Water pollution, i.e., the contamination of water bodies on the planet, is one of the raging environmental issues that our world is facing today. Even though we know that the human-induced causes of water pollution far exceed the natural causes of the same, we seem to prefer to turn a blind eye towards it. What we fail to understand is that along with us, the various other living organisms on the planet are also bearing the brunt of water contamination.
A look at the water pollution statistics gives you the gruesome picture of the deteriorating condition of water bodies on the planet.
Water Pollution Facts and Statistics
Since the ancient times, humans have always preferred to settle near some source of water. At the same time, the problems associated with the pollution of these water bodies by human activities are also quite old.
More recently, however, the rate at which the pollution is occurring has become a matter of concern. As the population has increased, the amount of waste produced by human activities has also increased. When it comes to disposal of this waste, we seem to have assumed that these water bodies are the best alternatives. The amount of waste disposed of in these water bodies around the world has increased manifolds over the last few decades, and the water pollution facts and statistics given below highlight the real plight of these water bodies.
Water Pollution Statistics
According to the data compiled by the World Water Assessment Program (WWAP), 2 million tons of human waste is disposed of in water bodies every single day.
The developing countries have a significant share in water pollution, as 70 percent of the industrial waste which is dumped untreated in the water bodies comes from these developing nations of the world. The problem of groundwater pollution is also quite prominent in the United States, and agriculture is considered to be the underlying factor for this.
A study carried out in the 49 states of the US revealed that nitrate was the principal contaminant of groundwater in this region. Alongside groundwater, agriculture also plays a significant role in the pollution of larger water bodies in the form of surface runoff. In fact, the traces of DDT, which was banned in the United States way back in the 1970s, are still found in the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.
As a result of this incessant pollution of water, around 20 percent of the world populations left without proper water to drink. A study about the devastating effects of water pollution, undertaken way back in the 90s, revealed that 1,200 million people are affected the world over due to this problem. Things have changed drastically since then, and therefore it is assumed that the number of the affected people has also increased. The same study also revealed that pollution of the water system is one of the significant factors for the death of children under five every year.
Ocean Pollution Statistics
Statistics about ocean pollution reveal that it is a significant constitute among the different types of water pollution. Statistics on water pollution show that every year 14 billions pounds of waste is disposed in the oceans all over the world. This waste includes garbage, sewage water, sludge, oil, etc. In fact, a single oil spill can contaminate thousands of liters of ocean water within a short span of time.
Every year, around 900,000 metric tons of oil is released in the oceans, either knowingly or unknowingly. The significant factors associated with oil spills include marine transportation, flushing of oil tankers in mid oceans, etc.
Ocean pollution facts suggest that 45 percent of the ocean water pollution can be attributed to marine transportation and 32 percent to oil spills from the oil tankers. Even though water pollution due to natural oil seepage in these oceans also occurs, the occurrence is not as prominent as the human-induced factors mentioned above.
Going by these water pollution statistics, it’s not difficult to understand that we are heading for a severe crisis, and the need of the hour is the strict carryout action of the different ways to prevent water pollution.
In the United States of America, the legislation such as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1972) and the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (1972) have been constituted to tackle the menace. However, the success of these legislations, to a large extent, depends on our contribution to the cause.
Even though indirectly, we do contribute to water pollution with our several day-to-day activities. The onus is, therefore, on us to identify the water pollutions solutions and provide our bit by carrying them out in our day to day lives.