Water Pollution & Urban Agriculture Free Essay Samples & Outline

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Sample Essay On Water Pollution



Water pollution is as a result of the introduction of either chemical or biological pollutants into large water basins such as the oceans, rivers and the lakes. These pollutants degrade the quality of the water and can even lead to the death of marine mammals. The main point of focus on this essay is on the chemical pollutants of water in the rivers and the swamps in the surrounding environment. Some of the causes of the chemical pollution include the fertilizers, pesticides, metals and the solvent works from industries and petroleum. The petroleum contaminates the water through the oil spills when the ship splits.

This oil can cause the death of thousands of the aquatic life in the oceans and in the sea. Water is regarded as the body of life and the main reason as to why I chose the chemical pollutants is because they are the most dangerous pollutants in the environment. Without much further prevention towards this pollutant it can cause the death of fishes, destruction of agriculture and even the death of the organisms leaving in the soil.

The water system I chose is the lake and the rivers. This is because the lakes and the rivers are the basins that surround us in the environment. They are the water systems that are mostly used by many individuals. Some of the use include, fishing purposes, swimming purpose, boat riding and scuba diving. When the pesticides are used in large quantities in agriculture, they move into the nearby lake or river which leads to water pollution. The industrial wastes such as the metal works are being disposed off into the lakes. This in turn causes lack of oxygen for the fishes in the lakes and rivers that can lead to their deaths. (Calhoun, Y., & Seideman, D. (2005).

Chemical pollutants have been strongly addressed both via the internet and the news. There was an incident of the acidic rain in the year 1963 both on the internet on the television news. The acidic rain occurred in the northern parts of America around the Hubbard brook

Experimental forest. The forest is around the white mountains of the New Hampshire. The rain collected there had a ph of 3.7. This form of chemical pollution as a result caused some effects on the surrounding communities. The acid rain led to the acidification of the lakes and the rivers in the surrounding communities. This in turn led to the damage of the trees and the sensitive forest soil. The acid rain also caused the decay of the building materials such as the irreplaceable buildings, the paints in the buildings and the sculpture of the building. ( Selendy, J. M. H. (2011)

Chemical pollutants have an impact on the health of many people in the surrounding communities. The chemical health effects may start appearing either immediately after the exposure or after several weeks or months. Fish in the rivers and the lakes is one of the major exposed food products to chemical pollution that can have a health impact on an individual. Fish may be a cause of food poisoning to many people in the environment when consumed. It is advised that when wanting to purchase fish, an individual should get it from trusted sources and reduce on the consumption of fish.

Spaces which are confined are exposed to chemical pollution and may have serious health issues. This is because they accumulate toxic gases which have a fatal health effect to an individual that is inside the space. When inhaled can even lead to death. It is always advised to aerate the spaces such as warehouse and storage rooms before storing food products and other types of products. Most people are usually encouraged by the doctors to take fruits and green vegetables for healthy living. With the production of commercial foods, research has shown that traces of pesticides that are used in the crops can have their way into the food system and into the body of the consumers. This can lead to the disruption of the functioning of the hormone. They disrupt the endocrine system which detects and reacts to the hormones present in the body. The area that is mostly affected is the reproductive health and foetal development. In the males the hormones that is affected is the androgens (testosterone) which controls the male characteristics. ( Simeonov, L., & Hassanien, M. A. (2009).

The well known prevention measure of the chemical pollution in the environment is utilization. This refers to the situation where the chemical pollutants such as the metals from the industries are transformed into a potentially useful product that is less toxic and friendly to the environment. This will help prevent water pollution in the rivers and the lakes. When metallic wastes are disposed off into the rivers and the lakes, they reduce the oxygen concentration in the rivers and the lakes which leads to the death of aquatic animals. To enforce the prevention measure, the government must impose legislations where any person or industry that is found disposing wastes into the rivers and the lakes, must either be sentenced to jail or pay a fine. Another measure is to increase on the awareness of the importance of rivers and lakes and how the wastes such as the metals and the solvents form the industries can be recycled and reused again. Sharma, (S. K., & Sanghi, R. (2012)

