and minimized, making it a battle that must be fought at the same time on all fronts. Some of the most important actions that can be carried out in this regard are the following:
Reduction of nutrients and chemical pesticides
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are two of the elements that most pollute water when used in intensive agriculture. These chemicals end up on the ground and pass into aquifers, which leads to the contamination of one of the most important water sources we have. Instead, it is enough to make use of natural nutrients and pesticides , which allows the development of an ecological and sustainable agriculture. Likewise, in the event that it is not possible to fully opt for natural products, the best option will be to minimize the damage of these chemicals, dispensing with at least the most harmful to water resources.
Wastewater reduction and treatment
On the other hand, one of the main sources of water pollution comes from wastewater being discharged into rivers and seas without treating it properly. This is one of the biggest problems that water pollution presents, since wastewater entails high physical contamination of the water (a good example is toilet wipes), as well as a very high chemical contamination derived from all chemicals and biological substances that carry these waters with them. The best way to reduce this wastewater is to make efficient use of water, to reduce as much as possible the use of chemical products that could contaminate it and, most important of all, that the public administrations implement the necessary infrastructures so that these waters are returned to the environment having been previously purified. These are some efficient strategies for capturing ambient water .
One of the most important elements in reducing water pollution is avoiding deforestation processes . This is because forests are one of the main water stores , both at the atmospheric and subsoil levels. By increasing the forest masses, a greater presence of fresh water is achieved in these environments, which increases the water reserves of the aquifers. In addition, forests act as purifiers of many of the pollutants that we discharge into the environment, so their presence helps to counteract chemical pollution as a whole.
Reduction of water consumption in agriculture and industry
Agriculture and industry are two of the human activities that consume the most water in their development. Both sectors are fundamental to human life. In this way, since they cannot be dispensed with, what is needed is to implement actions that increase the efficiency of the use of their resources, including water. In this sense, a good option is the use of treated gray water for agriculture. These waters are not suitable for human consumption as they are not drinkable, but they are useful when watering crops. In the case of industry, more efficient machinery, as well as processes that do not require the use of so much water, allow reducing its contamination, since the volume of contaminated water is lower. Likewise, it is also essential that industrial wastewater is treated before being returned to the environment.
Sustainable transport implementation
Another of the sectors that most pollutes water is transportation. A good example of this problem is found in the acid rain present in most cities, the pollution of which comes mostly from the burning of fossil fuels. By opting for sustainable transport versions, we reduce the pollution that is discharged into the environment and that, inevitably, ends up polluting the water. In this sense, the best option available is public transport , since it minimizes pollution as it is a transport that responds to many people at the same time.
On the other hand, we must not forget about the garbage that is produced daily both at work and at home. In this sense, opting for products with few packaging, as well as carrying out a correct classification and recycling of waste is one of the elements that can most help reduce pollution.
Reduction of especially dangerous agents: oils and batteries
Although this aspect would fall within the reduction of garbage in general, it is two of the most damaging water pollutants, so they deserve a separate space. Oils pollute water in many ways but, among them, by preventing proper oxygenation of rivers, it entails particularly significant damage to biodiversity. The correct way to avoid this will be to store the used oil and take it to a clean point when the container is full. Likewise, batteries and cells are made of many heavy minerals that are especially water polluting. In fact, heavy metals such as chromium and mercury, currently present in many of the fish that are commonly consumed, come from these residues. Therefore, it is essential to take them to a clean point where they can be managed properly.
Reduce the use of plastics
Likewise, another of the water pollutants that deserve a special mention is plastic. Plastic is a material that degrades at a very slow speed and that remains in the environment for hundreds of years, ending up passing into the food chain and polluting rivers and seas. We can find from large plastics to microplastics (very small but visible plastics) or nanoplastics (microscopic plastics that are not visible but that do contaminate water). The best way to avoid this contamination is to do without single-use plastics and, when we use plastics, always recycle them.
More restrictive laws
Finally, we cannot ignore the importance of legislative bodies in the prevention of pollution of all kinds, including that affecting water. In this sense, more restrictive laws that prohibit the use of polluting agents (pesticides such as glyphosate, use of toilet wipes, plastic cutlery, etc.), as well as laws that oblige the wastewater of each sector to be treated before If returned to the environment, they are essential in preventing water contamination. In the following article you can see the negative effects of the herbicide glyphosate .
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