Drinking Water Issues in California Essay
Water is a main component of all living creatures. There are more than 96 thousands of living organisms in the world. All of them tend to consume water in order to maintain their functionality on a high level. Humans are not exceptions. It is impossible to imagine life without regular water consumption. However, modern world suffers from the lack of clear water. It is one of the biggest problems of the modern society, calling for the immediate solutions. Many countries face a problem of unsafe water. Therefore, there is a need to pay a great attention to the water quality and supplying.
Current Problems with Water in California
California is one of the states, suffering from the low quality of water. It is an obvious fact that there are many ways of water pollution. For instance, one of them is the contaminants of emerging concern (CEC). CECs are a various group of chemicals, difficult or impossible to monitor and analyze. To a great extent, it is a formidable task to control the amount of the CECs in the water and develop ways of their prevention. In addition, very often, it is difficult to predict their influence on the beneficial characteristics of fresh water. In any case, one can assume that CECs pose danger to the health and well-being of humans. Therefore, their amount in water should be maximally reduced.
One of the main problems of California’s water supplies consists in the existence of a great amount of pesticides, personal care products, and industrial compounds. All these substances negatively influence the quality of water, making it unsuitable for consumption. The main reason of their appearance in water consists in their frequency of use in the daily life (Kidd et al., 2007). Thus, it becomes obvious that it is impossible to avoid CECs as they form an essential part of the daily routine. At the same time, some steps should be taken toward their reduction in drinking water. One of them is the emergence of scientific studies, investigating the problem of CECs in water (Benotti, Trenholm, Vanderford, Holady, Stanford, & Snyder, 2009).
According to the recent studies, approximately 100 thousands of different chemical substances have been found in the California’s water supplies during the last 30 years. Among those chemicals, a great role belongs to toxic substances, food additives, cosmetic and pharmaceutical components (Chart 1). According to Wilson and Schwarzman (2009), 27 trillion pounds of chemical substances were spread all over the United States between 2002 and 2005. Moreover, these researchers believe the amount to increase as the general production of chemicals is going to grow worldwide. Thus, one can assume that the development of the technological and scientific progress results in some negative side effects as well. Although, the chemical industries are important for humans, they pose a certain threat to their health and well-being. Pollution of water is one of the main drawbacks of the fast pace of the technological development.
However, existence of chemicals is not the only problem of water quality in California. The other trouble consists in the inability to investigate these chemicals and reveal their negative impacts. The lack of information makes it impossible to develop strategies for the CECs reduction.
Moreover, insufficient knowledge cannot provide any useful solutions for the current problems:
- Firstly, there is a need to launch some scientific institutes in order to discover the problem of CECs, their peculiarities, and influences. Only reliable and appropriate information can solve the problem with CECs in drinking water.
- Secondly, the other problem with water in California is connected with the investigation of extremely dangerous substances. As a result, researchers manage to find solutions for the reduction of highly risky chemicals. At the same time, plenty of less influential, but still dangerous substances continue to remain in drinking water (graph 1). In other words, scientists cannot pay enough attention to all problems of clear water at once. As a result, some aspects of pollution remain unsolved.
- Finally, there is a need to mention that all CECs remain in water in huge amounts and quantities. They demonstrate the tendency to distribution and spreading, hence posing certain risks for humans and the environment. Thus, it is quite difficult to monitor their presence in water and provide viable solutions.
Therefore, one can conclude that main problems with water in California are the following ones:
- Firstly, the water is full of CECs, including pesticides, chemical substances, pharmaceutical and cosmetic components, and industrial waste.
- Secondly, there are plenty of uninvestigated types of CECs, which are difficult to observe and study.
- Thirdly, humans have too little information about CECs in order to prevent their appearance and reduce their number. Therefore, there is a need to develop strategies for urgent solutions with the main purpose of protecting water from the pollution.
Suggested Solutions for Water Problems
In fact, restoration of the water clearness is a complicated and long-lasting process. It is impossible to prevent all the CECs in a short period. However, it is important to start with some small concrete steps rather than with big, but insupportable conversations. Considering the situation with California, water cleaning is fulfilled in a following way.
- Firstly, there has been developed a special California Workshop in order to discover the problems with CECs. This workshop includes technological basis and scientific researches in the field of water pollution. It aims at the development of effective strategies for the CECs reduction in the water supplies. This workshop involves some influential organizations, connected with the water protection. Among them, there are California Ocean Protection Council, California Ocean Science Trust, National Water Research Institute (NWRI), San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), and many others. The creation of this workshop marks the conscious attitude toward the problem of water protection and the demand for its urgent solving. Moreover, this workshop aims at establishing efficient goals and objectives. In such a way, it will become possible to control the process of restoration and investigation. The California Workshop involved plenty of influential scientists who tried to solve the problem with CECs in complex. Currently, it moves from monitoring to management and practical implementation of the acquired theories. Such a position is closely connected with practical solutions of the current issues.
