Essay on Water Pollution

Essay on Water Pollution for class 6,7,8,9,10,11,12 in english. Water Pollution Essay in 200 words, 300 words, 400 words, 500 words, 600 words. Short Essay, Long Essay on Water Pollution.

Questios asked in examination on Essay On Water Pollution

  1. Write an Essay On Water Pollution ?
  2. Write short Essay On Water Pollution in 200 words ?
  3. Write long Essay On Water Pollution in 400 words ?
  4. Write an Essay On Water Pollution in 300 words ?
  5. Write an Essay On Water Pollution in 500 words ?
  6. Write an Essay On Water Pollution in 600 words ?

Water Pollution Essay

Water pollution refers to the mixing of contaminants or pollutants in to the water bodies (sea, lakes, rivers, oceans, groundwater, etc) through direct or indirect discharges causes environmental degradation and affects whole biosphere (human beings, animals, plants and organisms living in water).


Water pollution is the main issue affecting human lives in many ways. We all should know the causes, effects and preventive measures of the water pollution to make our lives better. Let your kids participate in some creative activities in their schools and colleges to increase awareness about the water pollution in the society. Here we have provided some easily written essay on water pollution for students. They can select any water pollution essay according to the need and requirement:


Water pollution has become a continuous increasing problem on the earth which is affecting the human and animal lives in all aspects. Water pollution is the contamination of drinking water by the poisonous pollutants generated by the human activities. The whole water is getting polluted through many sources such as urban runoff, agricultural, industrial, sedimentary, leeching from landfills, animal wastes, and other human activities.

All the pollutants are very harmful to the environment. Human population is increasing day by day and thus their needs and competition leading pollution to the top level. We need to follow some drastic changes in our habits to save the earth water as well as continue the possibility of life here.


Water pollution is the most dangerous and worst form of pollution putting lives in danger. The water we drink daily looks very clear however contains verities of microscopic pollutants floating in it. Our earth is covered with water (almost 70% of total) so a little change in it could affect lives worldwide.

The highest level of water pollution is caused by the pollutants come from agriculture field because of the high use of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides to enhance the production of crops. We need to bring vast improvements in the type of chemicals we use in the agriculture. Oil is another big pollutant polluting the water. Leaked oil from the land or rivers, oil transport through ships, ship crashes, etc flows to the sea or ocean and affecting whole water. Other hydrocarbon particles get settled down through rain water from air to ocean or sea water. Other toxic wastes through leakage of landfills, old mines, dumps, sewage, industrial wastes, and farms get mixed to the water.


The level of fresh drinking water is becoming less day by day on the earth. There is a limited availability of drinking water on the earth however that too is getting polluted because of human activities. It is tough to estimate the possibility of life on the earth in the absence of fresh drinking water. Water pollution is the mixing of foreign substances by means of organic, inorganic, biological and radiological in the water degrading the quality and usefulness of water.

Hazardous pollutants may contain various types of impurities including harmful chemicals, dissolved gases, suspended matters, dissolved minerals, and even microbes. All the contaminants reduce the level of dissolved oxygen in the water and affecting the lives of animals and human beings to a great extent. Dissolved oxygen is the oxygen present in water required by the aquatic system to continue the lives of plants and animals. However biochemical oxygen is the demanded oxygen by the aerobic micro-organisms to oxidize organic matters of wastes.

Water pollution is caused by two means, one is natural water pollution (due to the leaching of rocks, decay of organic matters, decay of dead matters, silting, soil erosion, etc) and another one is man-made water pollution (due to the deforestation, set up of industries near large water bodies, high level emission of industrial wastes, domestic sewage, synthetic chemicals, radio-active wastes, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides etc).


Fresh water is the most important source of life on the earth. Any living thing may survive without food for days however it is impossible to imagine life without water and oxygen. The ever increasing human population enhances the demand of more water for purposes like drinking, washing, performing industrial processes, irrigating crops, arranging swimming pools and other water-sports centres. Water pollution is done by the people of all over the world because of increasing demands and competitions of luxuries life. Waste products from many human activities are spoiling the whole water and decreasing the amount of oxygen available in the water. Such pollutants are altering the physical, chemical, thermal, and biological characteristics of the water and adversely affecting the lives inside as well as outside the water.

