Pollute Water Resources

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"Agricultural activities will inevitably pollute water resources." How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.

The global population count hit 7 billion in the year 2011 and is expected to continue rising, aiming to hit 9 billion by 2050. The rapid population growth is closely linked to increasing demand for food and water resources. Urbanization in cities and improved living standards play a huge role in the increase in demand for water. There have since been growing trends of agricultural activities to cope with the demand. This in turn leads to an increase in freshwater pollution. With an increasing demand and decreasing availability of freshwater, many countries are on the verge of a water crisis. (Serageldin, 1995)
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To achieve optimum crop production in the shortest time possible, farmers turn to the use of more fertilizers and pesticides to eliminate agricultural pests and increase crop production. This in turn has its cons, fertilizer runoff results in eutrophication in nearby freshwater bodies, contaminating drinking water supply. Nitrogen-containing compounds essential for plant growth are released into the water resulting in algae bloom. It blocks out sunlight and cause aquatic life to die due to increasing decomposition rates and decreasing oxygen concentration. Decaying matter contaminates the water and results in pollution. Desalinization of irrigated fields increases surface runoff and results in water pollution. Deforestation is also common to clear land for farming and results in soil being prone to soil erosion. Eroded sediments are often nutrient-packed due to excessive use of fertilizers which percolates through the soil. Non-point source pollution due to farming is increasingly evident in present days as the effects of it are becoming more visible as compared to initial stages. As it is not from a certain “point source”, like a specific pipe, but is…show more content…
China is known for its farming culture which supplies daily necessities such as, rice, potatoes, tea, poultry, etc. Harvesting wheat in the morning and planting other crops in the evening, 300 million farmers commit to the seemingly endless work to feed the 1.3 billion in China and ~22% of the world's population, making it a vital industry. (Ivanova, 2013) As the saying goes, “Everything comes with a price” Behind all these lays the hidden ugly, dirty truth of China’s agriculture: contaminated freshwater resources. With half of China's population lacking safe drinking water, nearly ⅔ of China's rural population (s pollution is greater and an underlying reason for the difference is the agricultural practices used: Industrial vs Organic. Case studies such as China and India have been used to illustrate my stand. Agricultural activities does indeed lead to freshwater pollution in China due to factors such as lack of resources, severity of pollution and demands to be met whereas, India have adopted organic farming practices since years ago and it has evidently brought about significant benefits and proves to be the key to environmentally sustainability. To conclude, with appropriate measures, agricultural activities will inevitably pollute water resources can be

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