The most valuable natural resource on Earth is water. Water covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface; without this resource, life would not be possible. The dilemma is that only 1% of that water is drinkable. Glaciers and ice caps make up 2% and the remaining 97 % is undrinkable due to salt content. Protecting and conserving this valuable resource is a growing concern (“Emergency Water Purification”).
Water supply pollution is caused by point source and nonpoint sources. Point source pollution is when a harmful substance directly enters the water and nonpoint source pollution is indirectly delivered through environmental changes. Point source pollution would be pollution that enters the water from oil spills, oil rigs or tankers. Nonpoint source pollution is created when runoff from rainfall or snowmelt moves over the ground picking up and carrying away human-made pollutants and eventually being deposited into lakes, rivers, or other water ways ("What Is Nonpoint Source Pollution”). Water pollution is a global problem (“Water Pollution”).
Water pollution affects land, air, animal, plant and human life. Polluted water that flows over the land is contaminated on contact. Flooding is another way water pollution effects land. Effects of water pollution on land are determined by the type of pollutant that is introduced. Drainage from abandoned mines can introduce pollutants like arsenic and lead. These pollutants persist in the environment and do not breakdown and over time can increase to toxic levels, not only affecting the land but also plant and wildlife in the area. Pollution in the water is directly related to pollution in the air. Pollutants traveling in the air eventually come in contact with water, directly adding to the pollution of the water (“Water Pollution”).
Polluted water can lead to a host of health problems including birth defects in humans and animals, cancer and other infectious diseases. Point source and nonpoint source pollutants...