When we drink the polluted water, harmful chemicals and other pollutants goes inside our body and deteriorates all the body organs functioning and puts our lives in danger. Such harmful chemicals also disturb the lives of animals and plants greatly. When plants absorb dirty water through their roots, they stop growing and die. Thousands of seabirds are killing because of the oil spilling from ships and industries. High level of water pollution is done due to the chemicals coming out of the agricultural usage of fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. The effect of water pollution varies from place to place upon the type and amount of water contamination. The degradation of drinking water needs an urgent basis prevention method which is possible by the proper understanding and support from the end of each and every person living on the earth.


Water is the most important need of the life on the earth. It makes possible the possibility of any forms of life here and their existence. It maintains the ecological balance in the biosphere. Clean water is very necessary for fulfilling the purpose of drinking, bathing, washing, power generation, irrigation of crops, disposal of sewage, manufacturing processes and many more. Increasing human population causes rapid industrialization and unplanned urbanization which are releasing lots wastes into the small and large water bodies which ultimately degrades the quality of water. The mixing of such pollutants directly and continuously into the water bodies decreases the self purifying capacity of the water by declining the ozone (which kills harmful microorganisms) available in the water.

Contamination of water deteriorates the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of the water which is very harmful to the human beings, animals and plants all over the world. Most of the important animals and plants species have been lost because of the water contamination. It is a global issue affecting the lives in both developed and developing countries. Whole water is getting polluted to a great level because mining, agriculture, fisheries, stockbreeding, various industries, urban human activities, urbanization, increasing number of manufacturing industries, domestic sewage, etc.

There are many sources of the water pollution (point source and nonpoint or diffused source) depending on the specificity of waste materials discharged from various sources. Point sources includes pipelines, ditches, sewers, etc from industries, sewage treatment plants, landfills, hazardous waste sites, leakage from oil storage tanks which discharges wastes directly into the water bodies. Diffused sources of the water pollution are agricultural fields, live-stock feed lots, parking lot and streets into surface water, storm runoff from urban streets, etc which pours their discharged pollutants over the larger areas water bodies. Non-point source pollution contributes highly to the water pollution which is very difficult and expensive to control.


Water pollution is the big environmental and social issue all across the world. It has reached to the critical point now. According to the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, it has been noted that around 70 per cent of the river water has been polluted to a great extent. Major river systems of the India such as Ganga, Brahmaputra, Indus, peninsular, and west coast river systems have been affected to a great extent.

Major rivers in India especially Ganga is highly associated with the Indian culture and heritage. People generally used to take early morning bath and use Ganga Jal as an offering to the God and Goddess during any festival and fast occasion. They also discharge all the wastes of puja ceremony in the Ganga in the myth of completing their puja.

Discharging of wastes in the rivers causes water pollution by decreasing the self recycling capacity of the water so it should be banned by the government in all countries especially India in order to keep the river water clean and fresh. The condition of water pollution is much worse in the India than other countries having high level of industrialization.

As per the report of Central Pollution Control Board, Ganga is the most polluted river in India now which was very famous earlier for its flexibility of self purifying capacity and fast-flowing river. Around 45 tanneries and 10 textile mills are discharging their wastes (containing heavy organic load and decomposed materials) directly into the river near Kanpur. According to the estimates, approximately 1,400 million litres sewage and 200 million litres industrial effluents are getting discharged continuously on daily basis into the river Ganga.

Other main industries causing water pollution are sugar mills, distillery, glycerine, tin, paints, soap spinning, rayon, silk, yarn, etc which are discharging poisonous wastes. In 1984, a Central Ganga Authority was established by the government to start the Ganga Action Plan in order to control the Ganga water pollution. According to this plan around 120 factories were identified in 27 cities spreading pollution to a great extent from Haridwar to Hooghly.

