As I write this, it's raining. We just don't consider the fact that this water raining down upon us is a precious as gold! We need it for ourselves and our gardens and farms. Here in the USA we're pretty blase about it. We take for granted that the water flowing out of our pipes is palatable AND potable, and we're usually right. However, other areas of the world are not so lucky.
I have quoted part of an article below. If you'd like to read the whole thing go to this link. The article is titled, "Water is the New Oil". That's probably right!
"...Agriculture accounts for more than 70% of water pollution in the United States. Pesticides used in agriculture pollute the freshwater supply buried within the soil. Industrial pollution also contributes to compromised water quality. At least 70,000 different chemicals are used regularly throughout the world, and there are between 200 and 400 toxic chemicals that contaminate the world's waterways. It is also estimated that at least 1,000 new chemicals are introduced every year! This industrial waste when coupled with agricultural runoff, further exacerbates the problem of freshwater pollution.
Wastewater treatment is big business today, processing millions of gallons of water while sending tons of the refuse taken from the water to landfills. However, in the third world, 90 to 95% of all domestic sewage and 75% of all industrial waste are discharged into surface waters without any treatment at all. Even in developed regions like Europe, over 90% of the rivers have nitrate levels that exceed established health thresholds, and one-half of the continent's lakes are low in oxygen..."