Global water pollution estimates suggest that nearly 1.5 billion people lack safe drinking water and that at least 5 million deaths per year can be attributed to waterborne diseases. With over 70 percent of the planet covered by oceans, people have long acted as if these very bodies of water could serve as a limitless dumping ground for wastes. Raw sewage, garbage, and oil spills have begun to overwhelm the diluting capabilities of the oceans, and most coastal waters are now polluted. Beaches around the world are closed regularly, often because of high amounts of bacteria from sewage disposal, and marine wildlife is beginning to suffer. Perhaps the biggest reason for developing a worldwide effort to monitor and restrict global pollution is the fact that most forms of pollution do not respect national boundaries.
Water quality The rapid growth of the urban population has outpaced the ability of governments to expand sewage and water infrastructure. While waterborne diseases have been eliminated in the developed world, outbreaks of cholera and other similar diseases still occur with alarming frequency in the developing countries. Since World War II and the birth of the chemical age, water quality has been heavily impacted worldwide by industrial and agricultural chemicals. Eutrophication of surface waters from human and agricultural wastes and nitrification of groundwater from agricultural practices has greatly affected large parts of the world. Acidification of surface waters by air pollution is a recent phenomenon and threatens aquatic life in many area of the world. In developed countries, these general types of pollution have occurred sequentially with the result that most developed countries have successfully dealt with major surface water pollution. In contrast, however, newly industrialized countries such as china, India, Thailand, Brazil, and Mexico are now facing all these issues simultaneously.
Conclusion Clearly, the problems associated with water pollution have the capabilities to disrupt life on our planet to a great extent. It is ultimately up to us, to be informed, responsible and involved when it comes to the problems we face with our water. We must become familiar with our local water resources and learn about ways for disposing harmful household wastes so they don't end up in sewage treatment plants that can't handle them or landfills not designed to receive hazardous materials. In our yards, we must determine whether additional nutrients are needed before fertilizers are applied, and look for alternatives where fertilizers might run off into surface waters. We have to preserve existing trees and plant new trees and shrubs to help prevent soil erosion and promote infiltration of water into the soil. Around our houses, we must not keep litter, pet waste, leaves, and grass clippings out of gutters and storm drains. These are just a few of the many ways in which we, as humans, have the ability to combat water pollution. As we head into the 21st century, awareness and education will most assuredly continue to be the two most important ways to prevent water pollution. If these measures are not taken and water pollution continues, life on earth will suffer severely.