Gomati river near Lucknow is receiving wastes of around 19.84 million gallons from the factories of pulp, paper, distillery, sugar, tannery, textile, cement, heavy chemicals, paints and varnishes etc. The condition has become more deteriorating in the last four decades. In order to prevent the water pollution all the industries should follow standard norms, strict laws should be enforced by the Pollution Control Board, arrangement of proper sewage disposal facilities, establishment of sewage and water treatment plant, arrangement of sulabh type toilets and may more.


Water Pollution – Meaning

Water Pollution happens when pollutants generated due to various human activities, make their way into the water bodies and natural water resources. Toxic chemical byproducts from factories or pollutants due to human littering get washed away by wind and rain and pollute the rivers, canals, lakes, ponds etc. Pollutants also get absorbed by the soil and contaminate the ground water resources. The water thus polluted is rendered useless and harmful for consumption.

Waterborne diseases resulting from consumption or application of contaminated water, is the leading cause of deaths and hospitalization, globally. Even indirect consumption of contaminated water may cause serious ailments like cancer. For example, eating the fishes those have been living in contaminated waters, since years, may cause heart diseases, cancer and other serious ailments.

Types of Water Pollution

The various types of water pollution, distinguished, based on their source, are given below. Each type of water pollution has different effects on water owing to the difference in pollutants. Various types of water pollution and their effects are discussed in detail below.

1) Surface Water Pollution

Surface water is the water found on the surface of earth, such as rivers, lakes, spring etc. The pollution of water present at the earth’s surface is called “Surface Water Pollution”. Surface water pollution can have various causes like – direct release of chemical waste from factories, littering of waste by human settlements etc.

2) Nutrient Pollution

Nutrient Pollution is caused by the excessive inclusion of nutrients in water bodies. It leads to a condition called Eutrophication, in which a water body has excessive growth of algae, due to over enrichment of minerals and nutrients. Some of the significant causes of Nutrient Pollution are synthetic fertilizers, fossil fuels, excessive use of manure etc.

3) Marine Pollution

Marine Pollution occurs when pollutants from the factories and other human activities or the residential wastes from human settlements, reach the water bodies like rivers, oceans etc. Such contamination of water has various implications on the marine life, ultimately resulting in its depletion.

4) Microorganism Pollution

Water bodies already have some quantity of microorganism present, which consists of both aerobic and anaerobic organisms. When more biodegradable waste reaches the water, it causes more growth of microorganisms. These microorganisms use the oxygen present in water, resulting in a depleted level of oxygen and ultimately depleting the aquatic life.

5) Pesticide Pollution

Use of pesticides in agriculture industry for the purpose of controlling weeds and pests; results in pesticide pollution of the water bodies. These pesticides get washed down into the water bodies by rain or get soaked into the surface and reach underground water, polluting them and rendering them harmful to consumption.


Water Pollution is a severe health concern faced by several countries the world over. Even some of the most developed nations like United States are not safe from the effects of water pollution. Tough, the situation is worst in underdeveloped countries followed by the developed countries. Poor sanitary conditions, absence of adequate medical facilities and low public awareness about health issues are some of the main cause of water pollution and the diseases caused by it. The solution to water pollution lies in a multi dimensional approach directed towards eliminating various causes of water pollution.



Water Pollution is one of the major issues of the world which has been in existence for quite some time now. Although, there have been various initiatives and steps taken to prevent water pollution but it still remains as one of the greatest concern for the global population. Water pollution could be categorized in various types and the sources of the water pollution are many which are heavily affecting the life of human beings and as well as other species.

Types of Water Pollution

There are various types of water pollution which are caused due to variety of pollutants getting mixed in clean water. The major types of water pollution which are very common are given below –

  • Surface Water Pollution

Surface Water Pollution is the most common type of water pollution. Nowadays it is a very common sighting of floating garbage, plastic bottles and polythene bags etc in lakes, ponds, rivers and water bodies. These things not only makes the water contaminated but it also affects the aquatic creatures living in these water bodies. It also gives birth to various fatal diseases like Diarrhea, Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery, worm and mosquito borne diseases etc.

