Influences of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors on Surface and Groundwater Quality, 2015
Although water constitutes 71% of the earth’s surface, only 0.3% of it is available as fresh water for human use. Moreover, the quality of fresh water in ground and surface systems is of great concern, as potable water needs to have appropriate mineral content. Ground and surface water quality in rural and urban environments is affected by both natural processes and anthropogenic influences. Because of this, water is becoming scarcer as the population increases across the world.
Natural processes leading to changes in water quality include weathering of rocks, evapotranspiration, depositions due to wind, leaching from soil, run-off due to hydrological factors, and biological processes in the aquatic environment.
These natural processes cause changes in the pH and alkalinity of the water, and also phosphorus loading, increase in fluoride content and high concentrations of sulphates. Anthropogenic factors affecting water quality include impacts due to agriculture, use of fertilizers, manures and pesticides, animal husbandry activities, inefficient irrigation practices, deforestation of woods, aquaculture, pollution due to industrial effluents and domestic sewage, mining, and recreational activities.
These anthropogenic influences cause elevated concentrations of heavy metals, mercury, coliforms and nutrient loads.
This paper studies the effects of natural processes and human influences in rural and urban aquatic systems. Pollution due to environmental parameters such as heavy metal pollution, heavy metals and bacterial and pathogenic contamination of both urban and rural areas is discussed in detail.