Common sources of stormwater pollution

Sedimentation is the main cause of water quality degradation in the state of Arkansas. Although sedimentation does occur through natural erosion, construction activities contribute to the majority of sediment that reaches our water bodies.

Stormwater pollutants originate from many different sources, ranging from fuel and oil on roadways to litter dropped on the streets and sediment from building sites. 

There are three main types of stormwater pollution:

  • Litter (i.e., cigarette butts, cans, food wrappers, plastic bags, or paper)
  • Natural pollution (i.e., leaves, garden clippings, or animal feces)
  • Chemical pollution (i.e., fertilizers, oil, or detergents)

Clean Water Crises

It is common knowledge that the world is covered in water. In fact, nearly 70% - 75% of the world is covered by water. However, despite that three-quarters of the Earth is made up of water, there is less than 2.5% of non-saline water. There is only 31% of the freshwater available on earth accessible for use. So, if only 31% of the freshwater is available for drinking (31% of the 2.5% = .00775) That mean less than 1% of the earth's water is drinkable and almost all the available freshwater (excluding glaciers) is groundwater. 

Of the less than 1% of the available drinking water, most third-world countries do not have the needed resources to provide safe and clean drinkable water to its people. According to the 2008 WHO Drinkable Water and Sanitation Report, about 885 million people (an eighth of the world’s population) have no access to safe water which means about 3.6 million people die annually from diseases resulting from unsafe drinking water.

Water Is Life

No matter where people are, they need water to survive. 

According to the United Nations, water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change. Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and caring for it properly. Since each of us depends on water to sustain life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our sources pure and safe for generations to come.