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Imagine a world where a liter of water costs two or three times as much as a liter of gasoline because our water supply has become so poisoned that there are very few sources of freshwater left. Many people poke fun at this scenario, saying that it’s never going to happen, but the reality is that it could happen sooner than we think. The pollution of the world’s freshwater supply is already happening at an alarming rate, and if we do not take measures to stop what’s happening, we could be facing a water scarcity crisis very soon.

Industry’s unfettered disposal of toxic materials and byproducts into our water supply plays a huge role in the growing water crisis. In the Philippines alone, chemical pollution is quickly taking its toll on our limited supply of fresh water. A lethal cocktail of hazardous chemicals are being dumped daily into such major water sources as the Laguna Lake and the Pasig River. Data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Philippines showed that out of the 127 freshwater bodies that they sampled, 47% percent were found to have good water quality. However, 40% of those sampled were found to have only fair water quality, while 13% showed poor water quality.

Most alarming of all was a statement from then Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes that as many as 50 of the 421 rivers in the Philippines are already considered “biologically dead.” Biologically dead rivers no longer contain any oxygen and cannot support any but the hardiest kinds of species. If this dangerous and toxic practice continues, a bleak, waterless landscape may not be far from our country’s future.

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