  • Marine Water Pollution

Marine Pollution is the pollution of seas and oceans due to industrial and urban waste disposal, oil spills from ships, marine debris etc. Marine pollution affects the marine species by posing a threat to their survival or inducing a negative hormonal change in their body.

  • Ground Water Pollution

Ground Water Pollution occurs when the ground water at a specific area gets contaminated due to natural or man-made causes. Natural occurring substances like Arsenic or Fluoride gets mixed with the groundwater making it toxic. Septic tanks, pesticides and fertilizers also add up to groundwater pollution.

  • Nutrient Water Pollution

Disposal of industrial waste containing nitrates and phosphate and running away of fertilizers from an agricultural land to nearby water bodies makes the water enriched with minerals and nutrients thus inducing the excessive growth of ‘algae’. This depletes the oxygen content of water affecting the aquatic species leading to the imbalance in the biodiversity of a place.

Sources of Water Pollution

The pollutants which pollute and contaminate the water come from various sources. It could be majorly categorized as Direct and Indirect Sources.

  • Direct Sources

Direct sources include the Urban Sewage System, Industrial Waste Disposal, discharges from refineries, waste treatments plants, Oil Spills in oceans etc. These sources of water pollution are identifiable and they directly pollute the water bodies. These are also a major cause of water pollution across the globe.

  • Indirect Sources

Indirect sources of water pollution are fertilizers, pesticides, chemical dump, septic tanks etc. These pollutants are absorbed through the soil via rain water and reach the aquifer contaminating the groundwater sources. It might also flow to a nearby water bodies and pollute the surface water. The presence of chemical elements like Arsenic in the Earth’s crust might also contaminate the ground water making it unsuitable for drinking.


Water is vital source of life after air and if it gets polluted it will challenge the existence of the life on this planet. It is already known that only 1% of water available on earth is suitable for drinking and if the water pollution rate keeps on increasing then the day is not very far when the scarcity of water will challenge our existence. The prediction that the third world war would be fought for water might also become true. Hence it is important that we should save every drop of water and avoid polluting it and make it available for our future generations.



Water Pollution refers to the contamination of natural water resources by harmful and toxic compounds, primarily due to various human activities. Introduction of toxic substances into the water bodies, render the water harmful to consumption by humans, animals and the aquatic life. When allowed to progress, water pollution has long lasting and unwanted effects on the ecology of a place. It results in depletion of species, loss of bio-diversity, loss of habitation among various other complications. In the further essay we will discuss causes and effects of water pollution.

Causes of Water Pollution

There are various causes of water pollution and almost all of them are human induced, that is, they are caused by human activities like – industrialization, deforestation, garbage littering, and use of chemicals for agricultural purposes etc. Below, we will discuss the major human induced factors responsible for water pollution.

1) Sewage Discharge

Uncontrolled and continuous discharge of sewage water into the water bodies is the main cause of water pollution around human settlements. Sewage discharge contains water used in our sinks, toilets and other household activities, mixed with industrial wastes. It contains various chemicals and solid pollutants charcoal, mercury, plastic, glass etc. from different sources. This untreated sewage dumped into the water bodies render the water harmful for humans as well as aquatic species.

2) Littering

Littering is one of the main causes behind the pollution of our water bodies. People tend to throw their household waste onto the road, which due to poor waste management, ultimately reaches the rivers, lakes and other water bodies through wind and rain. Household waste mainly contains non biodegradable materials like plastic wrappers, polythene and glass etc. Also, people visiting riverside or lakes for recreational purposes, litter chips packets, water bottles etc on ground, which ultimately find its way into the water body.

3) Industrial Waste

Industrial waste includes the waste generated by the manufacturing industry and other industrial processes. It may contains various pollutants depending on the industries, like – gravel, sand, concrete, dirt, garbage from mess and kitchens, oil, metals etc. Industrial wastes like varnish, paints, metals like mercury and lead, could be severely harmful and come under the category of hazardous wastes.

