Water pollution is one of the biggest problems the world is struggling with today. With the increase in population, industrialisation and agricultural activities, water pollution has reached unprecedented levels. In fact, access to safe water globally is in a crisis stage.
Apart from animals and humans, plants are also hugely affected by water pollution. In some cases, the water is so polluted that even plants cannot survive it. Fortunately, there are several things that we can do to improve the situation. But first, what is water pollution.
When Do We Say Water is Polluted?
Water pollution is the pollution of water bodies such as underground water, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. It happens when pollutants reach these bodies untreated. Most of the pollutants come from homes in the form of raw sewerage, industrial effluent, and farming chemical, amongst others. When these components get into the water, they not only make the water dangerous for human use but also plant use.
How Water Pollution Affects Trees and Plants
The rarely discussed issue is how water pollution is adversely affecting plants. One of the biggest problems caused by polluted water is acid rains. If the ocean, sea, or lake has acidic water more than normal, it affects the acidity of the rain in areas surrounding them. Such rains damage plant leaves and bark and eventually killing it. So, it destabilises the ecosystem by removing trees and plants that would be absorbing carbon gases.
Chlorosis or yellowing of leaves is another problem caused by polluted water. It is mostly caused by acidic water. Yellowing affects photosynthesis, and it eventually kills the plant. Farming chemicals and other toxic chemicals affect the pH of water and soil. When pH is messed up, it affects the solubility of nutrients. The result is weak plants that can’t help the ecosystem as expect. These are ways water pollution is contributing to climate change by killing trees and plants that absorb carbon dioxide.
How to Decrease Water Pollution
There are several ways we can reduce water pollution and reverse the effect it has on trees and other plants. Most of them require us to change our lifestyles. Here are the best ways to reduce water pollution.
Stop Disposing Toxic Chemical Recklessly
Some of the chemicals that end polluting water include cleaners, solvents, herbicides, and pesticides, amongst others. Most of these chemicals find their way into the water due to reckless disposal. If you have a hazardous waste collection, then you need to dispose of chemicals into it instead of putting then together with the rest of the household trash. If there is a local chemical recycler, take them there to help reduce water pollution. With that, you will also promote the growth of healthy trees and other plants.
Maintain Your Machinery
When your machinery’s engines are not properly maintained, they are likely to leak oil and petroleum. The two, amongst other pollutants to do not dissolve water, and thus, they end up polluting the water. If this water comes in contact with plants, especially the leaves, they will block the pores. So, no gaseous exchange and photosynthesis will take place. Eventually, the plants will die, and that is environmental degradation. That is why it is important to ensure that your machinery is in good working order to avoid water pollution.
Use Green Detergent
When you use chemical-laden detergents, some of these chemicals, if not all of them will find their way into the water. But if you go for the green options, then no dangerous chemicals that pollute the water. That’s how you save nature by ensuring that plant growth is not affected by harmful chemicals.
Instead of using synthetic fertilisers that end up polluting the water, you should start composting. What you need is a container where you can put all organic trash to decompose. In a few days, the garbage will turn into a fantastic natural fertiliser. You can use it for farming instead of buying the synthetic one that is laden with dangerous chemicals.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Commercial animal farming is one of the most significant contributors to water pollution. This type of farming produces a lot of waste, with most of it, finding its way into the water. If we reduce meat consumption, we will help to cut the supply. The result will be a reduced commercial animal farming. That’s another way that we can help reduce water pollution at the individual level.
Stop Flushing Medicine
Most people have a habit of flushing medicines that they do not need down the drain. What you may not know is that pharmaceuticals have chemicals that can destroy plants. Therefore, we should stop flushing antibiotics, birth control pills and so on down the drain.
Water pollution is increased by the demand created by us for certain products. Our daily life also plays an important role. If we can change how we do things, we can make a big difference in reducing water pollution.