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Problems With Drinking Water Quality Essay

603 words - 2 pages

 “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink;” so cries Samuel Coleridge’s ancient mariner in the first days of his lengthy punishment. The prospect of water deprivation horrified Coleridge’s readers at the end of the 18th  century, and is frightening still at the beginning of the 21st. Humans survive only a few days without potable water and need water for many other purposes -- cooking, basic sanitation, growing food, recreation, industry. Earth is the solar system’s water planet, and two-thirds of its surface is water. Humans are creatures of the earth and we reflect its makeup; our bodies are sixty percent water.

The volume of water on the earth remains about what it was in Coleridge’s day; however, with a growing human population come growing demands, especially for potable water.  Ninety-seven percent of the water on Earth is saltwater, and most of the freshwater is locked in glaciers and icecaps. Only three tenths of one percent of the Earth’s water is both potable and accessible, and ninety-eight percent of that is underground (LaMoreaux). Water is abundant on Earth and will remain so, but many locations lack access to needed quantities of clean water and more will suffer this problem in the future. Water is a fixed quantity resource stacked against a growing human population — approaching one billion when Coleridge wrote the Rime of the Ancient Mariner and seven billion today (United States Census Bureau). Continuing growth of the human population puts us on a course leading inevitably to more frequent and more difficult shortages.

The United States is fortunate to have abundant sources of fresh water, but we are not exempt from problems. A recent review of violations of the Clean Water Act found that 10% of the nearly 55,000 regulated facilities in The United States had violations from 2009 to 2014, some with more than 100 violations during this period (Duhigg, Polution Grows with Little Fear...

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