4) Agricultural Pollutants

Agriculture industry is regarded as the prime polluter of water bodies around the world. Agriculture pollutants contain chemical fertilizers, pesticides and waste from livestock, which gets washed down with rain into the rivers and lakes. Industrial waste is rich in pathogens, viruses and bacteria, thus contaminating the water and making it harmful to use. Also, high quantity of nutrients from agri waste results in excessive algae formation in the water bodies.

6) Radioactive Water Pollution

Radioactive pollution of water is caused by the industries or educational institutions dealing with radioactive materials for commercial, educational or research purposes. Radioactive substances can stay in water for thousands of years and pose a serious health hazards to humans, animals and aquatic life. Also, the accidental spillage of radioactive substances or testing of radioactive weapons poses a threat of radioactive pollution.

Effects of Water Pollution

Water pollution has an adverse effect on the ecological balance of a place and results in species depletion and habitat destruction. It also adversely affects the health of humans causing some serious ailments with lifelong complications. Below, we will discuss some of the most prominent effects of water pollution.

1) Disease and Sickness

Water pollution poses a threat of several water borne diseases like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery etc. Chemical pollutants like mercury, pesticides and others, may lead to more serious medical conditions like mercury poisoning and other cardio vascular or respiratory ailments.

2) Depletion of Water Resources

Water pollution results in depletion of natural water resources making freshwater more scarce. Water from contaminated lakes, rivers and ponds can’t be consumed by humans for drinking and cooking purposes.

3) Loss of Aquatic Life

Water pollution results in loss of aquatic life due to various reasons. Solid as well as chemical pollutants pose a serious threat to the fishes and other aquatic species. Also, some pollutants contain microorganism, ultimately resulting in low oxygen content of the water as the microorganisms consume oxygen. This phenomenon deprives the aquatic life, of the much essential oxygen, ultimately resulting in the loss of species.

4) Loss of Biodiversity

All the living species – animals, humans, trees, plants, fishes, reptiles, birds etc around a place, up to a large extent, depend on available fresh water resources for their survival. It could be said that the biological diversity at a place depends on its water resource. On the other hand contamination of the only fresh water resource around an area will cause loss of habitat and biodiversity.

5) Loss of Environment

Pollution of water causes loss of habitation, depletion of species, biodiversity loss along with various other derogatory effects. These all effects when combined together ultimately result in environmental loss, which further results in severe conditions like global warming, climate change and acid rain etc.


Water pollution not only poses a threat to human health but also to the health of environment as well. If the situation is allowed to continue like this, the day isn’t far when we will be left with no water to drink, cook food or other useful purposes. It must be known that, though over 70% of earth is covered in water, the fresh water constitutes only 1% of it. Therefore, it is high time to take global initiatives towards preventing further loss of water resources due to pollution.



Water Pollution has become a severe threat in most of the countries across the globe. It is one of the issues which has started giving sleepless nights to the environmentalists in the world. It is already understood that water is one of the essential component for all life forms but still water pollution has become a serious ecological threats in recent times.

What is the Meaning of Water Pollution?

The mixing of pollutants like chemicals, garbage, pathogens, livestock waste etc into fresh water leading to its degradation is termed as Water Pollution. Industrial and household waste, chemicals from factories, run-off fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural land etc highly affects the quality of water making it toxic for human consumption and use. It also results in fatal diseases and epidemics causing loss of lives.

What are the Various Types of Water Pollution?

Water Pollution could be of various types depending on the pollutants and the location affected. Surface pollution, groundwater pollution, marine pollution etc are certain major types of water pollution based on location. Based on the pollutants, water pollution could also be categorized as Organic and Chemical based pollution.

  • Organic Water Pollution

Organic Water Pollution is caused due to the presence of microorganism like viruses and bacteria. The household sewage, animals and vegetable waste etc cause this type of water pollution.

  • Chemical Water Pollution

Chemical Water Pollution is caused due the industrial disposal system which contains nitrates, phosphates, pesticides, drugs, acids etc. These chemicals make the water toxic and create havoc for the aquatic animals. E.g. – Nutrient Pollution

  • Marine Pollution

Marine Pollution is the type of water pollution which is majorly caused due to Oil Spills from ships, sinking of ships or oil tanks etc in seas or oceans. The waste discharge from factories to seas and oceans also adds up to this type of pollution.

