Climate Change impacts on Water System


Higher temperatures and changes in extreme weather conditions are projected to affect rainfall, snowmelt, river flows and groundwater, and further deteriorate water quality.

Discharges from wastewater treatment plants have been identified as an important source of contaminants to surface waters. Wastewater treatment facilities are giant collectors of the output of many human activities. Records indicated that concentrations of Chemicals of Emerging Concern (pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting chemicals) were the highest in the vicinity of sources such as wastewater treatment discharges, and can be increased dramatically during storms or flooding caused by climate change.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are becoming a continuous challenge to the ecosystem and human health due to climate change, discharged nutrients from agriculture activities, improperly treated or untreated sewage effluents and others. Higher temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions are expected to have significant impacts on water quantity and quality. HABs could harm the ecosystem by producing toxins that accumulate in certain species like fish. Cyanotoxins caused by Cyanobacteria blooms have been associated with the death of wildlife and domestic animals has posed risk to human health through the exposure to contaminated fresh water, ingestion of contaminated drinking water, or consumption of contaminated fish.