Environmental Effects Of Water Pollution

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Water pollution is a widespread environmental issue that impacts not only the environment, but the human quality of life, the economy, society, and politics. There are many sources of water pollution, one of those being the non-point source that is agriculture. Agriculture, specifically in the state of Massachusetts, affects surface and ground water quality. Depending on if a farm is growing crops or taking care of livestock, pollution to our ground and surface water often occurs on and around farm land. Fertilizers that are used on crops are filled with nitrogen and phosphorus to increase growth of the crops. However, when there are excess nutrients that the plants don’t need, they can leach into ground water or be taken off into surface…show more content…
Although the state does not have exponentially large animal waste production, the combination of the animal waste and the fertilizers needed to grow the hay to sustain the animals creates a nutrient pollution problem. The leading pollutants and stressors in Massachusetts bodies of water include pathogens, organic compounds, and ammonia (Scorecard, 2017). All three of these water pollutants are linked to agriculture in Massachusetts.
Water pollution from agriculture can greatly affect human quality of life. Livestock manure can contain pathogens and bacteria that can make humans extremely sick if it is ingested. The ingestion is most likely through contaminated drinking water. Humans can even become ill if the produce we buy to eat has been washed with contaminated water. Water pollution from agriculture can also affect other things such as air quality. The water that farmers use for irrigation will eventually leach into the groundwater with all of the pesticides and fertilizers attached to it, which will then evaporate into the air through the water cycle and will pollute the air that humans breathe as well. Air pollution is one of the most common causes of cancer in humans. Because agriculture uses 70% of our freshwater, it is extremely likely for the water to become polluted and affect human health. Also, the release of pesticides in water from agricultural use have been known to cause cancer in humans
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