I never realized there were so many holidays to celebrate of the geeky, science variety.  The month of August is dedicated to a few scientific issues.  My next few posts will focus on water quality.

Water Quality is Affected by Many Factors

Water quality is a vital issue to all life on Earth.  Water quality is affected by the biological, chemical and physical content of water in lakes, streams, wetlands and oceans.  Water quality can be affected by a number of natural factors:

  • it changes with the season;800px-NATIONAL_WATER_QUALITY_LABORATORY_-_NARA_-_551597
  • it is affected by the geography of the water body;
  • it can be affected by the vegetative features or lack of vegetative features nearby.

Water quality is also affected by a number of human activities:

  • fertilizer runoff from nearby agriculture;
  • oil and asbestos tailings from car brakes that make their way into streams and other water bodies when washed off of roads;
  • engine oil dripped onto driveways which is then washed into storm sewers which reconnect to lakes or streams;
  • erosion of sediments caused by farming practices;
  • accidental overflow of sludge from sewage treatment plants;
  • acid precipitation due to fossil fuel usage.

    water quality and industry

    Water quality is affected by Industry

  •  factories and electrical generation facilities

Water Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

The farm we live on has a deep well.  It is a low flow well but is associated with an aquifer so although our storage tank often runs dry, especially with three teenage boys competing for the shower, there is always more water to be had by waiting patiently for the tank to refill.  Before we took possession of our paradise, there was a shallow well that filled a trough used to water livestock.  It became contaminated through livestock manure and was filled-in long before we arrived.  It is important in managing water resources on a farm not to contaminate your own source of water by polluting your own well.  It is easier said than done.  If livestock are allowed to drink near wells or allowed to drink from spring water, fecal matter will contaminate the area and groundwater can be affected.  Most farmers are conscientious of livestock waste and the effect fertilizers and pesticides have on groundwater and thus their own drinking water.  Our own livestock are located well away from our well and so far we have been successful in avoiding fecal contamination.

Water quality is key to the health of all living things in an environment.  Water makes up at least 70% of all living things and is vital for respiration and other chemical reactions in the living organism.  Water resources in Canada for the time being are adequate.  Canada is home to an abundance of fresh water lakes and streams.  Pollution of water bodies is still of major concern, however.  Industry and power generation negatively impact neighbouring streams and rivers.  Transportation and agriculture also negatively impact water quality.  The responsibility lies with all of us to become aware of what factors are impacting water quality and how our own actions can be modified to make a positive difference.

[otw_shortcode_info_box border_type=”border-top-bottom” border_style=”bordered” icon_type=”general foundicon-heart” border_color=”#ff954a” icon_color=”#ffcd78″]My next few posts will pay homage to National Water Quality month. If you have any suggestions for topics you would like to see covered, please let me know in the comments below.[/otw_shortcode_info_box]

 

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