  • Ground Water Pollution

Ground Water pollution could be caused due to natural as well as man-made reasons. The presence of certain substances in earth like Arsenic and Fluoride can react with water making it toxic. Landfills using polythene and plastic as well as fertilizers or pesticides used in agriculture can gradually reach aquifers and contaminate the ground water.

  • Surface Water Pollution

Surface water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds etc gets polluted due to the human waste disposal, plastic dumps, sewage etc. Disposing of trash, garbage, oils etc also causes this type of pollution.

What are the Causes of Water Pollution?

The side effects of urbanization and industrialization have lead to causing severe water pollution in modern era. The household sewage, industrial disposal system, garbage dump, polythene, fertilizers, drugs etc have polluted a large portion of water present on earth. Major causes of water pollution are listed below –

  • Household Sewage

The sewage and waste water from household are mostly drained into rivers and local water bodies without any treatment. As per an UN report, 80% of waste water is drained off in environment without any treatment. This pollutes the water making it unsuitable for human consumption and use.

  • Industrial Waste Disposal

The chemicals and waste products from industries and factories are drained into nearby water bodies which eventually flow to rivers and oceans. The chemicals and residue of the industrial waste makes the water polluted and toxic.

  • Fertilizers and Pesticides

The fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture for high yield gradually seep into the ground and eventually reach aquifers contaminating the groundwater. It could also flow to nearby fresh water bodies during rains thereby making it contaminated too.

  • Radioactive Waste Disposal

The radioactive waste generated in nuclear reactors and mining of uranium could also lead to water pollution if it is not disposed of properly. Nuclear reactor’s accidents might also cause water pollution ending up releasing radiation into nearby water bodies.

What are the effects of Water Pollution

As human beings are majorly responsible for water pollution, they are also the one who are highly affected by it. Apart from them, water pollution has serious implication on the earth’s ecosystem and biodiversity also. Following are the major effects of water pollution.

  • On Human Health

As per the reports from health departments in India, 1 person dies every 4 hours drinking contaminated water. The situation is more or less same in other countries also. Rapid industrialization and urbanization has lead to the contamination of water, and consumption of which causes diseases like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid etc which might term fatal in most of the cases.

  • On Ecosystem

Surface and marine pollution highly impacts the life of aquatic species creating an ecological dead zone for them. Nutrient pollution, marine debris and oil spills degrade the quality of water and deplete its oxygen content making the aquatic species to perish eventually affecting the biodiversity of the ecosystem.

  • Social and Economic Effects

Purifying polluted water incurs a high cost and calls for high end technologies affecting the economy of a country. The decreasing fish stocks in seas are the effects of water pollution which has started affecting the livelihoods of the people dependent on it. Animal deaths due to drinking of polluted water have also affected the marginal farmers in villages.

How to Prevent Water Pollution?

The solution to water pollution lies in its cause. As human beings are in the core of this issue hence it is only the human race that could find a solution to this problem. If we want the earth to become a better place then we need to take certain stringent steps to fight water pollution as provided below:

  • Save Water – It is the first and foremost step to control water pollution as the more fresh water is saved the less it gets prone to pollution.
  • Avoid dumping garbage in water bodies.
  • Ban the disposal of untreated waste water from households and industries.
  • Use bio-fertilizers and pesticides instead of chemical based ones.
  • Do not dispose oil, acids, drugs, chemicals etc in the sink.
  • Avoid littering and always dispose the polythene bags and plastic goods appropriately.
  • Always opt for environment friendly products.
  • Avoid the use of polythene bags and plastic products.
  • Radioactive waste should be properly disposed away from water bodies.
  • Promote plantation and plant rain garden to stop water erosion.


