Every year, we celebrate World Water Day on March 22. It is a remembrance for all of us that water is an essential element for our survival. It tells us how water is related to everything in our lives and how it can impact climate change and pollution on our earth. Using water efficiently can not only reduce its consumption but also limit water pollution as well.
Water is the most abundant element found on earth. 70 percent of the planet is covered by water, and the total volume is around 1.4 billion KM, and 2.5% of this is freshwater, which is drinkable after treatment.
In this article, we will highlight 11 facts and figures about water pollution in 2019 and 2020. We will also cover some of the facts related to drinking water in the US.
11 Facts about Water Pollution in 2019 and 2020
1. Corona Virus does not spread through Drinking Water
First thing first, the virus that causes COVID-19 does not spread through drinking water. The virus has been found in untreated sewage, but it does not spread through water. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention outlines everything you need to know about the COVID-19 and water.
EPA states that:
“The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. EPA also encourages the public to help keep household plumbing and our nation’s water infrastructure operating properly by only flushing toilet paper.”
2. PFAS found in American Drinking Water
A recent development that got us worried is the finding of PFAS in the American drinking water. A news article published at CNN explains everything about it. PFAS are found in food packaging, cookware, and other consumer products. Consuming PFAS in large quantities can increase the risk of liver damage, cancer, fertility problems, asthma, and thyroid problems. A news article published by the USA today outlines areas including “Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami and Louisville, Kentucky – contained PFAS levels of at least 10 parts per trillion”. It also states that “Forty-three areas, including New York City, Nashville, Las Vegas and Sacramento, had detectable PFAS at least 1 part per trillion.” It has been termed as a severe problem, and concerned authorities are working on getting rid of it.
3. Industrial Waste
We have still not become responsible for our water. A lot of countries around the globe are dumping untreated industrial waste in oceans. It harms marine life and affects the quality of fish meat we consume.
4. Limited Access of Fresh Water
Even in 2020, 780 million do not have access to an improved water source. Water pollution is so severe that 2.5 billion people across the world do not have access to improved sanitation. It makes more than 35% of the world’s population. CDC states that the water condition is dangerous, and steps are needed to be taken to make the world population safe.
5. Deaths due to Water Pollution
The primary cause of diarrhea is water pollution and water contamination. Around 801,000 children younger than 5 years of age die due to diarrhea. This makes approximately 220 hundred deaths every day due to diarrhea. Unsafe drinking water lack of water contributes to about 88% of deaths from diarrheal diseases. Overall, 15 million children die all around the globe due to water pollution annually.
6. Water Contaminants
As we get technology more advanced, instead of getting rid of contaminants, PFAS were added to our drinking water. EPA states that the list of all the common contaminants found in drinking water across the country. To get your water free from these contaminants, make sure you have an effective filtration system at your home.
7. Water Contaminants in China
Around 20% of China’s water consumption is done from groundwater, and it is contaminated with carcinogens.
8. Water Conference 2020
Each year a water conference is held to monitor, model, and manage water pollution. It will be 15th in number and will be held in Valencia, Spain, in September and October. Each year, the conference has different agendas and can take up any pressing matter related to water pollution. This year, the following list will be discussed, and it covers some of the topics to be presented at the conference.
- Water contamination
- Assessing, monitoring, modeling, and forecasting
- Water management
- Wastewater and saltwater management
- Groundwater and aquifers
- Freshwater quality
- Coastal and offshore pollution
- Health risk studies
- Agricultural contamination
- Industrial pollution
- Water reuse
- Emerging technologies
- Socio-economic-political causes and consequences
- Education and training
- Changes in land use
- Dredging work
- Climate change
- Design and architecture
- Urban water
- Sustainable urban drainage systems
9. Ocean Pollution
Marine life is an important part of our echo system. Unfortunately, human activities impact the quality of marine life. If we do not change our ways, the plastic bottles will outnumber fish by the end of 2050. The condition is so grave that around 100 million marine life animals die due to plastic waste, around 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic entanglement every year, and all of this is our doing. According to different estimates, about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste are believed to be present on our oceans. Around 70% of our debris enters the oceans, 15% floats, and 15% reaches the seashores. The nuclear blasts conducted in our oceans have downgraded the quality of marine life and water standards. For a more detailed idea about ocean water pollution, head over to marine ocean pollution statistics.
10. Beach Pollution
Everyone loves to swim at the beach, but please keep in mind that 10% of American beaches have polluted water.
11. Water Pollution and the EU
An article published on National Geographic’s website states that around 28% of EU’s water bodies are under pressure from water pollution due to the use of agricultural fertilizers.
Conclusion: What to do