An Interview With Water! By Stephanie Guzman

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Our topic is about water equality. What that is, is that everyone should receive equal amounts of and quality of clean water. For me, everyone deserves clean water, we are all humans and we deserve it, even animals too. The distribution of clean, sanitized water in the U.S. has been an issue for many years and it remains, that in fact, water is something we use everyday, making it an urgent issue to fix. My job in the project was to find an interview about the issues of water sanitation among people of different communities and ethnicities.

Here’s a link to the interview video I found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3P893QyeRM

The interviewee, Catarina de Albuquerque, talks about the sanitation process in California and across the U.S.. She was shocked to find that there were women in the San Joaquin Valley who were buying water bottles to clean their dishes, cook with, and even bathe in. Later in the video she also talks about how the government shut down the use of public facilities in Sacramento, which leaves the homeless people without a place to use the restroom or to wash their hands or face. I think this is all unfair because not everyone has access to their own water, and to have public facilities taken away, is just wrong.

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How Long Water Pollution Has Been Occurring by Tressa Marques

Water pollution has been around for thousands of years and still exists today. Water pollution had a big boom as the human population started growing in the 1800’s which brought around more diseases that ended up in the water and made a lot of people become very ill and in some cases lead to death. Diseases by the name of Typhoid and Cholera once spread all across Europe due to the contaminated water by humans, animals, and other types of pollution. Written in Cesspools and Cholera: The Development of the Modern Sewer by Joaquin I. Uy, they point out what was happening before and while sewage systems were made. By the 1850’s, Europe and America were both trying to figure out how to keep water clean and safe. For many years people worked hard to get the sewage systems perfected which seemed impossible because they still ran into problems such as pipes overflowing into the streets of Europe and ended up causing a “Stench so foul we may believe had never before ascended to pollute this lower air.” (Uy) By the mid 1850’s, Chicago built one of the first major sewage systems in America. Still, a lot of Americans were encouraged to move into urban areas because there was cleaner water and people there had less diseases to be spread. After more people were moving to the urban areas during the Industrial Revolution, cities across America and Europe were now starting to get pollution from factories due to all the chemicals used in there which caused more water pollution. According to Recovering the Release History of a Pollutant Intrusion into a Water Supply System through a Geostatistical Approach, they discuss water pollution and ways that it can be better prevented. “The quality of water is crucial for health: pollutant elements in water can intoxicate the human body through oral contact (drinking water), inhalation, and skin contact. Unfortunately, water supply systems are not completely protected against contamination events of accidental or intentional nature.” (Butera, 418) This may open some people’s eyes to water pollution more because a lot of people think the only way to get sick from water is by drinking it when all you have to do is have any contact with contaminated water and you can get very sick.

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In 1936, Lake Erie had so much pollution in it that it caught on fire due to a spark from a blowtorch and had many more fires after that and it even happened in other areas of water as well. (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/pollution/02history.html)  In 1969 another fire in a body of water broke out and was all over the news. The 1969 fire got a lot of attention which led to the Clean Water Act in 1972 which had it’s own rules and regulations of how water we deal with is treated but we are still threatened by water pollution today as you will read on later.

Pollution and Contamination In Our Water: By Saul De La Rosa

In the Article From Source Water To Drinking Water, written by Lawrence W. Reiter, Henry Faulk, Charles G, Groat, Christine Coussens. Our Drinking Water contaminated  and polluted with harmful chemicals that can cause dangerous diseases to the people. In the current U.S. Environmental protection agency (EPA) estimates that the proximately one-third of all assessed rivers,streams, and lakes are impaired with waste and chemicals. With the increasing population, its hard to keep up with the large demand of water and trying to the best they can to keep it clean and safe. Eventually it would get contaminated with waste from humans and animals and it would get harder to get the water clean and would have to use chemicals to clean it but it can also be dangerous to our health. Many of the big industries like the meat production. They don’t care what happens to the water with the waste and dangerous chemicals they dump in it. The more this keeps happening, it becomes more impermeable and more chemicals  and contaminants are washed into our local waters.

Our Drinking water is becoming more and more unsafe. It is now being contaminated with pollution and harmful chemicals found in our water. They should always keep our drinking water safe for the people to drink because a deadly disease that could spread across the United States and affect the people. We should  make a change to make these companies to be more careful with our water sources. Big businesses should be fined millions of dollars for carelessly dumping waste in the streams, rivers and every other source we get our water from. Water is one of the most important sources we have in this world and we need it to survive. We should always have try to have our water clean and safe and to do that we need to keep any waste and chemicals from reaching  our water source.

Our Polluted Water By: Briana Soto

As technology starts to improve more and more, scientists are starting to find ways to keep track of whether or not our water is polluted. And they have started to find different types of harmful chemicals and pesticides in our water that we not only drink from, but also bathe in. Scientist have been constantly doing different types of research to see if there is anything else in our water that we think is “clean”  but in reality is contaminated. More and more children have been exposed to different affects because of the filthiness of the water and how contaminated it is as well.

