Water covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, but unfortunately, much of it is not fit to drink. That leaves nearly 150 million people, about 2,5 percent of the Earth’s population, without access to clean water.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Though some people lack access to clean water due to their locations and a lack of infrastructure to get it to them, most could have clean water, if only we took better care of it. Here are some ways that people can help reduce water pollution.
One of the best ways to reduce water pollution is to not put anything down your drains that shouldn’t go there or that might be harmful to people and animals. This includes things like oil and paint, as well as certain kinds of medicines, especially antibiotics.
Another easy way to help reduce water pollution is to be very diligent about what types of fertilizers and pesticides you put on your lawns and plants. Look for ones that are environmentally friendly and try to make sure you don’t apply them right before a rain or before you water your lawn, because that can increase runoff.
When you are around bodies of water, you should follow the same general rules. Don’t use the water as a garbage disposal and also don’t use it as a bathroom. Water polluted by human waste because of poor sanitation is one of the leading causes of illness in developing countries, with about 80 percent of all illness linked back to poor water conditions.
On a larger scale, you can participate in campaigns that try to strengthen water regulations that govern farm and industrial use of water. In developed countries such as the U.S., these often are the main causes of water pollution. Through the ages, there have been horror stories about rivers catching fire or their being clusters of kids with cancer because of chemicals dumped in the water. There also have been studies showing that large swaths of the U.S. Midwest has water with high levels of nitrates due to runoff from fertilizers and animal waste.
Clean water should be a concern for everyone, so help do your part.