Drinking Water Quality and How Expanding Arbitration is Affecting It
“l never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes”, W. C. Fields. Now this quote may seem funny now, but the fact that many people are afraid to drink water due to fears of getting sick is no laughing matter. It’s important for individuals to be aware of what they are putting in their bodies and educate themselves on water quality, especially in their area. One factor in particular that seems to have a drastic effect on water quality is the increase of arbitration in areas surrounded by water.
This paper will explore the effects of expanding arbitration on drinking water quality. Some background information will also be provided, as well as current work being done to improve drinking water quality and future endeavors. Background Knowledge Before this discussion can proceed, a little background information must be given for better understanding. What exactly is the significance of water quality? According to the National Marine Sanctuaries, “water quality describes the condition of the water, including chemical, physical, and illogical characteristics, usually with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose” (2011).
In this case, drinking water quality gives an idea of how safe water is for consumption. Water is an important aspect to the sustainability of living organisms, and humans, especially, cannot survive very long without freshwater, or “water that is relatively pure and contains few dissolved salts” (Miller ; Espanola, 201 3), to drink. However, freshwater is a resource that isn’t readily available to everyone. Even though the majority of Earth’s surface area is covered off with water, only about 0. 4% is readily available from ground water deposits, lakes, rivers, and streams (Miller ; Espanola, 2013). And unfortunately, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 3,900 children under the age of 5 die every day from infectious diseases due to not having access to safe drinking water (Miller ; Espanola, 2013). The Clean Water Act was implemented in 1972 as a solution this issue. The Clean Water Act “made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained” (Summary of the Clean Water Act, 2014).
A point source is a single source that discharges pollutants into bodies of water at specific locations through drain pipes (Miller ; Espanola, 2013). Still, the issue of contamination to freshwater systems seems to be getting worse each year. Ironically, arbitration has increased dramatically within the past decade. Lees explore the connection between these two. Arbitration’s Effect Merriam-Webster describes arbitration as “the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more and more people begin living and working in central areas” (2014).
People shouldn’t get the wrong idea about arbitration; it can be something very positive. Arbitration helps the economy, residents of urban areas tend to live longer and have finer quality lives, and better access to various kinds of services. Arbitration can also help preserve biodiversity (Miller ; Espanola, 2013). Nonetheless, it seems that the negatives o;sigh the positives. As reported by Miller and Espanola, urban areas have higher levels of pollution because it is produced in a smaller area, which can’t be dispersed and diluted as readily as pollution reduced in rural areas can (2013).
The same publication points out that even though urban populations occupy only 2% of the Earth’s land area, they consume 75% of the resources and produce 75% of the world’s pollution and wastes [talk about a litter bug]. This large amount of pollution is deteriorating the quality of freshwater in the world. The hydrological cycle is the movement of water in aquatic systems, in the air, and on land, which continually collects, purifies, recycles, and distributes the world’s freshwater supply (Miller ; Espanola, 2013).
An overload of pollution causes this cycle to not work as well as it should. A study done by Copal, Medium, Murphy, and Path reveals that increasing arbitration “has caused microbial as well as physiochemical contamination of natural water sources” (2012). They go on to say “most of the cities located on the banks of the [Commit River] use raw water from the river for drinking water supply and also discharge the untreated/ treated municipal sewage into it”, which is the major source of water-borne diseases.
It’s no wonder that countless amounts of people worldwide die from contaminated water. Although the Clean Water Act is still in effect, a 2010 New York Times study reports that about 45% of the United State’s largest water polluters have expressed that the Clean Water Act no longer applies to the waters that they are polluting, even though one out of three Americans use these sources for drinking water (Miller ; Espanola, 2013). And while the Clean Water Act “regulates” point source pollution, it does not address nonprofit sources. Nonprofit sources are broad and diffuse areas from which pollutants enter bodies of surface water’, such as urban streets runoff (Miller & Espanola, 2013). Unfortunately, since mopping sources are broader, it’s difficult to control the pollutants that enter into the freshwater. Specifically, Miami Dade County source of freshwater comes from the well water withdrawn from the Biscayne Aquifer (WAS, 2013). Because of the dramatic increase of urban development in Broad County and the northern part of Miami-Dade County, surface water quality has been significantly impacted. In many of the coastal areas in the region, the infrastructure to convey storm water and sewage is outdated. Storm water runoff from intensively developed properties and roadways, hydrological edification, and pollution from septic systems pose the greatest threats to water quality in the Biscayne Bay” (Learn About Your Watershed, 2014). With all the negative impacts on freshwater systems, one may wonder ‘is there anything being done to help the quality of drinking water? This idea Will be explored next.
Current and Future Work After much extensive research, it’s unfortunate that there seems to not be much currently being done to decrease pollution to freshwater and improve drinking water quality. Anything that is being done should follow the guidelines of the Precautionary Principle. According to this principle, when there is evidence that something is harmful to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken to prevent or reduce the effects of harm from occurring (Miller & Espanola, 2013).
The EPA is proposing revisions to the 1989 Total Chloroform Rule CTR], which will improve public health. These new revisions will require systems that have an “indication of chloroform contamination in the distribution system to assess the problem and take corrective action that may reduce cases of illnesses and deaths due to potential fecal contamination and waterborne pathogen exposure” (Safe Drinking Water Act, 2012).
As a way to combat the pollution to the Biscayne Bay Watershed, “the South Florida Water Management District (SOFAS), and local governmental, scientific, educational, and citizen organizations are working to develop strategies for protecting and restoring water quality and quantity in the Biscayne Bay-southeastern Coast Basins” (Learn About Your Watershed, 2014). In more developed areas, drinking water is stored in a reservoir, and then pumped into a purification plant, where it is treated (Miller & Espanola, 2013).
However, in the same publication it was rough out that it would be cheaper if water sheds were just protected from pollutants, rather than having to build purification plants. In order for those in less developed countries to have access to pure water, the Lifestyle was invented, which is a portable water filter that rids of any viruses and parasites from the water that it was drawn through (Miller & Espanola, 2013). Each individual can do something on their own to help improve drinking water quality as well.
Conclusion With knowledge comes the power to implement change. Even though there are things currently being done and in the works to being done on a larger call, everyone has the ability to take matters into their own hands to ensure that this situation improves. Each person can monitor their cars for oil leakage, which would significantly decrease the amount of pollutants in runoff from roads. One should also examine their septic tank free intently to ensure that there is no build up.
Mohamed II-Asher, a water resource expert, reveals that 50% of the freshwater used in the United States is unnecessarily wasted (Miller & Espanola, 2013). He estimates that “it is economically and technically feasible to reduce freshwater waste to 15%, thereby meeting most Of the world’s freshwater needs for the foreseeable future. ” If everyone Stops the unnecessary usage of fresh water systems and checks for water leaks in their home, then there could be enough for others in the future.