Water pollution from a liberal standpoint | My Paper Hub
Water pollution is the corruption of
Water pollution is the corruption of
water bodies such as lakes, rivers, groundwater, and oceans. It is a form of
environmental degradation that occurs when the pollutants are either directly
or indirectly released into the water bodies without treatment to eliminate the
harmful compounds they may contain (Goel, 179). Water
pollution single-handedly affects the entire biosphere having an effect on
plants and animals living in the water. In most cases, the effects of water
pollution are not only felt by the plants and animals living in it but also by
the population and biological communities that rely on the water bodies (Goel, 179). The liberal standpoint on water pollution is
the belief that the government should actively participate and take action to
provide equal opportunity and equality for the entire population (Carter, 87). They believe that it is the duty of
the government to protect and safeguard the community from any harm that may
result from water pollution. Liberal further asserts that our health and that
of our children depend on the quality of the air and the water that we consume
(Carter, 87). Therefore, water is infinitely
precious but is not capable of healing itself. Hence, the need to protect the
water from any form of pollution. Liberals affirm that our water resources are
not unlimited and cannot handle pollution, and therefore, they need protection
from the government.
Water covers over two-thirds of the
earth’s surface but as the population continue to grow; there is increased
pressure on the water resources. In a way, the oceans, rivers, and other inland
water sources are being pressured and squeezed by human activities damaging the
quality of the water (Goel, 179).
Therefore, there is a need to have controls instituted on the human settlement
and also on the interaction of people with the water bodies. The governments of
the day need to have sound policies and also facilitate the conservation and
protection of the water resources present in the world.
Pollution also affects both the surface
and the groundwater sources through the different ways that contamination can
occur. It is because not all of the Earth’s water sits on the surface but there
is a great deal of the water held underground rock structures commonly called
the aquifers that we cannot see and hardly think about (Laws, 430). The water stored underground ion the aquifers
is what is known as the groundwater. The aquifers are a fundamental source of
the river waters and also offer the majority of the drinking water humans’
heavily rely upon. They, however, can also be polluted through the direct or
indirect release of chemicals to the ground and then they drain the chemicals
to the water bodies underground. The groundwater pollution is less obvious than
the surface water pollution but is no reason to overlook its effects. A study
in 1996 indicated that in Lowa of United States, over half of its groundwater
wells were contaminated with weed killers used by farmers and other means (Laws, 430). Therefore, it is the duty of the government
to educate and also protect the public from self-destruction through the use,
misuse or overuse of chemicals in the soil as well as disposal of chemical
wastes to the ground. It can do so by facilitating research into other methods
of killing weed without risking pollution to the important water sources or
even fostering alternative bio-friendly sources of such functions (Laws, 430).
Water pollution is a human problem as
is evidenced by the fact that it has become more rampant in the recent past.
Before the coming of the industrial revolution in the 19th Century, people
lived in a more harmonious way with their immediate environment (Harrison, 165). With the spread and the increase of
industrialization at a global scale, water pollution has been on the rise as a
consequence to the industrialization. In most industrialized nations such as
China, there are more pollutants in the water than in any other parts of the
world. In fact, the less industrialized countries face lesser aquatic deaths
following water pollution, and the indications of water pollution are lower.
There is, therefore, the need for the government to set in controls for the
industries and manufacturers on how to dispose of their chemical wastes that
release chemical compounds either to the air, soil or directly into the water
since they all end up polluting the water bodies (Harrison,
170). There is also some direct pollution of water such as oil spills as
was the case with the BP Oil company spill on the waters of the United States.
It led to an immediate effect on aquatic life with fish and other aquatic lives
affected. The human settlements that rely on fishing as the main source of
living were also not spared from the massive pollution of the water. Therefore,
there are no individuals that can control such industrial problems, but the
government can do so through policies and laws that provide guidelines. It
should have instructions on the human-water interaction and other ways to
safeguard the water resources from human interference.
The earth’s population was smaller in
the past and therefore, there was limited interference within the water bodies.