Illnesses and diseases have also been found in water because of all the pesticides and chemicals in the water that we think of as “clean”. This affects everyone in the world because we are drinking water that we seem to find clean but in reality contains all these harsh chemicals and pesticides. Different types of diseases and illnesses that this water can cause are malaria, polio, cholera, lead poisoning, Hepatitis A, and many more. (Source:http://listdose.com/10-common-diseases-caused-by-bad-polluted-water/)

“As technology improves, scientists are able to detect more pollutants, and at smaller concentrations, in Earth’s freshwater bodies. Containing traces of contaminants ranging from birth control pills and sunscreen to pesticides and petroleum, our planet’s lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are often a chemical cocktail.” (Source: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/pollution)

Our bodies rely on water in order to survive, and not only do we rely on water but plants and animals rely on water as well. Because of this, we need to change the way that out water is decontaminated. We need water to survive, but if the water that we use daily is contaminated with different chemicals and pesticides that anyone is aware about, can cause different types of illnesses and can also hurt the environment as well.

CLEAN WATER IS A MUST: IT’S THE LAW! By Leon O.

In our country, we are dealt with multiple struggles to keep our land and waters clean. Especially with the pollution and waste we dispose everyday. But thankfully, in 1948, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act was the first law to pass that woke up politicians and even civilians about the risks of our own waters. Over time, the law was then reformed as the Clean Waters Act in 1972.

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“The Clean Water Act is a 1977 amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, which set the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States”  (Source: http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owow/laws.cfm)

This states that our waters must be clean from any pollutants in our waters. Not all of our waters are clean enough to be drinking from. But they are just good enough to use like rinse and clean whatever is desired. The waters people use everyday for their everyday needs are not the only things that are contaminated, our drinking water as well. In 1974, The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed to protect and ensure public health with our drinking waters.

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The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996   (PL 104-182) establish a new charter for the nation’s public water systems, States, and the Environmental Protection Agency in protecting the safety of drinking water. The amendments include, among other things, new prevention approaches, improved consumer information, changes to improve the regulatory program, and funding for States and local water systems.”   (Source: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/sdwa/summ.cfm)

Even though there are laws that states that our waters must be clean, it still is contaminated without people knowing it. It is unfair for people who can not afford to live in a better area and give contaminated waters to. The law says that our waters MUST be clean, but people who live in areas that are not that economically stable are given contaminated waters to drink and use on a every day to day bases. Not only that its unfair, but its not right to be giving people water that are not filtered well just because they are not living in a good area. It is unlawful and just not right. This is why we need water equality to happen as soon as possible so people are not given contaminated waters.

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What’s in YOUR water? By Roxy Frone

For over a century, the United States has had problems with keeping our drinking water clean and purified. This issue has been an ongoing problem for so long, that now the effects of our contaminated water have come to show in us and in our children. The fact that we use water daily in everything we do, eat, or drink, should move this concern up to one of the nation’s highest priorities.

Link to Water Pollution Facts video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgLIMaZAJj0

The contaminated water that we believe is clean and useable is actually rank with many diverse and toxic chemicals that are harsh to our bodies and cause damage to us over time, as well as cause the spread of diseases and viruses.

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We’ll start by naming off some of the most common chemicals and harmful substances that are in our water, and discuss them one by one. Soon you’ll be able to connect the dots, and wonder how this issue has remained silent for so long.

The most commonly found substances in our water are Lead, Fluoride, Arsenic, Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide. If this short list is already beginning to sound alarming, when you find out just what these chemicals can do to your body and our environment, you’ll probably think twice about where your water comes from, and how it is processed before it reaches your mouth.

A study done by the UCLA’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences shows us the level of Lead poisoning in children, and its decrease from 1965 to 2005. However, the level of Lead from 2005 and on has remained predominantly the same.

Link to UCLA Southern California Environmental Report Card (2009): http://www.environment.ucla.edu/reportcard/article3772.html       

        Even though the Lead in our water can be as low as 0.06ppm (parts per millimeter), the fact remains that it is still there, and it gathers together after a long period of time. This is especially true for young children who’s immune systems are not fully developed, and as such, they have a higher risk of Lead poisoning, and exposure to its effects. the report card in the link above, summarizes the health concerns pertaining to Lead in our drinking water. Take a look at the pictures below, and study what parts of the body Lead and Arsenic both affect, and what damage they can cause.

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In the first picture, you can see what parts of the body Lead and Arsenic affect first, or most. High levels of Lead can cause intellectual and developmental disabilities (mental retardation), coma, convulsion due to the high toxicity of Lead, and eventually death.

Low levels of Lead aren’t any better off, as even low levels can cause significant, permanent damage such as reduced IQ, lack of attention span which leads to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), impaired growth, reading and learning disabilities, even hearing loss, and the list goes on to affect other parts of behavior and health.