Water Pollution has killed millions of people across the globe and the issue is getting worsen day by day. Human beings have highly compromised the natural resources of our planet, less for need but more for their greed. If the issue of water pollution is not solved at the earliest then the day is not far when water will be made available only at water station just like diesel or petrol. We need a collective effort so that clean and safe water is readily available and people need not walk for miles just to get a bucket of water.


Water Pollution Essay: Meaning, Sources, Impacts, and Prevention of Water Pollution, Water Pollution Project, Government Role, Our Role as a Human Beings, Future on Earth with Water Pollution, Conclusion.


Water Pollution: Meaning

Water pollution refers to the introduction of pollutants/contaminants into the water bodies or other natural water resources. Substances generated by various human activities are primarily responsible for water pollution.

For example, waste from a chemical factory is often in the form of liquid or sludge, containing harmful and toxic compounds. When this waste is freely discharged into a river or canal, it makes the water harmful to use, also posing a serious threat to the existence of aquatic species.

On the other hand, even the garbage containing household waste materials, when not disposed of properly, reaches our water bodies and pollutes them. In the following essay we have discussed in details – the sources of water pollution, impacts of water pollution, prevention of water pollution, water pollution projects, our role as human beings as well as that of the government in water pollution and its prevention and lastly, the future of earth with water pollution.

Water Pollution: Sources

There are many sources of water pollution; almost all of them are human induced. Below we have point wise discussed in detail, various causes of water pollution.

1) Industrial Waste

The industrial waste from various industries like fertilizer and pesticide industries, plastic industries etc, contains harmful toxic chemicals. Often the untreated waste is freely discharged into the water bodies, making the water toxic and harmful to use.

2) Sewage Discharge

Sewage is basically human waste generated in toilets, kitchens, car wash, garden etc. Such waste from an entire city is collected through a network of underground passages and poured into the river, stream or lake. This waste is in the form of sludge and contains all kind of impurities from human faeces to plastic, glass and chemicals.

3) Household Garbage

Everyday household garbage contains pollutants like plastic wrappers, plastic boxes, plastic covers, polythene bags, glass, waste food and rotten vegetables etc. When no proper arrangement for disposing of garbage is made, it somehow finds its way to the nearby water bodies, rendering the water useless and harmful.

4) Littering

Littering is the main cause of pollution in lakes, canals and other water bodies, those having visiting population of tourists. People visiting such places for picnic and recreational activities, leave all sort of garbage behind, which usually contains waste food, plastic cups and plates, plastic wrappers and covers of food items, plastic bottles etc. Within no time, wind carries this garbage into the waters polluting it and making it unsuitable for use.

5) Agricultural Pollutants

Agriculture industry is one of the main polluter of natural water resources, all over the world. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides used in this industry are the main pollutants of water bodies. Modern day fertilizers and pesticides contain toxic chemicals that are not found naturally. These chemicals stay on ground, after application and with time get washed by rainwater into the water bodies. They also get seeped into the soil and reach underground water resources.

Water Pollution: Impacts

The impacts of water pollution are widespread – from causing diseases to species depletion, habitat destruction and ecological imbalance. We will discuss below some of the major impacts of water pollution.

1) Disease and Sickness

Every year millions of cases of water borne diseases like cholera, diarrhea and tuberculosis are reported globally and around 1-2 lakh of people lose their lives due to them. More toxic chemical pollutants may cause more critical medical conditions like ulcer, skin rashes, chronic diseases, psychological disturbance, deformation of limbs and coma etc.

2) Depletion of Natural Water Resources

Though 70% of earth is covered in water; fresh water accounts for only 1% of it. This 1% of fresh water, used by humans and animals is further depleting due to its widespread pollution. Sewage, industrial waste and agricultural runoff is rendering the water useless and harmful to consumption and application.

3) Species Depletion

When a water body gets polluted by toxic chemicals and other insoluble, impure substances it becomes unsuitable for fishes and other aquatic species. Fishes, frogs, turtles etc find it difficult to survive in polluted water and either die of chemical poisoning or choke to death.

