Water Pollution costs lives, and is a major problem across the globe, but what can we actually do to stop water pollution from happening?
Water Pollution Occurs for various reasons, in both developed and underdeveloped countries and costs thousands of lives annually. In developed countries water pollution is generally caused by waste from factories, agriculture, chemical spills or other accidents, while in developing countries it is more likely to come from raw sewage, lack of infrastructure, and bad hygiene practises.
There are basically three things that could help in the fight against water pollution; education, economics, and laws, and they only work when employed together:
Education: Here we are not talking about going to school or university, but of educating the public as to how to keep the environment and thereby our water, clean and hygienic. This means informing the public as to how to stop water and environmental pollution as well as how to deal with it where possible. This can include something as simple as organising a clean-up crew to clean a beach that has been left in a state by revellers; holding businesses, governments and water companies accountable; and creating general public awareness around pollution.
Economics play a huge part in virtually everything in life, and sometimes allows Big Business to get away with murder, or at least with polluting the environment with impunity, but it can also work in the opposite way. What we are talking about in this instance is the “polluter pays” principle, which means that whoever causes the pollution should be made to pay to clean it up; this can be done in the form of oil companies or shipping lines taking out insurance against spills; supermarkets changing from plastic to paper bags or charging customers for plastic, which will encourage them not to litter.
Laws around pollution cover things like its transboundary nature, which is when pollution occurs in one country or region and is transported to another via rivers and seas. To be of any use, though, these laws need to be International Environmental Laws, so that it makes it tougher for any country to pollute and get away with it.
Ultimately, fighting pollution depends on each one of us; we need to work together to ensure that the environment is kept clean so the animals, plants, and people who depend on it stay healthy. We can each do our little bit by reducing pesticide use, disposing of oils in an environmentally-friendly manner, using environmentally friendly detergents, and various other means.
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