March 18, 2013
By Pacific Institute Staff
Surface water and groundwater are not always static in their natural reservoirs. The water particles are always moving either vertically, laterally, or a combination of both through the banks and bottom of the reservoirs. Through the process of movement, the water interacts with different geologic environments that result in the dissolution of some minerals and transportation of non-dissolvable solids. The addition of these dissolved minerals and solids changes the quality of water from one point to another. The cause of water quality variation can be classified as follows:
- Addition of freshwater from precipitation into existing water bodies
- Dissolution of minerals in geologic media
- Erosion resulting from run-off and other sources
- Mining activities that release heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, etc.
- Farming activities that include the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers
- Poor sanitation around water environments
- Industrial sources such as releases of gas fumes from factories, cars, and tanning and leather work, etc.
Our work on water quality issues aims to educate communities and individuals to safeguard water quality through:
- Action-based research
- Release of tools and technologies to improve water quality
- Community empowerment through knowledge sharing and training using research results
- Capacity building of governments and local government staff and water professionals