Water is an essential ingredient for life as well as a key element for our environment. The pollution of water has a great impact on all living things. According to James Roth, the US, 40% of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters are so contaminated that they are unfit for humans to fish in, swim in, or drink. As stated by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is estimated each year that seven million Americans become sick from contaminated tap water, some cases being lethal. There are many different sources that contribute to water pollution.
Runoffs from lawns, driveways, roads or sidewalks are a major contributor to water pollution. When an individual fertilizes their yard or sprays insecticide, when it rains those remaining chemicals are then washed away and then find its destination in our local streams. Same principle applies to the agriculture industry. There are many toxins that can be attributed to the farming industry. Some of the more toxic are fertilizers, manure, livestock waste and oil and other chemicals from the equipment.
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According to an article titled, “Pollution Potential of Livestock Manure”, raw manure is up to 160 times more toxic than raw municipal sewage. This causes great concern for all living creatures. When these toxins enter into our water supply they create nitrite and nitrate. High levels of these can deplete our water of oxygen, killing the fish and all other aquatic animals. Nitrates as well as other toxins can also soak into the ground and end up in our drinking water resulting in illness or even death. In order to resolve the greatest contributor of water pollution, we would have to do away with the agriculture industry.
However, while this is a great idea it is not ever going to work. As humans, we depend on this industry far more than we know. They provide us with food, both from crops as well as animals. The best solution to this problem is to create an environmental friendly fertilizer. While animal manure is a large part of the problem, it is one that will always occur and cannot be stopped. The chemicals that are found in fertilizers and pesticides can be replaced with an ingredient far less harmful. If scientists could create such an ingredient it would help the living race in its entirety.
Most farmers want the best and the largest quantity of crops they can produce and at the cheapest route possible. When something is introduced to a farmer that cost more money, but has the same outcome of crops, then can be a little reluctant. Having to spend more money will decrease their profits. As with any new product, there are always improvements that will have to be made. Many tests will have to be preformed that will harm innocent animals and contribute to the increasing water population. In order to control the amount of pollution that fertilizers and such produce, it will have to come at a cost.
Farmers will have to be willing to try the new “environmentally friendly” product and that puts their earnings at risks. Most individuals in the agriculture industry are reluctant to risk such a loss. However, if such a product could be produced and available for use, it should be unlawful to use any other type of fertilizer and pesticide. In the end, having such a product will be worth the trial and error. It will help reduce the water population that affects everything and everyone. While so many illnesses are directly related to water contamination it will reduce this number drastically.
Aquatic animals will be lowered at risk. Many other animals that depend on water as part of their diet will not longer be at risk either. Drinking water for humans will be far less harmful as well. If such a product were to be introduced any other type would be considered illegal. As world increases in age, so many things have become extinct because of direct dangers related to pollution. If we could help the overall issue of pollution by simply directing concerns at the agriculture industry it will lessen the amount of pollution overall.
References Natural Resources Defense Council, retrieved April 12, 2008 http://www. nrdc. org/water/default. asp http://protectingwater. com/agriculture. html, Retrieved April 13, 2008 Chastain, John P. “Pollution Potential of Livestock Manure,” Minnesota/Wisconsin Engineering Notes, Winter 1995. Roth, James A. , et al. “An Integrated Immunological-GIS Approach for Bio-monitoring of Ecological Impacts of Swine Manure Pollutants in Streams” US Geological Survey (accessed August 14, 2006).