Hannah F.

Water Pollution

More people need to contribute to ending water pollution.

Dear Future President,

Everyday, animals are getting sick, washing up on beaches, and even dying because of our ignorance. Almost half of America’s water supply is polluted both freshwater and saltwater. Good luck finding clean water to swim in, let alone to drink. Aquatic animals are facing extinction faster than ever, and even land animals are being impacted when their water supply is polluted. Water pollution is a serious problem, and all people need to contribute to ending it once in for all.

The Earth is made up of about 70% water, however, only 3% of that is freshwater. Freshwater is what makes up nearly all of the world’s drinking water. If that gets polluted, the world will have little to no water left to drink, to shower, to wash dishes, to water lawns, to cook with, and the world will have no source of clean water. Some people think that water pollution is not a local issue and that the United States doesn’t have to worry about it. However, this is completely untrue. In the United States, 40% of rivers, 45% of lakes, and 88% of Earth’s ocean surface is polluted. This means that almost half of the U.S.’s drinking water is polluted, which will have a very grim outcome. Jon Devine and Nick Magrisso are experts that work with the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council), they put this issue into great words “Our rivers, lakes, aquifers, and coastal waters aren’t unlimited resources, that can handle whatever we take out or dump in. These waters need protection.” I completely agree with this statement, people seem to think that you can just leave that bag the sandwich that you ate on your trip to the beach was in, that it will just float away and not become a problem, oh how wrong they are. Nobody wants to drink water that bag (filled with decaying-plastic)was floating in, nor should they have to. This is why more funding should be given to organizations that will go out in the oceans, the rivers, and the lakes and clean up the messes we have made for ourselves. Also, more trash cans should be placed on waterfronts everywhere to discourage people just leaving garbage all over.

The water that is being tainted is not only our drinking water, it is the place where some organisms live. Everyday dead birds, crabs, fish, and dolphins and even whales show up on the beach, their death caused by pollutants in the water. The whole aquatic food chain is at risk. If animals keep dying, other organisms won’t have food to eat. For example, polar bears depend on seals for food. The seal population may slump if arctic cod, a crucial food supply for seals, wanes. Cod eat zooplankton, and zooplankton eat ice algae. If something happens to that ice algae, the whole intricate chain will crumble. Another concept that can affect the aquatic food chain is bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation refers to the build-up of chemical substances or nutrients in an organism. It occurs when an animal eats another animal or organism and preserves the pollutants that were inside its meal. Hindering water pollutants is crucial because if we don’t, they find their way into our entire food supply, from produce to meats and dairy products. We can limit the effects of water pollutants by taking precautions such as managing factories’ waste better than we are currently. Instead of dumping it into bodies of water we can take collect all of it and take it to a special facility to be taken care of. Also, we can work on making industries environmentally cleaner, which will limit the amount of waste created altogether.

Some people may say, “Sure, animals may be dying, but we can breed more in captivity”, or “That’s not a big enough reason to receive all this funding, we need it for other problems this country is facing.” However, diseases can actually be carried through a water supply and given to humans. Which proves that there is yet another reason that this issue affects both humans and animals widely. In 2014 lead was introduced to Flint, Michigan’s water supply. In January 2015, Flint officials announced to the community that water distributed to their homes contained high levels of trihalomethanes, the byproduct of a disinfectant used to treat the water. Drinking such infected water can cause liver, kidney, and nervous system problems. When exposed to lead through drinking water, some children developed low IQ, shortened attention span, and increases in violence and antisocial behavior may occur. (I know that sounds like an infomercial but it’s true.) It can negatively affect major organs of the body such as the reproductive organ. The effects are permanent.

Water pollution is a serious issue. Funding needs to be given to causes that will help take away the effects of the problem. Better ways to handle waste needs to be created. Everyone can do at least a little something to help stop water pollution. Whether it be something as small as taking a reusable water bottle to school or work, or as big as starting a society that will go out and do the things that need to be done, such doing a beach or park cleanup or informing the public about this unacceptable matter that is water pollution. Something needs to be done, and it all starts with you, our future president.