Water pollution is the contamination of natural water bodies by chemical, physical, radioactive or pathogenic microbial substances. Alteration in water quality is responsible for large scale illness and deaths, accounting for nearly 50 million deaths per year across the world. Water pollution can occur naturally by sedimentation from severe rainfall events, volcanic eruptions and/or algae blooms. However, natural causes constitute only a minute proportion of the factors responsible for the world’s water pollution. This review brings an insight into the various causes of water pollution with main emphasis on industrial discharge and steps that should be undertaken to solve this problem.
The original definition appeared in UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection, Report of the First Session, March 1969, 5p. It omitted the word "energy," which was added at the Stockholm Conference (the UN Conference on Human Development) in 1972.