Super Bacteria Found In Rio's Water

By: Halle Krehbiel

Water for Life

All living humans and animals need water to survive. Although there is a lot of water on Earth, only two percent of that is freshwater. On top of that only ten percent is used for drinking and household uses. The other 90 percent of freshwater is used for growing crops. Those percentages show just how important our Earth's freshwater should be to us. But most of Earth's freshwater is either being overused or misused. Just as an example about 1.7 million gallons of water are wasted every day just from leaky faucets in the United States. Pollution is also ruining our water sources. The sources are being polluted by human waste and other harmful chemicals. Burning fossil fuels is a main type of pollution, that majorly affects the environment. Chemicals released into the atmosphere can lead to global warming. This causes weather extremes, such as flooding, droughts, and massive storms. Sometimes the droughts will lead to the drying up of water sources. Since many water sources are being misused and can't be used any more, countries are fighting over the ones left, and the rights to them. If we don’t reduce the amount of water we are using and continue to waste water we will no longer have any water to use. An average human can only 3 days without water. So, as the population of the Earth increases and the demand for water increase, we must figure out a way to conserve water. If we don't the cost may be the human race.

Dirty Water in Rio

A "Super Bacteria" found in the waters of Rio De Janeiro where the 2016 Olympic sailing events will be, has become a concern for both the planners and the participants. This bacteria is known to be extremely hard to treat due to its resistance to most modern medications. Doctors usually do not use the same medication to kill off this bacteria on anything else because it is lethal for the organism. Not only is the bacteria dangerous for the Olympic participants, but it is also harmful for every day citizens who visit. The water is considered to be a possible danger for swimmers. The Olympic organizers had promised to cut the amount of sewage and garbage pumped into the bay daily by 80 percent, but critics say that not much has been done. It is seemed that only 34 percent of the sewage is being treated.

The amount of Waste is negatively affecting the community and wildlife

It's not entirely clear how the bacteria got into the river. No bacteria was found at the headwaters of Carioca River. The first place where the bacteria was detected was after the river passed the areas around homes and hospitals. Though the cause is not entirely known this bacteria has had many bad affects. On the Olympic side of things the teams are nervous about getting sick from the bacteria. Sailors also have to consider they will be adding extra obstacles. Such as TVs, bed frames, and dead animals. But the affects on the people who live in the area are even greater. The water quality adds many health concerns to citizens. The bacteria is spreadable, so you could hand it off to family members or friends. If you do fall ill you may require hospitalization. Which just costs more money and can lead to more sicknesses in the city. The bacteria has only worsened the conditions in which where already very bad in the waters of Rio De Janeiro.

There aren't Many Possible Solutions

Most of the solutions that have been suggested or put into place are only temporary or a very slow process. They are using trash bags to pick up trash in the water. They are also building walls at the mouths of the rivers to help keep the fresh water from being polluted. Most people don't think that problem will be solved by the time the Olympics roll around. If they get sick they are supposed to drink coke to help them feel better. The sailor's will just have to hope that they won't fall sick during their time in Rio.