Our water is important, as we all well know. It provides us sustenance and lets us grow food. It gives us water to drink and provides the substance to remain clean with. It is essential to our lives, hugely vital. Without water, in fact, there would be no life. Unfortunately, however, the quality of water around the world is not created equal. Environmental engineering is in a constant battle to keep water clean and unpolluted, but environmental engineering alone is not always enough. Though environmental engineering has taken considerable steps towards ensuring clean water quality for all, it is not always a reality. Pollutants still sometimes make their way into our water supplies, and we need to come up with effective ways to remove them.
Groundwater makes up a considerable amount of usable water in the United States. A quarter of rainfall water accumulates into groundwater, as well as feeding into existing bodies of water such as streams and lakes. Residential wells can also be used to tap into existing groundwater, and around 500,000 new residential wells are built every year. In the United States alone, there are over 8,000 groundwater contacting firms and almost 20,000 drilling machines. Unfortunately, this vitally important water supply is being put at risk. Two thirds or more of bays and estuaries in the United States have been found to be polluted by nitrogen and phosphorous. Lakes in the United States aren’t much better off – almost half of all lakes in the United States alone have been found to have been significantly polluted. Almost half of all streams in the United States are polluted as well, and over 30% of bays are also significantly polluted.
Environmental engineering has discovered that much of this problem with pollution lies with pesticides. As Americans, we use over 2 billion pounds of pesticides every single year. Much of these pesticides, unfortunately, are eventually found in our lakes and rivers after they wash into them. In fact, over 70 different types of pesticides have been found in samples of groundwater that are regularly drunk around the country. Filtering can help to remove some of these contaminants, but not all water is adequately filtered.
Water is essential to life. Without water, we simply could not continue to exist. But our water sources like groundwater are being threatened. Pesticides are prevalent in lakes and rivers and other types of pollutants are also common. It is important to take steps to prevent this from happening, and to clean the water it has unfortunately already happened to.