Information For Action www.informaction.org
What is water pollution?
It is when pollutants enter waterways such as oceans or rivers.
Where do water pollutants mainly come from?
Waste from sewers.
Waste from domestic farm animals.
Fertilisers from farms being transported to waterways by rain.
Waste from factories.
Illegal dumping of sewage, which is often treated with chemicals, into the ocean.
How does this hurt humans and the environment?
The water in many countries is not safe for people to swim in or use for fishing.
One-fifth of the people in the world are forced to drink unsafe water, most of which causes diseases like malaria.
When fertilisers pollute rivers, they can lead to the growth of algae in rivers when the weather is hot. Algae can cause eye and skin irritation, and liver damage if it is swallowed by humans.
Three million people, mostly children, die each year from diseases caused by drinking polluted water.
When combined with fertiliser run-off from places like farms, sewage causes the growth of algae. These algal blooms suffocate and kill fish and other marine organisms.
Chemicals that pollute waterways harm wildlife and cause genetic changes in marine life. Some chemicals can also make it difficult for particular animals to have babies.
What can you do to help?
Ask your parents to consider getting a wastewater treatment system in your home, if they are not happy with how the local government is dealing with waste.
If your parents or any adults you know own a boat, ask them to make sure it is fitted with an environmentally friendly toilet facility or treatment system.
We all need water to survive, so let's keep our waterways clean!