Rachel Kang Northwood High School 10th Grade
Bodies of water have been contaminated by toxic chemicals and pesticides we release through human activities. A lot of industries expand harmful chemicals such as asbestos, lead, mercury, nitrates, sulphur, and many others. In Los Angeles County, about 100 million gallons of polluted debris and water travel through our drainage system each day. This contamination to the water and environment creates the potential negative effects pollution has, such as health risks due to diseases that spread, animal endangerment, and the degradation of our natural resources.
The exposure of salts has polluted the oceans, causing the urban water-treatment costs to increase and the productivity of farmland to reduce. Salinity affects crop production, interferes with nitrogen uptake, can stop plant production and reduce vegetation growth. A high amount of salinity can result in crop yield loss and affect the taste of drinking water. The repairment and management of public services that revolve around salinity also increase in cost.
Oiling spillage has a devastating effect on marine life since it can suffocate animals, cause cancer, behavioral changes, skin and eye irritation, failure in the reproductive system, and even death. This not only affects the individual organism, but the whole ecosystem itself because the overflow of pollution can interrupt life cycles. When oil is spilled onto the ocean surface, it is hard for plants who live in the water to absorb sunlight and go through the process of photosynthesis.
To improve our impact on freshwaters, Nationalgeographic proposed the idea that, “Green roofs [will] help prevent sewer overflows and help to catch stormwater and cool the environment.” Green roofs are roofs that contain vegetation and plants in order to create the evaporative cooling effect to absorb heat that may be released into the air and contribute to global warming. These roofs are more cost effective, last longer than regular roofs, and can filter out harmful pollutants.
As a result of the drought California has been in, the rivers and reservoirs we had relied on to help improve our water quality have instead lowered oxygen levels in streams and increased water temperatures. Consequently, fish species are in danger and are more likely to catch harmful conditions. However because of this drought, people have become more aware of the impact we have on water quality and have become more interested in projects involving reusing water sources.
<Rachel Kang Northwood High School 10th Grade