Water Pollution


  • Among the most common chemicals found in drinking water are disinfection byproducts, nitrates, chloroform, barium, arsenic and copper
  • According to the Environmental Working Group, the top 10 states, listed in order of the most contaminants in their drinking water, are: California, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois


  • In Lake Baiyangdian, which is the largest lake in the North China Plains, and its surrounding water sources, dangerous levels of mercury and arsenic have been found, such that the levels found in fish of these water sources were found to be above the threshold designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pose a risk to humans and wildlife
  • Through bioaccumulation, these two toxins make their way through a freshwater ecosystem from water, into algae, and then through algae-eating zooplankton to the fish, however the final amount present in the fish can be “biodiluted”, or more dispersed, with a larger amount of algae present, nevertheless still posing a potential risk


  • High levels of arsenic and mercury have also been found in tap water and groundwater in Punjab, India
  • 80% of the groundwater in Punjab, India is unfit for human consumption
  • In addition, toxic chemicals could be causing genetic mutations in the Punjab population, as mutated DNA was found in 65% of the blood samples tested
  • Contaminated drain water used to irrigate fields have resulted in neurological, genetic, and reproductive problems

Facts About Fresh Water


  • Water comprises 60% of the human body, 70% of the human brain, and 80% of human blood
  • The human body cannot survive more than a week without water
  • Only 3% of water on Earth is freshwater, most of which is ice and <1% of all the freshwater is available for human use, which means <0.007% of all the water on Earth is available for drinking



  • ~25% of the clean water that enters a home is used in the flushing of toilets,  single load of laundry uses 40 gallons of water, and a 10-minute shower uses 50 gallons of water
  • The average American uses about 160 gallons of water each day



  • In the 20th century the world’s population tripled and the water use has grew 6x, in other words El Paso and San Antonio could run out of water in 10 to 20 years and Central Florida could run out in less than 5 years
  • 1 in 3 people lack access to adequate sanitation, whereas 1 in 5 people do not have access to safe drinking water
  • A child dies every 15 seconds from a water-related disease according to the UN
  • It is possible that we could run out of water before we run out of oil
  • Due to over-pumping, many countries have had their sources of groundwater almost gone, and depleted aquifers have lead to cutbacks in grain harvest
  • Global warming will accelerate and aggravate the crisis of fresh water shortage in two ways. Rapid melting of glaciers will deplete rivers and ground water supply. Rising sea level will invade the underground water table turning it into brine.