Effect of contaminated water on human health

Water is important for lifetime but the properties of fresh water are challenging an emergency worldwide for most recent five decades. These contaminated water emergencies are expanding rapidly.

Effect of contaminated water on human health

Authors: Laraib Javid, Ayesha Qayyum , H. Ali Raza

University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan

For the existence of life on earth, water is a major constituent and it plays a vital role for the betterment of humanity. Water is universal solvent that has ability to dissolve different types of materials. 71% of earth is covered via water, but a single drop not available to drink.

It emphasize on the importance of pure, filtered, potable, fresh, clean, hygienic, germ-free and crystal tap water. Pure water means water that is nontoxic to drink or use in all personal, domestic, social or economic purposes.

The water contamination resources are vital effects for the human health and environment. Contamination in drinking water is a nearly new issue and builds the pressure ascending as an effect of extraordinary population growth, suburbanization and industrialization since 1990s.

Different sources are cause of water contamination such as organic and inorganic substance, inhabited areas, pathogenic and nonpathogenic microorganism and gases.

A significant number of the world’s rivers are polluting via the release of heavy metals. Different heavy metals and chemicals are causing contamination in drinking water, releasing from different anthropogenic sources which turns into an overall concern.

Usually unlike anions and heavy metals including chromium, Mercury, Lead, Cobalt, Cadmium, Nickel and Zinc etc, are having important adverse effect on the health of human either done shortage or poisonous due to excessive intake.

Shortage of pure water is not a problematic issue for Pakistan or Asian countries, its global issue. Due to different ways such as soil erosion, pesticides, saltwater, fertilizer, detergents, inadequate sanitation and natural organic matter, water resources are polluted all over the world.

Change in chemical, biological and physical characteristics of water occurs due to these contaminant and pollutant. As far as sources of water are concerned, including rainfall, rivers, glaciers, ponds, canals, lakes, streams, karez and wells etc. Natural resources are God gifted but these are limited.

Unnatural sources cannot fulfill current deficiency of water supply. There is massive imbalance between demand and supply of water. ALLAH has blessed Pakistan with enough water resources.

There are many factors that are directly or indirectly involved in water deficiency, such as droughts, floods, water evaporation, over population, high consumption of water in cities, political influence, climatic changes, ineffective policies incredible use in agriculture and industrialization.

Reduction of water is worldwide issue but particularly Asia is facing severe shortage of water that is great threat to life. 844 million people have no access to clean water worldwide. 96.5% of Earth’s water is in the oceans, approximately 1% is salted water in the ground and 2.5% is fresh water.

In developing countries, mostly people lives nearby and rely on rivers for livelihood and food. If we used untreated wastewater, it causes many risks for living organism as well as effect on environment. In water, Nitrites and Nitrate (NO3) are naturally found. Due to toxic Nitrate is mostly attributable to its reduction.

Additional consumption of nonessential metals such as Pd and Cd can result in bone, renal dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, neurological and various disease cancers, even at relatively low level. 40% of infectious disease is causing almost 50 million of total annually worldwide death. Generally, 99.8% hygiene related death occurs in creating nations and 90% are deaths of youngsters.

Pakistan is one of the most water intensive countries in world. Pakistan has serious concerns about the scarcity of water. According to the United Nations, nearly 1.8 billion people will live in the region of “absolute water scarcity” by the end of 2025. Pakistan just has 150 dams that are not sufficient.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has acknowledged the Pakistan’s current water availability level as 1,090 cubic meters per capita per year. According to world Resource Institute, Pakistan will be ranked as 23rd number in top 33 contaminated water stressed countries in 2040. Approximately 100,000 people die from water borne or diarrhea annually.

How we overcome the problem of water firstly, we should realize the severity of this issue. Secondly, we are not taking this problem seriously. It’s a time to take effective measures to overcome this shortage. It is not only the concern of our government to take actions but it is also our responsibility to realize and must play our role to overcome this contaminated water issue collectively.

We should raise awareness or give education to local people or individuals to utilize water intelligently or wisely. We must control fertility rate or high birth rate in order to control population.

Reuse waste water, try to use rain water for watering plants, install filters near water points, use less amount of water in washing clothes, cleaning house, give awareness at local, community, national and international level without any further delay, more dams should be constructed.

Water shortage is our issue that’s why it calls for action. Government should adopt bottom up approach to mobilize people to use less contaminated water.

It does not need Paper work; we should prove practically that we are responsible nation. We have to save every single drop of water for our next generation if, we want to save our next generation from dehydration.

Save water, save life, secure next generation


By Ayesha_Qayyum

M.phil Chemistry, University of Agriculture university, Faisalabad