Water – Our Most Vital Resource
A Further Global Look – When we look at the two different sources of water we find two places it is found on the planet. The first source is surface water. This is the water that we can see when looking at oceans, rivers, ponds and lakes. This is where our plants and animals must rely on to find this valuable resource. There must be plenty of clean water or both plants and animals are affected by the lack of and the pollution of their nourishment. The second source of water is groundwater. This resource is stored within the Earth’s aquifers. This is where the oceans and rivers supply drinking water for the human population. Both of these sources have become polluted in different ways, but are critical to life on Earth. We touched on what is referred to as The Great Pacific
Garbage Patch in an earlier article. We will look at some of the ways the two sources of water become polluted and contaminated.
We have already touched on how large bodies of water can become polluted, using the example of the Pacific “patch”. We know that another way water becomes polluted is through a factory or waste water treatment plant carelessly releasing toxins into waterways. Farming near lakes and streams that lead to larger bodies of water is a major concern also. With so much commercial fertilizer being used we have an overload of nitrogen runoff leaching into the water ways. Groundwater can equally become contaminated, although underground. When there is a chemical spill it will seep into the ground or again, agricultural runoff can find its way into the groundwater. Take a look around you and see where you feel there is neglect and possible water being in danger of becoming polluted. Possibly you do not live near a large body of water and feel that you are safe from the dangers discussed concerning your drinking water – think again! We need to look at this issue as every single living thing on the planet being affected, from you and your family to the tiniest plant in your garden. We must not forget also, that prescription drugs and other types of drug uses are finding their way into the water that we rely on to survive. None of us are immune to the dangers of not having safe water.
What we eat also becomes an issue when water is polluted. If the fish you buy has been exposed to or eaten toxins then that fish is polluted also. There are locations that do not allow fishing for this very reason, the water is too contaminated. Life cannot be sustained if the trash or toxins are abundant. Again looking at the Pacific “patch”, as we will refer to it, the impact is great and very harmful to marine wildlife. We have heard stories about sea turtles mistaking plastic bags for food, seals and other sea animals getting caught in abandoned fishing nets. The stories are numerous and sad that more forethought has not been given to the earth as a living organ to be nurtured.
Another major effect of floating plastic in a body of water is its ability to block out sunlight from reaching photosynthetic plankton or algae. These are microscopic organisms that are a crucial function as the base of all of marine food web. If less plankton is available animals that rely on plankton, such as turtles or fish, will decrease in numbers. If such should happen and the population of turtles and fish were to decrease, so would the ones who depend on those sea animals for food, such as the tuna, sharks and whales. You can see the ripple effect; if marine food becomes less available the cost to buy such will increase.
In our next article we will look at another toxic waste site that has scientist troubled. We will also look at what is being done as far as laws and some solutions. But for now, we need to do what each of us can do by not buying and using plastic, use glass when possible, recycle what is allowed and try and keep the trash at a minimum. If you try this, you will find it will make a change in the way you shop for groceries and all buying. It takes a conscious effort to do your part, try it for one week and see what a difference you can make!
Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!
USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.
Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN
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