Why is Water Quality Important?
Liquid water is what makes earth so unique and virtually everything on our planet relies on it. Unfortunately, having high quality, unpolluted water is constantly taken for granted, especially by developed countries. In the US, we use water for everything from drinking to recreation without thinking twice about it, but what most Americans don’t realize is that not all water is created equal and having immediate access to clean water is a privilege, not a right.
It’s been reported that today, “207 of our 397 national parks — 52 percent — have waterways that are considered “impaired” under the Clean Water Act, meaning they do not meet appropriate water quality standards.”
– The National Parks Conservation Association
Moreover, large swathes of our oceans are becoming dead zones due to eutrophication caused by fertilizer runoff, and freshwater clean enough for consumption is becoming harder and harder to come by worldwide.
This has become such an issue that the United Nations recently declared it an ongoing global crisis with the potential to upend existence as we know it in as little as a decade.
When it comes down to it, global water scarcity is by and large the product of the massive population growth that has been taking place over the last century. With more people comes more demand for water to consume and to grow crops and livestock with.
Ironically, even though water makes up over 70% of Earth’s surface area, the total amount of freshwater found on Earth only makes up around 3% of the water supply, 1% of which is easily accessible. This 1% accounts for all of our lakes, rivers, groundwater, aquifers, and streams. With this in mind, one can imagine that sustaining the needs of over 7 billion people on earth is no easy task.