What is it?
Water pollution occurs when harmful organic or inorganic substances, in a higher concentration than the natural ones, are found in lakes, rivers, groundwater, oceans, and other water bodies; ultimately degrading the water quality and representing a threat to human health and the aquatic ecosystems.
When it comes to water, companies can have different kinds of impacts. Their consumption can cause water reserve depletion, their wastewater and pollutants can affect human health and make water unsafe for drinking, swimming, fishing, and other activities. Further, companies, wastewater, and pollutants can also negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity.
The topic 'Water Pollution' treats only the environmental effects of companies’ wastewater and pollutants over aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. Impacts over water depletion and human health are treated in different topics.
This topic specifically looks at a company’s impact on water pollution regarding specific water bodies, including surface water and groundwater (which eventually seeps into rivers, lakes, and oceans).
A company can cause water pollution not only through their wastewater, but also through their disposal of toxic chemicals, food waste products, toxic sludge, leakage of metals, oil spills, fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, excess nutrients, and even their effect on the water temperature, known as heat pollution.
Categories of water pollution
- Surface water
- Ocean water
- Point source
- Non-point source
As the topic of ‘Water Pollution’ is on the effects on life below water, make sure to not include other impacts to avoid overlap. For instance, operational water consumption (depletion, consumption, withdrawal), and impacts on human health are treated in separate topics.
Always check which topic has been covered on the platform and determine if the topic you wish to write about is significant enough to stand on its own.
This topic is only relevant if the analysis deals with how the wastewater is polluting water supplies and harming ecosystems and biodiversity, or entering water bodies.
The volume of water discharged alone is insufficient to assess the impact of wastewater. It is not relevant unless there is some significant negative impact.