- Approximately 80% of sewage is discharged untreated in developing countries
- The presence of chemical and biological pollutants reduces water quality and kills millions of people every year — particularly within Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
Nitrogen and phosphorous contamination, a key cause of freshwater pollution, is largely linked to agricultural runoff and can result in eutrophication, upsetting the balance of freshwater ecosystems, and can eventually result in hypoxia, killing fish and other freshwater species. If unchecked, this can eventually lead to the collapse of an entire ecosystem.
There are a great number of other substances polluting freshwater systems, many of which come from industrial practices, methods of sanitation and waste management, direct use of water for transportation and sedimentation due to logging upstream and along river shores.