Environmental concerns regarding its conservation have been at the forefront of government campaigns and activities which seek to offer strategies to reduce environmental destruction by humans. In Australia, various NGO’s, government agencies, and concerned people have taken the relevant steps to help save the environment from anthropogenic destruction from humans. In the past hundred years, human activities have greatly increased in magnitude thus, adversely affecting the environment. Aquatic ecosystems have been one of the areas affected by human activities such as urbanization, deforestation and introduction of foreign species (Crain, Halpern, Beck, & Kappel, 2009). Specifically, the water quality of natural aquatic systems in Australia has greatly deteriorated due to human activities. Degradation of the water quality of aquatic system reduces the availability of these systems to provide water for humans and ecosystems. Therefore, it is the role of all people living in the country to participate in rebuilding and restoring the water quality of aquatic systems. It is important to understand the causes of water quality deterioration, effects on aquatic animals and plants before developing strategies to improve water quality. Individuals can make a difference in the country’s future environment by making choices that improve water quality.
Water Quality Improvement
Water quality deterioration
Poor water quality can result from natural mechanisms but is often associated with human activities especially industrial development. It is clear from the various scholarly evidence that people’s activities and lifestyles have greatly have affected the country’s ecosystems. Human influences on aquatic systems have driven most plant and animal species to extinction by affecting biodiversity (Janse et al., 2015). Some of the human-induced factors that have resulted in the degradation of water quality include pollution, the introduction of invasive foreign plants and animals to Australia, urbanization, and environmental legislation.
Industrial pollution because of urban development is the primary cause of deteriorating water quality as most of the effluent are directly drained into aquatic ecosystems (Gunn & Manning, 2010). Trace metals and mercury from industrial effluents contaminate aquatic systems affecting both aquatic animals and humans. Bioaccumulation potential of these trace elements in the food chain may be toxic for animals and even humans. Agricultural pollution may also affect the water quality of aquatic ecosystems. Pesticides often used in agriculture, forestry and urban settings drain into aquatic systems through surface runoff. Most pesticides break down into residues that may be toxic to humans and aquatic life. Domestic effluents rich in nitrogen and phosphorus elements may also result in pollution of aquatic systems. These elements cause eutrophication and its consequent effects.