It was once believed that the oceans were too big to pollute. In the recent
past with over 7 billion people on the planet, it has become apparent that
there are limits that need to be set (Woodford). Pollution is one of the major
signs that the humans have surpassed the limits. There are also cases of
nations that have encroached the water body habitation through the building and
directly interfering with the water bodies. Countries such as the UAE and some
islands have started settling their populations in the water bodies in a direct
effort to control the human settlement needs. It is this that has an effect on
the water bodies and also interrupts the natural flow and existence of such
water bodies. It means that such actions may be experiencing serious population
crisis (Mason, 215). There is, therefore, the
need for the government to institute measures to control the population growth
even if it means providing controls so as not to put too much pressure on the
water sources the environment in general. Some nations such as China have
developed mechanisms to monitor the population that was going out of control
and it seems to be working at reducing the population growth rate (Woodford).
Water pollution can occur from a single
location also known as point sources pollution or from multiple sources that
are also called nonpoint source pollution. When point source pollution gets
into the environment, it adversely affects the place that is immediate to the
source of the pollutant. For example, when an industry releases their chemical
wastes into an ocean, it changes the around the disposal point. The pollution
may be concentrated around the source of the pollutant but may be dispersed to
hundred and at times thousands of miles away from a process called
trans-boundary pollution (Harrison, 205). One
major example of the trans-boundary pollution is the way that radioactive
wastes travels in the ocean from nuclear reprocessing plants in places such as
England and France affecting the nearby countries such as Norway and Ireland.
It is, therefore, the responsibility of the concerned governments to come up
with measures and also cross-border policies to control and even stop such kind
of pollution from occurring. Individual or citizens living along such a
coastline may not even have an idea of the ongoing pollution since some of these
effects of such projects are left as government secrets. The governments and
the regional authorities need to instill policies and mechanisms that protect
such water bodies.
The effects of water pollution are
monumental and adverse in some cases the hazards directly witnessed by the
populations. For example, in the event of spilled oil, the oil may wash up on
the nearby beaches, devastates the ecosystem and then severely handicap tourism
(Woodford). Moreover, the [populations that are substantially affected by such
a pollution as oil spill are not the ones who caused it but are innocent people
living nearby, and they pay the ultimate price, economically, socially and also
regarding their health (Mason, 215). Another
classic example of the effects of water pollution is sewerage discharge into
the coastal waters. It could wash up into the areas that individuals consume
the water or even engage in activities such as surfing causing a serious health
hazard. Those that bathe or surf in such waters may swallow the polluted waters
leading to illnesses (Harrison, 200). The effects
of water pollution may be both immediate and long-term but either way they
adversely affect the quality of life of individuals. It is against the human
rights and freedoms of individuals in infringing and risking both their health
and economic activities through pollution and therefore the government needs to
act to protect them at all costs.
Critics may be fast to argue that
pollution is an inescapable consequence of human activity resulting from
industrialization. Arguing that pollution is a necessary evil is a fallacious
point of argument since human beings should accept development with a degree of
control and also institute measures that ensure that they do not interfere with
nature (Woodford). It is because a hostile nature can result to wiping out of
an entire generation since some of the resources such as water are commodities
that humans cannot thrive without. Furthermore, the costs of water pollution as
a consequence to industrialization far more outweigh the benefits that result
from the manufacturing, especially in the long term. Therefore, all the
governments and industry players cannot afford the luxury of dismissing or
undermining the intensity and effects of water pollution (Woodford).
In conclusion, destroying the
environment ultimately reduces the quality of life of individuals, yet the
purpose of the government is to make the quality of life of the citizens
better. Therefore, the government has a mandate and a role to play in curbing,
mitigating and stopping the water pollution menace. The government can do so
through education and capacity building, having laws protecting the resource
and other policies that protect the valuable resources. The government has a
duty of protecting all the U.S waters under the Clean Water Act and also
ensures some policies and practices provide a safe and sufficient water supply
through efficient pollution controls, infrastructure improvement as well as
pollution controls. Water resources are not unlimited and cannot handle
pollution and therefore, they need protection from the government.
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