Prevention refers to the measures taken on how to control on the rate of pollution in the environment. When safe precautionary measures are kept in place, the rate of water pollution will be very low. This has implies that water will be safe for use in different fields and the aquatic life will have a stable supply of oxygen in the waters. Legislations must be kept in place to safe guard on the water. Water is considered as life and without water we cannot survive. Water is used for cooking, quenching the thirst of people, washing clothes, production of products in an industry and for the purpose of recreation. When we control on the rate of chemical pollution in the waters, the level of water in the rivers and the lakes will increasing and the water will be safe for use.


References

Calhoun, Y., & Seideman, D. (2005). Water pollution. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
NATO Advanced Study Institute on Exposure and Risk Assessment of Chemical Pollution - Contemporary Methodology, Simeonov, L., & Hassanien, M. A. (2009). Exposure and risk assessment of chemical pollution: Contemporary methodology. Dordrecht: Springer
Selendy, J. M. H. (2011). Water and sanitation-related diseases and the environment: Challenges, interventions, and preventive measures. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sharma, S. K., & Sanghi, R. (2012). Advances in water treatment and pollution prevention. Dordrecht: Springer.




 

Urban Agriculture role in sustainable cities


Food demand is expected to double by over 50% by the year 2050; currently there are about seven billion mouths to feed. Human agriculture therefore, exerts a tremendous toll on the planet from pollution, energy loss as well as the habitat loss for many animals. However, there are a lot of solutions that have come up in regards to the growing need for agricultural expansion, and this ranges from organic agriculture to integrated pest management. People around the world are taking a look at urban farming and the offers it makes to food being local as possible. In fact, it has been determined by growing what people need around them, they decrease the food miles which are often associated with long distance transportation (Smith, 2006). Further, in addition to reducing food miles, people get the freshest produce that money can buy and are thus encouraged to eat in the season. This paper is going to discuss the importance of urban agriculture and why it should be pursued in the 21st century.

There is substantial amount of land that is potentially available for urban agriculture in different cities around the world. For example, around New York City, estimators have identified close to 5,000 acres of land that is vacant that can be used to be suitable for farming. In addition, to the land, there are other underutilized open spaces as well as green streets that farmers can take advantage of and grow their crops. It is imperative to understand that there are other large suitable sites as well as properties that are privately owned and consequently are not included in the estimators designations, they would greatly help in the expansion of the total amount of land that is available for agricultural production (Group, 2012).

Further, each of the different types of sites that exist often demands different approaches as well as strategies if they are to be deployed for agricultural purposes. Therefore, in this regards, there is a need to create data on the available land as well as its suitability if one wants to understand the true capacity and information about the amount of land that exists in the cities that can be used to grow food. More people are switching to what is regarded to as healthy diet, and consequently this means that more land under vegetable and fruit cultivation is required. There is existence of technology that promotes bio intensive production techniques. These bio intensive production techniques are extremely important as they ensure that urban agriculture can be able to effectively and efficiently achieve its goal of large scale production of food in large cities.

It is important to note that widely practiced intensive farming techniques that exist in small sites in urban areas, such as intensive soil management, intercropping as ell as hydroponical cultivation can be used in order to produce what can be described as highly productive assets. Many cities have rooftops which are vast, and are underused. These vast and underused rooftops can be described as a resource which could help in food production (Hodgon, 2011). A city like New York has large rooftops and is in an advantageous place when it comes to establishing rooftop agriculture. Many cities have access to capital, robust transportation networks as well as high consumer demand. These factors make cities rooftop to be efficient places that have large potential for feeding the masses that live in the cities. Further, rapidly changing technologies as well as skills and experience that has been developed by today’s rooftop farming pioneers can be said to make wider adoption of the trade more feasible as cities head into the future.