4) Loss of Habitat

Polluted water body whose water is harmful to drink, bathe or cook meals, results in loss of habitat for all the living beings surrounding it. Water is an essential commodity for survival of all the flora and fauna, and in absence of clean water they are destined to perish or change their habitat to a cleaner water source.

5) Ecological Imbalance

Depletion of water resources, pollution of rivers, lakes and groundwater; depletion of aquatic species; mammals and amphibians; habitat destruction etc all are the ingredients of impending ecological imbalance. Ecological disturbance of a mammoth proportion will have severe impacts on climate, vegetation and life on planet earth.

Prevention of Water Pollution

Some of the most effective ways to prevent water pollution are discussed below.

1) Efficient Waste Disposal

Efficient waste disposal mechanism is the need of the day, if the world ever has to get rid of water pollution caused by human settlements. No waste garbage should be left to the winds to be carried into our rivers and lakes. Waste must be segregated based on its form – solid waste, liquid waste, waste food, bio degradable or non bio degradable; and must be collected and treated accordingly.

2) Non Littering of garbage

If the people visiting lakes, rivers and other water bodies take the responsibility of keeping the environment clean, it will definitely help in containing water pollution. Majority of pollution of rivers and lakes is caused by litter left by visiting tourists, which ultimately reaches the water bodies.

3) Sewage Treatment Plants

Sewage disposal is one of the main causes of water pollution in rivers, canals and lakes. The solution lies in setting up sewage treatment plants to obtain clean and usable water by extracting impurities from the sewage.

4) Organic Fertilizers and Pesticides

Organic fertilizers doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and are carbon based, mainly prepared from cow dung, leaves and plants. Organic fertilizers pose no threat to the environment and on the other hand are beneficial for crop yield. Pesticides also can be prepared with household items like salt, mineral oil, soap, orange citrus oil, onion and garlic etc.

Role of the Government in Water Pollution Prevention/Water Pollution Project

The local government has a significant role in preventing water pollution by framing policies in this regard and ensuring their implementation. Local government has major role in protection of natural water resources, lakes, rivers and ground water.

The government must identify the causes of water pollution at various levels and take proactive measures to eliminate water pollution. Installation of sewage treatment plants of appropriate capacities, regular inspection of industries for ensuring they follow the government’s rules and regulations for waste disposal; are some of the measures that the government can take to eliminate water pollution.

Government of India has undertaken projects like National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), “Namami Gange” for the cleaning of holy Ganges, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) along with many sanitation projects at village level. The main objective of these projects is to make the rivers and water resources clean and fit for use.

Our Role as Human Beings to Prevent Water Pollution

As human beings, we are the main reason behind water pollution as it is caused due to various human activities, such as industrialization, deforestation, littering etc. Never the less, this is also true that despite being the prime polluter, only human beings have the ability to make water bodies pollution free.

The responsibility of keeping the water resources clean and in abundance lay on the shoulder of human beings only. As a common guy living next door we just have to practice common lifestyle changes to keep our water resources intact. We can take easy measures like – always disposing household waste in proper place, not littering at public places, making others aware about water pollution and its impacts.

Future on the Earth with Water Pollution

Water pollution is a stark truth the present generation is facing and if the situation continued this way, our future generation will be left with very little or almost no water at all. Today as we compete to progress, tomorrow they will be quarreling over water. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the future on earth with almost all of her water resources polluted will mean death, struggle and hardship. All in all, there will be no future at all.

A future on an earth with polluted water can’t be imagined and if somehow it gets true, then the planet will not be livable for all the plants and animals including the human beings.


Water pollution is the main concern of today which poses a threat to the existence of all living species as well as the environment. Without sufficient fresh water and polluted water resources, life on earth could hardly be imagined. It will ultimately cause the extinction of all species of flora and fauna, leaving the earth lifeless and uninhabited.

Water Pollution also disturbs the ecology of a place and causes unexpected climatic and weather conditions. The time has come now, to take collective initiatives for eliminating the causes of water pollution to save the earth from going lifeless. Moreover, the efforts must be made on war footing and involve people from different walks of life, NGOs, governments and various other relevant organizations.

Leave a Reply