Water – A Vital Resource:
• Water is essential to life as we know it.
• All ecosystems, humans, etc. depend on freshwater
(water that has a salt content or salinity of less than
• Evaporation from lakes, seas and precipitation resupply
freshwater so it is considered a renewable resource
The presence of a substance in the environment that because of its
chemical composition or quantity prevents the functioning of
natural processes and produces undesirable environmental and
The unique properties of water which make it universal solvent and
a renewable resource also make it a substance which has a great
tendency to get polluted.
Polluted water is any water that changes in its quality or
composition either naturally or as a result of human activities so as
to become less suitable for drinking, domestic, agricultural and
Pathogens infectious agents that cause sickness or
death (bacteria, viruses)
Organic wastes enter water through runoff (grass
clippings, leaves, yard waste)
Chemical pollutants organic chemicals such as petroleum
products and pesticides, these
pollutants can travel up the food chain
until we consume and also accumulate
in fat in organism’s bodies
Sediments make water “muddy or dirty looking”
Nutrients mean more plant growth but nutrients
become pollutants when they
stimulate undesirable plant growth
(agricultural runoff is greatly to blame)
too much of a good thing).
Heat and cold different water temperatures can harm
or kill organisms who are used to a
There are tow categories of water
1. Point Sources: which are easy to
identify, monitor and regulate
(factory discharging chemicals
into nearby river direct
2. Non-Point Sources: which are
scattered over a large area, hard
to determine and indirect
(agricultural runoff, storm-water,
Water pollution due to many causes has been assuming menacing proportions:
• Industrial wastes: waste generated by manufacturing or industrial processes
(cafeteria garbage, dirt and gravel, masonry and concrete, trash, oil, solvents, chemicals, weed
grass and trees, wood and scrap lumber, and similar wastes). Heat pollution is commonly
caused by industries.
• Sewage: water-carried waste, that is intended to be removed from a community.
• Domestic waste: biodegradable waste, hazardous and toxic chemical pollutants.
• Surface runoff: generated by rainfall, snow or glaciers melting. When it flows among
the ground, it can pick up contaminated soil such as petroleum and pesticides or
• Agricultural waste: nutrient and sediment pollution, can cause significant problems
resulting in excess algae growth.
Definition: water rises to atmosphere through either evaporation or transpiration and returns
to land and oceans through condensation and precipitation (continuous cycle).
• Changing the earth’s surface: clearing forests, land overgrazed, causes more runoff with
pollutants, so there is less groundwater recharge, also more asphalt so decreased
infiltration into the groundwater.
• Polluting the water cycle: smoke or fumes exhausted into the air come down as polluted
rain, so chemicals leached into the soil in turn leach into groundwater.
• water supplies: increased population is using a great deal of water.
Water Pollution: great pacific garbage patch
Aral sea: one of the planet's worst environmental disasters
One of The largest four seas in the world
It has been steadily shrinking since the
1960s after the rivers that fed it were
diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.
The region's once prosperous fishing industry has been
essentially destroyed, bringing unemployment and economic
It is also heavily polluted, with consequent serious public health
problems. The retreat of the sea has reportedly also caused
local climate change, with summers becoming hotter and drier,
and winters colder and longer.
The Arab world, one of the driest regions on
the planet, will tip into severe water scarcity as
early as 2015.
Thirteen Arab countries are among the world's
19 most water-scarce nations. People in eight
Arab countries already have to make do with
less than 200 cubic meters a year each.
"Free water is wasted water" in Arab
Governments, which often focus on seeking
new supplies of water, should instead
• Improving water management,
• Rationalizing consumption,
• Encouraging reuse,
• Protecting water supplies from overuse and
Water pollution in GAZA, only
5% of this water fit to drink.
levels in Lebanon
Where to swim ??
Water resources are polluted by:
• The discharge of untreated industrial and domestic
• Leaching from septic tanks,
• Agricultural non-point sources such as pesticides and
• Hospital waste and domestic solid waste,
• Discharge of motor oil.
The Ghadir river in the South of Beirut is probably the
most polluted river in the country.
When we throw something in the garbage, or flush the toilet, we tend to
forget about it.
Because individuals are responsible for many non-point sources of pollution,
we do not always realize how much we are contributing to water pollution.
It seems easier to point the finger at agricultural, industrial, and mining
However, here are a few tips:
a. Conserve water; the less water you use, the less will be running down the
b. Use pesticides wisely
c. Keep your vehicles running properly. If you have an oil leak, fix it
d. Use natural cleaners, such as baking soda and vinegar.
e. Use detergents with less phosphate; sewage plants can only remove about
30 percent of the phosphates from waste.
While demand on water is rising, its supplies are
If the wars of this centaury
were fought on oil, the wars of
the next century will be fought
over water – unless we change
our approach to managing this
precious and vital resource.