Essay Title

Water! Nourishing My life’s Journey

In today’s world, nearly two billion people, approximately 25% of the global population, lack access to clean drinking water. This problem is particularly prevalent in underdeveloped countries where water supply systems are inadequately constructed. The consequences of this issue extend beyond human lives, posing a threat to the underwater ecosystem and its animal inhabitants.

 

The effects of inadequate water sanitation are profound, affecting both human and animal lives. Poor water quality at beaches exposes people to an increased risk of skin diseases and various illnesses. Studies have shown that exposure to contaminated waters can lead to gastrointestinal and respiratory ailments, ear infections, and skin rashes. Approximately 16.3% of beachgoers reported experiencing new health issues after visiting contaminated beaches. Windsurfers exposed to polluted water are more likely to develop symptoms such as gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, otitis, and skin infections. Consequently, the rise in medical consultations places a burden on healthcare systems, diverting resources from other areas of society and impacting the overall economy.

 

Chemical pollution in seas and rivers causes the death of aquatic animals and plants. Fish die-offs occur primarily due to water contamination with toxic substances and chemicals, particularly in countries with inadequate environmental safeguards. For instance, the release of wastewater contaminated with acidic effluent and aluminum by the mining company Rio Tinto into the Mandromondromotra River last year resulted in thousands of dead fish washing up on the shores of interconnected lakes, devastating local communities that rely on fishing for their survival. As a result, unpolluted seafood becomes scarce and expensive, making it unaffordable for many individuals.

Living in Taipa and attending school in Macau, I am personally confronted with the impact of these water problems. During my daily commute across the bridge, with the windows open, I am greeted by an unpleasant odor emanating from the sea.

 

Addressing these challenges presents a significant task for governments worldwide. Underdeveloped nations must prioritize increasing water-use efficiency across cities and regions to ensure sustainable withdrawal and supply of freshwater, effectively combating water scarcity. Additionally, governments should establish stringent regulations to prevent dumping and minimize the release of hazardous chemicals. This will enable the safe treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater, ultimately improving the quality of seawater. By implementing these measures, the lives of aquatic animals will be protected, and the availability of safe seafood for consumption will be ensured.

 

In conclusion, the lack of access to clean drinking water affects a significant portion of the global population, with severe implications for both human and animal lives. However, through measures such as enhancing water-use efficiency and implementing strict regulations, governments can work towards resolving these issues, providing clean water to those in need, and safeguarding the underwater ecosystem for future generations.

References

Nielsen, M. C., & Jiang, S. C. (2019a, August). Alterations of the human skin microbiome after ocean water exposure. Marine pollution bulletin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061468/ 

McKenzie, P. (2023, July 12). What is a fish kill, and why are they happening more often?. Science. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/fish-kills-explained 

Photo Reference

Photo by Nitin Sharma: https://www.pexels.com/photo/water-pouring-on-pipe-2837863/

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