10 Effects of Water Pollution on the Economy

10 Effects of Water Pollution on the Economy

Water is an essential element of human life. Water pollution refers to intoxicating water sources with harmful substances such as chemicals, and micro-organisms. They degrade the quality of the water thus making it unsafe for human consumption. Water contamination has effects on the environment, human health and the economy.  The economic effects caused by water pollution include:

1.     Increased Cost of Water Treatment

Water pollution leads to the price increase of treating contaminated water. The addition of energy cost needed to treat the water causes the price to increase. Moreover, people will use more chemicals to filter and clean the water. Water treatment cost has increased by almost $4.00 per 1000 gallons. This makes the water treatment process to be expensive.

2.     The Decline of the Tourism Industry

Approximately $1 billion of revenue is lost in the tourism industry due to water pollution.  For instance, the growth of red algae caused by water pollution has created an emergency health crisis. Toxic vapor is emitted from the decaying algae causing hospital admissions. Tourists are discouraged from visiting such places for fear of their health safety. Water pollution also destroys the marine ecosystem, which is a tourist attraction. Some marine species become extinct, leading to tourism industry revenue reduction.

3.     Damage of Commercial Fishing And Shell Fish Harvest

Water pollution has threatened marine lives and has caused their death. Most people in the world depend on them for either food or income. Highly-acidity in water disrupts the marine ecosystem. The water corrodes the carbon-based shells of shellfish. If no action is taken, the total amount generated reduces and most people are left unemployed. Water pollution leads to the decline of fishing industries hence destroys the sources of income.

4.     Lowers the Real Estate Values

The value of waterfront properties drops when the surrounding water is polluted. The value reduction is around 25% as compared to properties within clean water. It becomes a loss to the real estates’ owners and the country. When the value decreases, total real estate revenue decreases hence negatively affecting the economy. The economic benefits of developing waterfront real estates will, therefore, decline.

5.     A decline in The Quality and Quantity of Agricultural Production

Irrigation agriculture faces an indirect loss when it comes to water pollution. The loss is caused by the decline in quality and quantity of food production. The decline is due to the excessive discharge of different pollutants during irrigation. The economy will be affected since the agricultural products have to be sold at lower prices. There will also be quantity reduction hence lower income. The loss will reduce economic growth contributed by agricultural activities.

6.     Labor Productivity is Affected

Water pollution deteriorates human health.  Health damage causes morbidity and mortality hence reducing the labor population. Productivity is measured by output per unit input. Productivity loss refers to reduced labor input due to health problems caused by water pollution. When people get health issues from polluted water, their level of productivity reduces.

7.     Leads to Health Issues and Increased Expenditure to Procure Medication

Water pollution leads to an increase in the number of infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera and other infectious diseases. People exposed to contaminated water for a long period of time end up with serious conditions such as cancer. Governments spend huge sums of money to purchase machines and medicines to cub these conditions in the long run. People should avoid water pollution at all cost to prevent its adverse effect on the economy and social well-being.

8.     Leads to Increased Levels of Poverty

Man can survive without luxury but can never survive without water. Approximately 100% of humans depend on water to conduct their basic chores. Water pollution, therefore, leads to reduced levels of production and exposure to health complications. It is accurate to say that water pollution is directly linked to poverty increment in settlements. People are disadvantaged because they are put in a position; they cannot help themselves. They end up depending on the government for relief foods to survive. Such conditions end up straining the economy of a country.

9.     Water Pollution is a Threat to Global Economic Development Goals

The success of economic, environmental and social development projects worldwide is directly tied to water conservation. The economic goals that aim to reduce suffering through the elimination of poverty are at stake. The world should take collective action to prevent water pollution. We should focus on the invisible threat of pollutants without forgetting the more visible water effects, such as drought and floods. The action will enable economic goals to be attained.

10.  Increased Costs Used in Educational Programs.

Despite learning in schools, the world’s governments are forced to spend billions of shillings to run educational programs on the effects of water pollution. These programs are aimed at creating awareness of the effects of water pollution. If people were cautious enough, then the government would use the money in other meaningful sectors such as health facilitation.


Water pollution is a threat to everyone; whether a state is poor or rich, the effects will be similar. Therefore, everyone needs to take up the challenge and conserve water to prevent negative economic, social and environmental effects caused by water pollution. At all times, we ought to remember that prevention is always better than cure. Clean water is good for our health.

Image by Brigitte make custom works from your photos, thanks a lot from Pixabay

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