- Secondly, effective solutions are impossible without clearly established applicable goals. For instance, it is very important to realize the main purpose of those activities. In the case with water, one should realize that its quality is essential for consumption and industrial uses. Clearly set objectives will help to develop a good strategy and motivation. In addition, it is important to mention that water quality and absence of CECs are vital for the protection of the human health and the natural environment. Therefore, by having the profound objectives, it is easier to follow the main strategy.
- Thirdly, there is a need to create a list of chemical substances belonging to CECs. Researchers should provide more information about their peculiarities and characteristics. It is the first step toward the reduction of their quantities in water. After that, it will become possible to install monitoring and ways of solution.
- Fourthly, it is important to work out a list of CECs typical for a certain environment. It is obvious that different regions are characterized with various amounts of CECs. It means that the process of CECs elimination should be adapted to the current settings and environmental conditions. For instance, in case with California, it is essential to consider its water supplies, climate, and geographical features in order to develop the relevant solutions.
- Furthermore, practical implementation is impossible without a clearly arranged theoretical basis. It means that scientists should work over providing of the reliable methodology and information about CECs. This information will ease the process of water protection and provide new methods of fighting against the CECs. In this case, it is important to pay attention to various factors affecting the quality and characteristics of water. For instance, there is a need to dwell on the types and nature of water, its practical application, and purpose. Moreover, pollution of water depends on the territory. For example, rural landscapes are more prone to the water protection that urban ones. In fact, there are no odd details in the process of CECs elimination in water. Thus, it is significant to be attentive to all external factors and effects.
In addition, the other solution for the water problems consists in the necessity to establish indicator compounds and surrogate parameters. The practice shows that they are quite effective and can help to reduce costs and complexity. In the majority of cases, measuring indicators and surrogates are the only possible alternative ways for CECs when no analytical methods and measures are available. The concept of indicators means special compounds acting similarly to the current target CECs from the point of view of their complexity and behavior in the natural systems. For instance, the anxiolytic meprobamate can be used as an indicator of pharmaceutical substances in the process of treatment (Dickenson, Drewes, Sedlak, Wert, & Snyder, 2009). The notion of surrogates means quantitative parameters that deal with the specific CECs and identify the degree of treatment or removal inside a system. For instance, ultraviolet absorbance (UVA) is a brilliant example of the surrogates, which helps to reveal the behavior of total organic carbon (TOC) and oxidation byproduct formation.
Furthermore, the reduction of CECs in water supplies is possible, according to the measurement of their quantities. As it has been already mentioned, many researchers neglect the amounts of less dangerous substances. However, it is significant to focus on every type of chemical substances in order to eliminate their quantities in drinking water. In order to complete this task, one should apply the analytical means and tools, including physical, biological, chemical measurement techniques. According to them, it is possible to identify the amount of CECs in the water and provide some ways for their reduction. Therefore, existence of a solid analytical basis is the other way to success in case with the water problems.
Additionally, the problem with CECs can be solved only in case of cooperation between different organizations and agencies. Everyone needs to take part in solving of this problem. Only collaborative efforts can help to avoid CECs in the drinking water. With this purpose, it is possible to organize special trainings and meetings in order to inform the population about the necessity to protect water and prevent emergence of CECs. Various agencies and companies should launch monitoring programs in order to control the quality of water. Finally, there is a need to establish a strong system of communication for the sake of solving the problem with CECs.
Finally, the program aiming at the CECs reduction should be flexible and adaptive to changes. Obviously, the amount and characteristics of chemical substances in water tend to change. Therefore, the practical application of the solutions should be ready to react on time and adapt to new conditions. For instance, different means should be appropriate for usage in different settings.
In other words, the solution for water drinking issues in California demands plenty of time and efforts. It is impossible to achieve a good result quickly. On the contrary, the combination of theoretical background with the practical implementation, as well as collaboration between different organizations can help to gain a desirable result.
To sum up, modern world suffers from the problem of water pollution. This problem is typical and actual for many places and cities. One of them is California. It faces many problems with the quality of water. The emergence of contaminant in the water is one of the biggest issues. As a result, the local government should think over the implementation of right solutions for this problem. In any case, it is important to realize that protection of the high quality of drinking water is not an easy task. It calls for plenty of efforts, time, and costs.
- Firstly, it is essential to create a theoretical basis for further investigations.
- Secondly, Californian government should apply analytical means of measurement of chemical substances in water.
- Thirdly, there is a need to adapt these tools to the current conditions and make them flexible to changes.
Therefore, we can conclude that the reduction of CECs is a complicated and continuous process, which involves many separate steps and actions. Only collaborative efforts and relevant researches can help to solve this problem in a proper way.
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