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Pollution and Water

Benjamin Franklin once said “Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.” As society begins to transition into globalization, it is fair to say that pollution is becoming heavily relevant in society. Unfortunately, globalization plays a key role in creating pollution because of the demands that society has placed upon the efforts of constructing a globalized society. Nations that were self reliant have expanded on the idea that now sustainability has to be grasps through other means.

America specifically has seen a spike in gross revenue, while encountering a sharp decrease in domestic production. This is occurring because of the ability to transport goods and services on a global scale. This has a negative impact on America because it leads the nation to be completely dependent upon what is imported. The imports of products such as oil can only be done by ship. However, the constant laboring over waters leads to the negative effects of destroying domestic fresh water, but also the waters of the ocean.

The vast body of salt water that covers almost three fourths of the earth’s surface is the sole property of each and every inhabitant of the Earth. In turn, any measure that affects the ocean affects any one thing that is dependent on water. This is why America’s drinking waters are becoming vastly polluted at an alarming rate, as our global economy increases. This is evident by the decreasing supply in fresh drinking water. This has proven to the one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. [yes]

With regard to drinking water, it is estimated that over the coming years our access to clean fresh drinking water will continue to become contaminated as a result of production and commerce. As of now, America knows that fresh water supplies are sinking as both surface and ground water become affected with chemical compounds that are the result of the manufacturing process. For instance this affect is prevalent in the Cuyahoga River when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969 as a result of the contaminants in the river (Levin, 2002) [do not insert year in MLA format]. Due to the overproduction this in turn caused the Cuyahoga River to be heavily contaminated, causing the pollution of a dependant water supply. Another example is the case in Woburn, Massachusetts where the water supply of the local town had been destroyed by the constant dumping of trichloroethylene causing a number of cases of Leukemia to develop in the town’s population (Grossman, 252) [citation is clear, but no comma after author’s last name]. Trichloroethylene is a colorless, poisonous liquid used chiefly as a degreasing agent for metals and a solvent, which is used especially in dry cleaning, for fats, oils, and waxes. This kind of chemical pollution that was dumped in Massachusetts is a prime example of how our water supply is being diminished by pollution. Levin notes that 80% of America’s drinking water comes from a water resource (Levin, 2002). Levin states, “Much of the contamination results from local human activities, hazardous waste sites, residential development and transportation.” With water pollution being acknowledged as a common treat in daily household activities, it should stress to people that one needs to be more conscientious of daily activity. If people are more conscious about their activity then, water pollution could go down tremendously.

Timothy Ford found in a study that waterborne illnesses create a far greater risk than others do because winterbourne illnesses has the ability to reach and infect a variety of people (Ford, 1999) [again, do not insert year in MLA format]. This is potentially dangerous because of a winterbourne illness can effect a broad range of people. This is why pollution needs to be remedied as soon as possible so mankind can relieve people of potential health outbreaks, caused by waterborne illnesses. However, there are measures that the government has taken in an attempt to curtail the continuing onslaught that America’s receive from the cause of polluted water. Our government has recognized that there is a need to regulate that is distributed throughout American homes. This precautionary measure includes safeguards on how water gets to the homes, also where it comes from. The Environmental Protection Agency has gone through great lengths to ensure that the water that people drink is considered clean and healthy. Through the strong lobbying power of their EPA, our government has adopted the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, all in attempts to address the increasing risk that is imposed by dangerous or unclean water supplies. [info is relevant]

Legislation may not be the only way to address the issue of dirty water within our nation. Hans Brix of the University of Aahurs in Denmark suggests the re-create and rehabilitation of the wetlands that are being destroyed by the process of commerce. These wetlands play an integral role in not only protecting our clean water sources, but also in cleaning contaminated water (Brix, 1995). Wetlands play a key role in nature’s ecosystem because they naturally clean the water of impurities. The process of cleaning water contaminated by industrial waste can be effectuated simply by restoring wetlands that have been destroyed by the process of materials production, as the water is filtered by the plant life in the wetlands, wherein the plants absorb contaminants and clean water is returned to the natural flow of water (Brix, 1995). It’s [do not use contractions in formal papers] important to maintain clean water because not only is water a renewable resource, but it is an important in maintaining life as a whole.

Moreover, if more legislation is created and wetlands were erected all over the nation, this will only be operating in a responsive effect rather than a preventative one. Brix, Ford, and Levine are all attempting to identify the problems and possible solutions to water pollution, or simply mask the problem at hand by creating small reactive changes. Yet, the real change in water quality can only be met by addressing the problem. Water pollution has become increasingly clearer over the past 40 years, and the main problem is that mankind is careless in their use of the environment. Furthermore, the fact that the industrial operations contribute to the majority of water waste is a thought one should take into consideration. If one were to change their practices, the ease of water pollution will decrease. The demand for production, such as the imports and exports in a capitalist society is very demanding. This causes businesses to pay less attention to their impact on the environment, and more attention to their profits.

It can be surmised that businesses contribute to water pollution not because of simple corporate responsibility, instead because of the great cost that can be anticipated in achieving a level of operation that does not harm the environment [good transition]. John Horowitz conducted a study of the paper industry and found that the cost of achieving compliance regarding water quality laws was not only very difficult but also cost consuming (Horowitz, 1999). The process was cost consuming not simply because of the process of treating the water, but also because these companies must employee a staff to treat the water, and monitor water quality of the water returned to the groundwater system. Paper production, like a variety of others in the American commerce system relies heavily upon water in the manufacturing process. As such, clean water is removed from fresh water systems and is then in contact with a variety of chemicals from the production process. This water must then be treated and returned in a better state than when it was drawn. This process, although time consuming, can be afforded by very large corporations. However, small business who [that] make up the majority of production in America cannot afford the process, and instead merely dump untreated water back into the local water systems; causing an egregious amount of water pollution.

Our world is threatened daily by the growing level of commerce in our globalized society. If humans continue to manufacture at an increased rate, while ignoring the fact that our fresh water systems are declining as a result of this process, then there will be no solutions to help stop water pollution. One solution is to be presented by the legislature. Instead, all we have seen is the creation of laws, without the ability to enforce them. Unless a drastic change is made quickly, our water supplies will diminish to an extent that the globalized manufacturing economy will have no one to manufacture products to produce for.