The second picture shows the varying levels of Arsenic in U.S. soil, ranging from as low as 0.6ppm, to as high as 15.1ppm to 717.1ppm. Our crops are planted on this soil, harvested, then are delivered to our grocery stores, and eventually end up on our tables and consumed by us. Arsenic poisoning causes severe nerve damage, circulatory problems among joints, and skin peeling, a condition known as Hyperkeratosis. Furthermore, Arsenic is a leading factor in lung, liver, kidney and bladder cancers found in thousands of patients around the United States.

In Northern, Central, and Southern California alone, this chart shows that anywhere from 6.0ppm to 717.1ppm of Arsenic is found in our surface soil. That says a lot about us, our food, industries, and the water we drink. The two links below provide the insight of NRDC (Natural Recourses Defense Counsel) and Produce Green Home, and talk about the pathogens, Lead and Arsenic levels in our water, and what causes these effects, as well as what cities are most at imminent risk to major health concerns.

Link to NRDC.org: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/uscities.asp

Link to ProduceGreenHome.com: http://www.proudgreenhome.com/news/more-than-49-million-americans-drink-arsenic-in-their-tap-water/

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Do you still think your drinking water is safe to consume?

Acid rain is a product of two chemicals our industries give off: Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. These two substances rise, mixing with the clouds and air, then react with other particles and chemicals, causing Acid rain, which then falls down in or near the designated area it was formed, becoming a hazardous pollutant to cross paths with.

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The chart picture above shows the process of the formation of Acid rain, and it’s effects on the environment around it.

Probably the most prevalent chemical in our water by far, is seen as the least concerning, and is as of recently, been increasing in our water source. Fluoride. What is fluoride? Fluoride is a salt with a weak base. But in large amounts, Fluoride is corrosive and can damage skin. Have you ever taken a nice, hot shower and noticed how wrinkly and prune-like your fingers look afterwards? That is the visible effect of Fluoride (salt), dehydrating your body of water essentials. Ironic how you could be drenched with water, yet your body is being dehydrated. That is one of the effects that Fluoride has on our bodies.

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Fluoride is the most prevalent chemical in our water today, and it is significantly being increased as well. However, Fluoride is a leading cause of child brain damage, highly effecting pregnant women. While tap water has a much higher amount of loose Fluoride in it, filtered and bottled water can be just as dangerous. The picture below, illustrates several popular brands of water bottle companies that use extensive amounts of Fluoride in their water purification process. Take a look…

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You might probably recognize some of these brands, and even use them daily. While the amounts of Fluoride in these bottled waters are as low as 0.01ppm (rounded to the nearest one hundredth), they can go as high as 0.29ppm (rounded 0.30ppm), which is a destructively high amount for one bottle of water.

Link to Fluoride Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aTfyo0Xz_c#t=765

Ultimately, the problem with our water goes on, and we have yet to change it majorly. But together, we can change our environment and the world we live in. One is strong, but many, are an unstoppable force. Think twice before consuming from another water bottle, and find our what source(s) your water comes from, before it reaches you.

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Post by: Roxy Frone

Statistics shows us the harsh reality of water in the US by Paola Arciniega

DID YOU KNOW?

California uses more water than any other state and each Californian uses an average of a 181 gallons per day!!!

In 119 years of recorded history, 2013 was the driest calendar year for the state of California. On January 17, 2014 California State Governor, Jerry Brown,declared a drought state of emergency

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Over two-thirds of U.S. estuaries and bays are severely degraded because of nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.

Water quality reports indicate that 45% of U.S. streams, 47 percent of lakes, and 32 percent of bays are polluted.

Forty percent of America’s rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming or aquatic life. The lakes are even worse — over 46% are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life.

Every year almost 25% of U.S. beaches are closed at least once because of water pollution.
Americans use over 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides every year, which eventually washes into our rivers and lakes.
Over 73 different kinds of pesticides have been found in U.S. groundwater that eventually ends up in our drinking water – unless it is adequately filtered.
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The Mississippi River, which drains over 40 percent of the continental U.S., carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico every year. This resulting pollution is the cause of a coastal dead zone the size of Massachusetts every summer.
Septic systems are failing all around the country, causing untreated waste materials to flow freely into streams, rivers, and lakes.
Over 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, groundwater, and industrial waste are discharged into U.S. waters annually.
The 5-minute daily shower most Americans take uses more water than a typical person in a developing country uses in a whole day.

Pollution and population are the things that concern me the  most due to we are literally running out of water, yet we still taking our “5 minute shower” (which Americans uses more water than a typical person), although we may know the consequences we are not taking this global issue seriously, and this will bring diseases and adversity to our future generations.Americans care very little about water, because for most of our history water has been abundant and good. But problems with infrastructure and supply are growing.Make the difference by changing the way you use water in your home, try to save more and use less. It’s a daily life choice that we still able to decide for our own good, for our children. And always remember that little details can make a huge difference, make the difference

Sources; http://ca.water.usgs.gov/data/drought/drought-impact.htm http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/water-pollution-facts.html

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