Environment refers to circumstances that surround the earth. The earth gives all necessary things that are basic to the day to day livelihood. For maintenance of life in the environment, individuals should preserve a healthy surrounding with all its ecological systems, animals and plants, pure waters, fertile soil and clean air.
Causes of Water Pollution
There are three ways through which water would be polluted. They include; through industry, agriculture and homes.
The industries pollute the waters by disposing their waste products into the waterways. The waste products reduce the amount of oxygen in the water and kill all the aquatic organisms; plants and animals. The industries also emit toxic fumes into the air that end up bringing acidic rain, which contaminates the rivers, streams and lakes. The water that the industries use to cool their machinery would also be released into other water sources thereby polluting the water (Agarwal, 2005).
The agricultural sector has a lot of contributions towards water pollution. As the farmers till their land, the sediments of dirt that would be produced may pollute the waters through making them murky. The fertilizers that the farmers use affect the soil and have a way to reach the underground water. When there would be heavy rains, the fertilizers would be washed away and join the waterways leading to water pollution (Goel, 2006).
Every day, tones of human and domestic wastes would be dumped into the ocean. If the manner in which these waste products would be disposed is not healthy, it leads to water pollution. The septic systems, which could be poorly installed may also leak and give rise to serious problems when they mix with the water systems underground. In areas of human residence, there are a lot of smokes and gases which end up causing hazards, contaminating and polluting both water and air.
Affected Niche, Organisms and Ecosystem
Whenever any natural or unnatural compound of foreign origin would be added to water, it could affect a number of plants and animals. Among those that may face problems include amphibians; they are pollution sensitive and absorb chemicals through their skin, hence could die. Insects usually look for food by walking on the water. When the water become contaminated, they would not be able to do so, they could starve to death.
The other younger animals that live under water like fish are sensitive to organic compounds since they could be undergoing growth and development. This might interfere with them and even cause their death (John, 2003). Water pollution might lead to death of the aquatic animals through suffocation or thinning of their egg shells. Others like leeches, aquatic worms and snails might survive the effects of the chemicals but the food they would depend on would no longer be there, hence they might starve to death.
Human beings, animals and plants, all need clean water so as to grow healthy. Contaminated water could lead to diseases in human beings and interfere with the systems of the body. This could also affect the body organs and their functions. The food chain too would be affected as some of the animals and plants would be suffocated to death. This would mean that the food chain would either lack the predators or prey, leading to an imbalanced ecosystem (Agarwal, 2005).
It would be very possible to curb water pollution if everyone works toward achieving that same objective. The toxic substances from the industries should be disposed properly or be put into better use like recycling them into other important products. Farmers should also be taught safe ways to conserve soil. This would include soil erosion control and safe use of fertilizers. The machinery that could be used in the industries should always be checked and repaid such that they would be in good working condition.
Relation to Core Values of Respect and Responsible Stewardship
The community of St. Leo University embraces free exchange of ideas, community learning as a unit and working harmoniously. The university fraternity could, therefore, work as a group in ensuring that water pollution would be reduced as much as possible.
The university, blessed with resources within and without the premises, therefore, all these should be used in fulfilling the goals and mission of the university as a show of responsible stewardship.