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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] [Thematic Report] Cost of Human Activities on Water Bodies

by Ishitwa - | 20-05-2020 16:10 Comments 10 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

In todays world, with barely anything remaining untouched of human imprints, there are severe threats being posed to natural resources due to human encroachment. When we talk about water bodies and how human intervention affects us, some of the prominent threats include pollution, deforestation, animals ingesting plastic, urban growth, etc. Creating dams, bores, irrigation for farming, power generation are some of the other human made interventions on water bodies.  

The social cost of water pollution due to human interference has not been paid much attention to. Locations with high populations of people such as the Asian sub-continent, having a long list of endangered species, on both water and land and popular recreation and religious opportunities will generally have higher social costs of water pollution than less densely populated or less sensitive environments. [1]

Measuring the cost of human activities on water bodies can be done through looking at some statistics. When we look at the effect of plastic disposal, up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans. Only a small percentage of plastic dumped floats and rest sinks down into the ocean. Additionally, over 1 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. The Pacific Trash Vortex, Which spreads from North America to Japan, is a trash vortex which contains nearly 1.8 trillion of plastic waste coming out of human activities. The trash found here are fishing nets and other land activity waste. The two main contributing areas of the region include Asia and North America. China is the world’s biggest polluter of marine ecosystem. Other offenders include Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Egypt. Out of the 18 billion pounds of plastic pollution that goes into seas, only 10 river systems contribute to 90% of the plastic that flows into the sea and 8 of these rivers belong to the Asian region namely: Yangtze, Yellow, Indus, Hai He, Ganges, Mekong, Amur, and Pearl. [2]

Another human activity that harms water bodies is creation of dams. The risk associated with dam creation is huge. 1 out of 80 of embankment dams have failed or experienced an accident by seepage and internal erosion. Dams affect not only water bodies, but also human tribes that are displaced due to their creation. Narmada Bachao Andolan in India was such a revolt to protect against he incessant creation of mega dams in the Narmada river region, in order to protect the displacement of residents of the construction site. Serious erosion, cracks and tendons in the spillway pier and concrete shaft of the spillway, seriously deterioration of gates and electrical facilities are some of the major problems with creation of dams.

There is an immeasurable damage humans have done to the natural world. The extent is unfathomable, specially on water bodies. Only constructive discussions to solve problems of human interruptions in other natural communities may not solve the problem so easily. We need action now and nothing beyond a sincere approach to reduce the cost of human activities.

[1] https://www.resourcesmag.org/archives/social-cost-water-pollution/ 

[2] https://www.condorferries.co.uk/plastic-in-the-ocean-statistics 

Cost of Human Activities on Water Bodies


Sang Su Mentor

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Ishitwa, this is a mentor, Sang Su Lee.

    It's so sad that the things that intend to make humans' lives much more comfortable are destroying the environment so badly as you wrote in the article. Innumerable amounts of plastic waste is continuously flowing into the sea, thereby killing a myriad of marine creatures. Your data shocked me!! Also, other activities like making clothes, producing meat, farming and so on seriously impact the water cycle. I hope, therefore, that people only use and consume what they need, not beyond their necessities.

    Thank you ~
    Posted 26-05-2020 22:17

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Ishitwa,

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Cost of Human Activities on Water Bodies

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 24-05-2020 22:16

Taehyun Mentor

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    Hello Ishitwa, this is mentor Taehyun!

    I didn't know there could be so many factors affecting the water environment! Factors such as dams and plastic waste, as well as changes in the acidity of water quality caused by higher carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (recommended to look for more if you are curious about this part!) and waste water discharged from the factory without filtration seem to have a significant impact on the water environment. We feel need to act quickly!

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 24-05-2020 02:36

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings ishitwa
    I hope you are doing well
    Immeasurable damage is committed by a human. I wonder the cost human have to bear for all this activities.
    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 22-05-2020 14:42

Ishitwa -

  • Ishitwa - says :
    @Arjun Anand, I definitely agree, with your point, if we look at countries like Norway which sustain electricity mainly through hydropower, they pose as the best example of sustainable use of dam infrastructure. However, mostly all countries on developing stage like India might not be able to sustain all dams in a healthy manner. Which is why I thought construction of dams poses higher negative costs for certain countries.
    Posted 21-05-2020 18:30

Arjun Anand

  • Arjun Anand says :
    Ishwita, i do agree that new dams are flooding and taking away acres of farming land and also causing other environmental hazards.
    However i feel that infrastastructure development is required for development of any nation. But each government should strive to make it a sustainable development.
    Posted 20-05-2020 21:58

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Ishitwa!

    I hope you are fine and doing great!
    Its very sad to know that large number of marine animals are killed due to plastic pollution on sea water.It also affects the whole water ecosystem as well as can cause different disease on water animals and human being too.

    Thanks for sharing!



    Posted 20-05-2020 21:43

Sagar  Koirala

  • Sagar Koirala says :
    Hello Ishwita,
    Green Cheers from Nepal

    I loved your report on environmental impact of human activities on water bodies. I even heard the case of Narmada River campaign, which is quite good campaign.

    Sagar Koirala
    Posted 20-05-2020 19:11

Manisha Pokhrel

  • Manisha Pokhrel says :
    It was really nice reading this report.
    Keep writing!
    Posted 20-05-2020 18:20

Bal krishna Pandey

  • Bal krishna Pandey says :
    Hello Ishitwa,
    thank you very much for your report about Cost of Human Activities on Water Bodies. This is sad to read that over 1 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean.
    thanks for informing us about plastic pollution in marine environment. this will help us to be more responsible to our environment.
    Posted 20-05-2020 16:52

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