Interesting Facts About Water Pollution

  1. While many parts of the world face major challenges due to limited freshwater availability, a significant amount of the limited freshwater resources in the world are contaminated by pollutants from industry, farming, energy generation, and other activities. 
  2. The Mississippi River carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year, creating a “dead zone” in the Gulf each summer about the size of New Jersey.
  3. Approximately 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming.
  4. Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are dumped into US water.
  5. Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s water the equivalent of the weight of the entire human population of 6.8 billion people.
  6. Tens of millions of people in Bangladesh have been exposed to poisonous levels of arsenic from contaminated groundwater.
  7. In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply.”
  8. More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas.
  9. About 10% of America’s beaches fail to meet the federal benchmark for what constitutes safe swimming water.
  10. Federal authorities estimate that the headwaters of 40 percent of Western rivers are tainted with toxic discharge from abandoned mines.
  11. In the United States there are thought to be over 20,000 known abandoned and uncontrolled hazardous waste sites and these sites could contaminate the groundwater if there is a leak.
  12. The annual discharge of sewage and industrial waste in the Yangtze River has reached about 25 billion tons.
  13. More than 70 percent of China’s rivers and lakes are polluted, government reports have said, and almost half may contain water that is unfit for human consumption or contact.
  14. Every year, more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war.
  15. Nitrate from agriculture is the most common chemical contaminant in the world’s groundwater aquifers.