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Science Script

Sean: Welcome to Pollution with the Experts, today we will be discussing the many problems and effects of water pollution. Joining us today as our special guests, we have Doctor Thomas Meredith from the University of Sydney, Professor Mohana Bhogadi from the University of New South Wales and Mr Nathan Haurissa, President from the Global Institute of Health and Safety Sean: Professor Meredith, what is water pollution? Thomas: Water pollution is the process in which natural bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers, are contaminated by foreign material. Since many ecological systems rely on at least one source of water, polluting these bodies can have negative effects on a whole group of organisms, not just the aquatic life. Sean: Are there different types of pollutants? If so, what are the types of pollutants which contaminate our water? Thomas: There are 4 main types of water pollution; organic, inorganic, thermal and macroscopic. Sean: what do these types mean to the pollution of our waterways? Thomas: Organic pollution is waste with its chemical formula based on carbon, including drugs, detergents and food processing waste, taking away oxygen from the water. Inorganic pollutants are not carbon based. They include heavy metals, including arsenic and other motor by-products, badly poisoning water sources. Other inorganic materials include agricultural run-offs, ammonia and acids. Sean: And what about the others?
Thomas: The next form of pollution is thermal pollution. Although this does not physically exist, it still has the ability to wipe out entire species. Thermal pollution is the overall change of temperature in a body of water due to human intervention. Hot water from nuclear power plants is a common form of thermal waste, heating up water and encouraging thermophilic species. Cold water from the bottom of reservoirs is also in this category. Finally, we have the category of macroscopic wastes which are large, floating rubbish which can also be a major problem for natural bodies of water. This macroscopic rubbish is usually found in the form of plastic and metal. Plastic bags and nurdles, which are small balls of plastic, can be eaten by marine life, appearing like jelly fish. Also, large rusting shipwrecks can, over time, expose dangerous poisons to marine life.

Sean: Thank you professor Meredith, we now have Professor Bhogadi from UNSW, Professor Bhogadi would you mind explaining the effects of water pollution? Mohana: Well, water pollution is a major problem for our environment. It is one of the main causes responsible for the declination of marine organisms. Large amounts of human and industrial wastes are polluting the worlds waters and a colossal amount of marine organisms are on the brink of

extinction with many organisms extinct already. It is not only marine animals that are affected but a variety of sea birds as well. This causes a major disruption to the natural order of the ecology. Sean: is there a bigger problem that most people dont see? Mohana: Due to the pollutants and garbage we dump into our waterways, many of the smaller fish die. In a big ecology such as the one underneath large masses of water, organisms depend on each other for their existence. As the smaller fish die out the bigger fish that feed on them would have nothing to eat. Then as we progress our way to the top of the food chain those animals would have a meagre amount of food available to them. The oceans of our world are becoming large bodies of chemical, industrial and human waste. Sean: Is there anything else that is affected by water pollution? Mohana: It is not only marine animals that are being affected. Even the carelessness of us humans is coming back to hurt us. Many people are getting harmful diseases by eating polluted seafood. Our water supply is also dwindling day by day with the amount of pollution that is attacking our waters. Some waters are polluted to such an extent, that even by breathing the polluted air that surrounds these bodies of poisonous waters, one could get infected. Sean: Thank you for your time Professor Mohana Bhogadi. Mr Nathan Haurissa, there has been much discussion over the topic of the long-term effect of water pollution, would you like to reenforce the idea of what would happen if our governments did not take any action towards rectifying the problem of water pollution. Nathan: Well, many terrible things would happen to the environment. Marine life will cease to exist, thus decreasing the amount and quality of human food supplies. Drinking water will be harder to filter as well. Leisure activities such as swimming, going to the beach and fishing will become less popular. Water-side flora and fauna such as mangroves may die out and many tourist attractions will decrease in popularity. Also, natural food chains would be disrupted and diseases would be carried out into fish and sea-weed. Sean: How would this affect the financial part of a country? Nathan: The government budget would become tighter, as they would have to spend more money on filtering water. Also, many tourist attractions would decrease in popularity, thus making the government lose a valuable source of money. This would result in us Australians paying more taxes. All these repercussions are very undesirable. Sean: Is there anything we could do to solve this catastrophic problem? Nathan: we can all make a big difference if we all chip in to stop water pollution. Our community dcould try to prevent water pollution by restricting the amount of water we use for everyday activities such as showering, dish washing etc to limit the amount of contaminated water from running into our waterways. Our governments could also enforce a tax, which would be determined by the amount of pollutants present in the waterways of a country, however I am sure that most of us are against that idea. Sean: What in your opinion is the best option to stop water pollution?

Nathan: There are many solutions to this problem; however it isnt the solutions which are bad but our countrys negligence and passiveness to act against this problem. Personally, my favourite is the idea of minimising the amount of waste we dump down our toilets or basins. We all should have a separate waste bin where we can pour down wastes such as grease, fats, soap run-offs and toiletpaper. It is a dead-simple and effective way of minimising damage which could have been caused to our environment.

Sean: Thank you very much for your time with us today on Pollution with the Experts. We hope that everyone has learnt a valuable lesson in todays interview and once again thank you.