Urban farming will be instrumental when it comes to the reduction of crime in cities. It is of essence to understand that 60% of crime in major cities is attributed to criminals trying to steal in order to meet the basic needs such as food. Urban farming will give the potential criminals a chance to buy local cheap food and potentially keep them away from the streets. Further, the number of beggars in the streets is set to decrease with increased food security and food production (Golden, 2013).

It is important to understand that although urban agriculture cannot be able to supply the entire city with all required food needs, in certain neighborhoods; urban agriculture can significantly contribute to food security. There in fact a number of neighborhoods where there is existence of confluence of factors which makes urban agriculture particularly attractive as well as an effective and efficient means of addressing multiple community challenges. Some of these factors include low access to health food retails, prevalence of obesity as well as diabetes, low median income and finally high availability of land that is vacant. It Is of essence to understand that some of these issues are correlated and consequently it is in areas like these that urban agriculture can be able to flourish extensively and have a great impact when it comes to food security and improving the overall health of the community in question.

Urban agriculture reflects varying levels of social and economic development. Therefore, in the face of climate change as well as rising energy prices, it makes a lot of sense to grow food around and in the cities. As the population grows there is increase in demand for food and consequently, this presents the need for people to look better and easier ways to grow food. Understanding how much land that exist in cities and how much of the land can be used for agriculture and horticulture is an important step in urban farming. Ensuring that there is productive green urban space leaves a lasting as well as indelible part of urban landscape that requires clear assessment of both benefits and costs (Golden, 2013).

The importance of urban agriculture includes the fact that it plays a critical role when it comes to providing green urban infrastructure. It is imperative to understand that there is significant potential for urban farming to provide what can be described as critical environmental services to an urban center. These include storm water run off mitigation, soil remediation as well as energy use reduction. Further, at the same time, the municipalities that strain to address complex infrastructural challenges and have limited budgets can benefit from the urban green spaces because of their capacity to function as effective and cost effective form of distributed green infrastructure (Hodgon, 2011).

Unlike the different forms of green infrastructure that exists, urban agriculture is unique as it has the ability and potential to generate revenue as well as provide long term employment. This coupled with the environmental benefits that it brings to the table makes it a suitable choice for many people living in cities as it decreases storm water run off, by harvesting rainwater and also by the increase of surface permeability. Further, conventional cost benefit analysis which consider complex problems in isolation in many cases miss potential synergistic solutions which are able to address multiple problems as the same time.

Urban agriculture often plays an important role when it comes to community development. The benefits of urban agriculture when it comes to community development can never be underestimated, this is because they show that indeed urban agriculture is not limited to food alone but it also advocates strongly for community development and empowerment. Through urban agriculture there is realization of environmental justice, education, public health as well as general togetherness. The farming can be used effectively as a tool of transforming underutilized and neglected space into what can be described as useful public resource that provides opportunities for social interaction, self sufficiency, and engagement of young people in undeserved neighborhoods as well as greater community cohesion (Smith, 2006). These benefits accrue with urban farming and therefore, its practice will ultimately guarantee some if not all of the community development benefits.

Urban agriculture will come with a lot of health benefits, the first will be increased nutrition as well as food security. It is of importance to note that small well tended plots of land will be able to yield large amounts of food. The small plots of land will be able to provide a household’s yearly vegetable’s needs and this includes the nutritional requirements for Vitamin A, B, C and iron. In many areas where urban agriculture is practiced, the food that is often grown includes vegetables and fruits. This consequently means that an area that practices urban farming is more likely to experience growth in fruits and vegetables. There are often select urban spaces that produce large amounts of food, they include bodies of water, rooftops walls, balconies and courtyards.

