Monday, August 10, 2020

Tide-y up the Beach!

Hello everyone, let’s jump right into week 5 exploring water quality!! This week my group and I were located at Malibu beach in Dorchester, where we flew air drones, walked along the beach to look for sea life, and explored it’s connections to water quality. Water quality, by definition, describes the condition of the water, including chemical, physical, and biological characteristics, usually with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose such as drinking or swimming. Water, while it seems simple enough to keep clean, becomes complex when you introduce growing populations, large carbon footprints, and even something as simple as heat waves.

Air drone and the camera from it

Right away how close the beach was to the open highway. CO2, better known as carbon dioxide, can easily affect the water at Malibu beach, being so close to cars every single day. As more and more CO2 gets in the water, the more acidic the water gets, and more algae blocks the nutrients from getting to the water.  The top 2 greatest health concerns in the U.S are poverty and contaminated water, whether that is through lead pipes, CO2, or even climate change. 

pH scale for water acidity
The PH scale, where water is neutral

Diving deeper into water quality we discovered that it has a strong connection to underdeveloped communities, and they are more likely to face issues with obtaining clean water. As opposed to developed countries like The UK, Canada, and Australia, the top 10 countries with the worst water quality include Mexico, the Congo, Pakistan, Bhutan, Ghana, Nepal, Cambodia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Uganda, all 10 being underdeveloped countries. Climate change can be one of the leading causes of poverty. Furthermore, without access to clean and drinkable water many people suffer from lack of good hygiene and even lack of good health. Poor drinking water can cause elevated risks of cancer and birth defects, most common in low income and minority communities. Something needs to be done in order to help these communities get access to clean water to drink, bathe in, and cook with, and I hope this has brought more awareness to the severity of poor water quality!

Sea you next time :)

Aleena Mangham




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