To better appreciate what water is, it is crucial to start off with its basic features such as its physical and chemical properties. Since elementary school we were taught that water equals H2O. But we soon came to understand what this number and letters really are and how its structure provides us with a unique and necessary substance for living. Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom create a charge or attraction which results in a water molecule; these attractions are not compatible. (3) This opposite attraction pulls water molecules together making them somewhat "sticky” and creating its form/shape/structure. (3) The physical properties of water explain much of its possible operations. (3) Water easily dissolves and transforms into different forms which are gas, solid, and liquid stages. (3) It freezes at 32o Fahrenheit (F) and boils at 212o F. (3)Knowing this, it is then easy to comprehend the different forms of water found on earth; in other words, the different bodies of water which are essential to communities in regards to how accessible water is to them depends on its physical and chemical properties.
The problem of water pollution does not only affect people but waters continuation or survival as a “living thing”. As explained on the Lenntech Water Treatment Solutions, “water pollution is “water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses or lives (in) it.” (4) Some major water pollutants are bacteria, viruses, protozoa, parasitic worms, acids, salts, toxic metals, oil, plastics, pesticides, soluble radioactive compounds, and waste that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. (4) These water pollutants come from human activities which are sometimes done carelessly and/ or obliviously. Once the water becomes defective it is very problematical to recover its original state. Many scientific tests, which are expensive and time consuming, are conducted to analyze the severity of the pollutant and by the time the data is collected and solutions are developed and put into effect the water might have no hope for revitalization.
The New York Times newspaper featured an article on the dangers of water pollution and people. “As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways”, this article explains how in Brooklyn, New York sewage systems overflow, when there is an excessive amount of rain, and damage nearby homes to the point of destruction and contamination. It is against the law not only if sewage system companies do not control the pipes system but also if they dump hazardous waste. To be able to put an end to the pollution of bodies of water that are used by humans or near living areas the government must consider to repair the sewage pipe systems as well as the designated dumping areas that are safe to deposit waste. This way serious health risks and environmental damages can be avoided.
On a final note, water is extremely important for the survival of humans and earth. Extreme measures must be put into effect to ameliorate the condition of water. How exactly can humans save water? The conservation Law Foundation of New England has posted on their website 7 different ways to make water uncontaminated and a safer resource. Regardless that these 7 ways concentrate on New England’s bodies of water, these steps to obtain and thus control clean water should be taken all over the world; these 7 steps are (as listed on their website):
- Eliminate mercury pollution in waterways.
- Eliminate nutrient water pollution levels.
- Protect watersheds from contaminated storm water runoff.
- Safeguard New England’s great waters including Narragansett Bay, Lake Champlain, Great Bay, Maine and Massachusetts coastal waters, and the Boston Harbor watershed.
- Protect New England’s dwindling natural areas and most pristine waters, taking into consideration the impacts of climate change.
- Address unsustainable water supply extractions taking into consideration the impact of other water depleting activities.
- Advocate for low impact development that limits impact on surrounding waterways
Water is such a superb mechanism of life; it marks the importance and the ability to provide life. If water was not an important resource for life then discovering water on the moon would not have been such a big deal!
1) Clean Water and Healthy Forests. New England: 2009. Web. 25 Nov 2009. <http://www.clf.org/work/CWHF/index.html?gclid=CLunjOrsqZ4CFYZM5QodlzcMqA>.
2) Duhigg, Charles. "As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways." New York Times 23 November 2009: 3. Web. 25 Nov 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/us/23sewer.html?pagewanted=2&ref=earth>.
3) Perlman, Howard. Water Properties. U.S.: 2006. Web. 25 Nov 2009. <http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterproperties.html>.
4) Water Pollutions FAQ. The Netherlands: 1998-2009. Web. 25 Nov 2009. <http://www.lenntech.com/water-pollution-faq.htm>.