Pollution of water is a key worldwide problem that needs ongoing rating, as well as revision of policies of water resource at every level. It has been proposed that water pollution is the top global cause of diseases and deaths. It is also responsible for over 14,000 deaths daily. It has been reported that, in the United States, 47 percent of lake acres, 45 percent of stream miles, as well as 32 percent of estuarine and bays square miles were categorized as polluted(United States Environmental Protection Agency). It is, therefore, important that laws that protect this important resource should be enacted in order to enhance its conservation.
Water is usually contaminated with a number of chemical pollutants that could be organic or inorganic. Among the organic pollutants, include by-products of disinfection available in drinking water that is chemically disinfected, like the chloroform. Others are herbicides and insecticides, detergents, processing waste from food that can include oxygen-demanding materials, grease and fats.
Inorganic pollutants, on the other hand, include industrial discharges acidity, ammonia produced from food processing waste, industrial by-products, fertilizers among others. These pose a great risk to consumers.
Water conservation should be aimed at ensuring its availability to the future generations such that withdrawing water from an ecosystem must not be more than the replacement rate by nature. Conservation should also ensure conservation of energy such that pumping of water, transportation, as well as wastewater treatment plants should use significant energy amount. Another objective during conservation of water should be habitat conservation. This can be through reducing the use of water by human beings in order to preserve habitats of fresh water for local wildlife as well as migrating waterfowl. Reduction of consumption of water per capita should also be an objective.
Water conservation involves initiating water conservation programs at the local level, through either regional governments or municipal water utilities. Common schemes include tiered water rates, public outreach campaigns, prohibition of outdoor use of water like watering the lawn and washing cars. Cities that are located in dry climates frequently need or encourage the setting up of xeriscaping or natural landscaping in new residences to decrease outdoor usage of water.
One basic conservation objective is worldwide metering. The occurrence of residential water metering differs considerably all over the world. It has been estimated that supplies of water are metered in below 30% of households in UK, and around 61% of urban Canadian homes (Environment Canada). By metering only, water consumption can be lowered by 20 to 40 percent. On top of increasing awareness of water use by the consumer, metering is also a significant way to identify as well as localize leakage of water. This would help society and enhance the competence of the whole water system, and assist needless expenses for people in the future (Environment Canada). A number of researchers have proposed that efforts of water conservation should be principally directed at farmers because crop irrigation is responsible for 70% of the global fresh water use (David, Bonnie and David).
David, Pimentel, et al. “Water resources: agricultural and environmental issues.” BioScience 54.10 (2004): 909.
Environment Canada. “Municipal Water Use, 2001 Statistics.” 2005.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. The National Water Quality Inventory: Report to Congress for the 2002 Reporting Cycle – A Profile. Washington, DC, 2007.