The urban food production will ensure that an area has food security and the residents of the area will be able to receive food that is fresh and is produced locally. It is imperative to understand that the practical experience that comes with fresh food handling such as growing, harvesting, identifying varieties in food stands as well as the general understanding of seasonality, preserving and cooking can be said to positively impact the dietary habits of the growing community. An allegiance to the food that is home grown or farm purchased is often developed amongst the locals (Smith, 2006). They often try to promote their own and in time they are able to increase their dietary knowledge as their interest in the homegrown varieties of the food grows. This often leads to what can be seen as skills that are important in transforming fresh and raw food into cooked savory food. It is at this time that people look at their dietary needs as they are presented with the opportunity to understand what happens in growing of crops.

There is evidence that shows that when builders and gardeners are planting they save food dollars by producing their own food. Most of the times, their overall food consumption patterns as well as their dietary knowledge increase dramatically. This is because they often tend to believe that what they grow is fresh and consequently it is good fro them and they eat it. A number of different studies in different areas of the world have shown that fruit and vegetable intake, as measured by the recommended doctors servings per day, tends to be higher amongst gardeners as compared to people that buy food from the grocery shops without knowing where it is grown. Recent research has shown that gardeners in the United States that reside in cities have increased vegetable consumption as compared to fruit consumption. This might be because vegetables are often relatively easy to grow and consequently they benefit the diet which most of the times lacks fresh green and yellow vegetables. Fruits as compared to vegetables take more time to grow and need more care as compared to vegetables.

There has also been an increase in land and water livestock production in cities. These areas are a big source of fresh protein to the city locals. The increased production of pasture as well as free range poultry has increased drastically the supply of protein in cities that used eggs as the only source of proteins. Urban production, processing as well as distribution of small scale livestock is rapidly increasing in the city of New York. Farm fishing has also not been left behind and it has grown rapidly since its massive introduction in the 1990’s. Farm fishing is often done in and near large cities.

Fruits and vegetables are described as low calorie and dense in terms of their nutrient value. Many limited income households tend to buy bulk foods that are known to fill them up. Therefore, community and residential gardening is important as it enables persons to save food dollars. Further, in addition to this, it also promotes nutrition and releases the food dollars for non garden foods as well as other items (Hodgon, 2011). Studies have shown that every $1 that is successfully invested in a communal garden plot often yields roughly $6 worth of vegetables. During a time of crisis, the emergency food providers often have great access to breads and canned goods. However, in most of the cases they suffer a chronic shortage when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Through the project of garden donation, the required food can be donated precisely to the people in need of it.

Many studies have shown that gardeners and the people that buy from them often identify wanting fresh produce as a major reason as to why they grow food or purchase the locally grown products. This can be attributed to taste, which has been named by health professionals as an important lever in a bid to increase fruit and vegetable consumption (Foundation, 2011). The sensory experience of eating what can be described as fresh picked produce appears in many cases to enhance fruit and vegetable consumption. Different studies have shown that there is indeed a relationship that exists between freshness and health.

In conclusion, urban agriculture needs to be embraced as it is an integral part and component of large environmental and social systems that will eventually warrant more in depth analysis. There are clear solutions and opportunities that are emerging from urban agriculture. Many problems will be tackled with increased food production in the cities and the potential of enhancing connections between emerging alternative urban and rural food systems will go on an all time high.


References

Foundation, R. W. (2011). Health Policy Brief. Health Affairs, 1-4.
Golden, S. (2013). Urban Agriculture impacts: Social, health and economic: A literature review. University of Califronia, 1-22.
Group, A. H. (2012). Helath Insurance for working adults. 1-7.
Hodgon, K. (2011). Investing in Healthy suistanable places through Urban agriculture. Funders Network , 1-16.
Smith, D. (2006). Understanding the links between agriculture and health . For foods, agriculture and the environment, 1-2.
http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Departments/Behavioral_Health/M...(1-8).pdf
http://inhabitat.com/nyc/top-5-urban-farms-in-new-york-city/brooklyn-gra...
http://sidewalksprouts.wordpress.com/ua/problems/
http://www.fiveboroughfarm.org/future/recommendations/
http://www.urbandesignlab.columbia.edu/?pid=nyc-urban-agriculture