Water pollution is a global challenge that has increased in both developed and developing countries, undermining economic growth as well as the physical and environmental health of billions of people.

Human settlements, industries and agriculture are the major sources of water pollution. Globally, 80 percent of municipal wastewater is discharged into water bodies untreated, and industry is responsible for dumping millions of tonnes of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes into water bodies each year.
Agriculture, which accounts for 70 percent of water abstractions worldwide, plays a major role in water pollution. Farms discharge large quantities of agrochemicals, organic matter, drug residues, sediments and saline drainage into water bodies. The resultant water pollution poses demonstrated risks to aquatic ecosystems, human health and productive activities.

Learn more in this publication by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Water Management Institute.

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