We all know that maintaining high quality water is very essential to our health, environment, agriculture and recreational activities on waterways, coastal waters and wetlands. However, human activities in urban areas have negatively affected water quality. Factories, automotive, and sewage are the main culprits of water pollution in urban areas. With that in mind, we’ll take you through the 5 major water quality issues in urban areas.

1. Health issues

We all drink and bath with water coming directly from the source. However, cities with poor purification practices can put the residents at risk of some water-borne diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid, and cholera. According to WHO, 3-5 million cholera cases are reported every year with 100,000-200,000 deaths. It’s therefore appropriate that your local government takes the appropriate measures to purify the water.

Also, water polluted with minerals such as calcium and magnesium can lead to skin and hair fall problems. Many people bathing with hard water can notice dry skin and hair fall. In children, eczema is the most common effect of hard water.  You could also notice clogged appliances and non-leathering soaps and shampoos. That said, you can successfully avoid all of the above problems by installing an effective water filtration and softening system.  You can find more review details about these appliances on WaterSystemExperts.co.uk

2. Death of animals

We’ve already talked about the effects of polluted water on humans, what about on animals? With the reckless behavior of humans disguised as economic and technological progress, the future of most life forms on earth is endangered.  Humans can only feel the effects of poor quality water when showering drinking or cleaning.

For animals however, living in water contaminated with industrial and human waste could be disastrous. A good example is the recent oil spillage which occurred in the US coastline. This in turn affected thousands of marine animals with most dying just 6 months later.

3. Increased utility bills

Poor quality water polluted with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron can result to higher economic cost. To begin with, you’ll have to spend more to effectively purify drinking water. Most water filtration systems are not that cheap as well as the added utility bills that comes with them. Also, fisheries could lose their revenues because of the scarce fish as well as customers tending to shy away from fish out of these polluted sources.

4. Destruction of ecosystems

Ecosystems are extremely fragile and can respond to even the smallest changes in the environment. Nutrient pollution from upstream mostly flows downstream and could even come in contact with larger water bodies. As a result, algae growth is bred leading to growth of other water organism. These algae could attack aquatic animals like fish by clogging their gills as well as reducing their oxygen supply.

5. Bad taste and smell

Impurities in water are the main cause of bad taste and foul smell. Your water could taste salty or smell rotten due to the availability of sulfates. Your drinking water can also taste and smell chlorine which is used by your local water authorities for disinfection. Lastly, if you notice a metallic taste and smell, it could mean the availability of copper, lead, mercury or iron. All these contaminants can give your drinking water a bad taste as well as being harmful to your body and appliances.

Summary

So, which other issue do you feel we should mention? As we have seen above, polluted water can be a recipe for a lot of damages. It’s therefore urgent that the government, private sector, and individuals to collectively find a permanent solution to all these problems. As always, you can leave use your opinion about this post in the comments section below.

Do you struggle with a messy, cluttered kitchen? Are you having a tough time fitting everything in your pantry, or keeping pots and pans out of the way, or even just finding enough space to store your food and cooking supplies? No need to worry – there are plenty of great storage hacks that can be used in the kitchen to make mealtime less stressful!

1. Maximize Your Pantry

Who says you need to be limited to the built-in shelf space in your pantry? Maximizing surface area can help you store more things neatly to get the most out of your space. For example, try using things like pullout baskets and shallow or stackable drawers within your pantry. Hang a compact storage rack on the inside of the door to give small, loose items a home. Using baskets and drawers inside your pantry will also keep things looking neater and more organized – there’s nothing more stressful than opening the pantry door to make dinner and being met with a confusing mess of random ingredients.

2. Hang Pots and Pans

Most people store their pots and pans in cabinets – but what if you could free up that space to use for other kitchen items? Install a hanging rack above the sink area, or above a center island if your kitchen has one. Or if neither of those spots will work for your kitchen, take a look around and find a spot on the wall or ceiling that might do the trick. If you have enough wall space, you can even go the route of a shelving unit rather than a hanging rack. Either way, storing those pots and pans up high will free up lots of cabinet space that can then be used for something else.

3. Divide Your Drawers

It’s time to clear out the junk drawer! Consider investing in dividers to maximize drawer space and also make utensils easier to find and grab. Stop wasting time searching for the last spoon in a messy drawer filled with silverware, spatulas, pens, receipts, and who knows what else. This will not only create more space and keep things organized, but it will make meal time and cleanup easier.

4. Add Storage to the Island

What’s the use of having a big hunk of wood in the middle of the floor if it’s not doubling as a storage solution? Use that island to your advantage by making sure it includes drawers – and maybe even a wine rack to give those stray bottles a home. Avoid putting too many items on the countertops, as this creates a scattered, cluttered look. Keep as much as possible out of sight to keep home feeling clean.

If you struggle with finding enough space in your kitchen, these tips are for you! It can be refreshing to find creative ways to tidy up and make home feel more organized and comfortable. Be sure to try out some of these ideas in your home and watch your stress melt away!

It has been a crazy week in Illinois politics, perhaps one of the craziest.  The main questions that have been flying around in Democratic circles have been: Who knew what about Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen, and when did they know it?

The second question is actually easy to answer.  I’ll start with myself.

In November 2009 I examined potential opposition research on Cohen for prospecting purposes.  Our standard practice in these matters is to run a Lexis-Nexis search for news clips and personal records.  This is not to find the potential “dirt” but rather to gauge how large the record is, and therefore how much it will cost.

The news search revealed the three Mark Brown articles in which Cohen admitted (more like declared) that he was arrested for domestic battery, in addition to having a turbulent divorce and accepting gold and diamond dentures for a pawn loan.  The remaining news footprint was minimal.  The personal records search revealed that he had 21 registered judgments and liens in Cook County, IL, including several tax liens, foreclosures and an eviction.  Accordingly, I noted at the time that a potential project would focus on his tax liens, divorce and domestic history.

Third Coast Research was not retained for the primary for such a project.

Now let’s consider the other parties.

Cohen and his campaign.  Cohen’s campaign paid RWS Investigations, a private investigator in Chicago, a total of $1,231 on March 19, 2009.  Additionally, Grainger Terry received $184.02 for “research” on September 25, 2009 and then $19,000 for “research” on December 28, 2009.  The private investigator payments speak for themselves.  The other payments are ambiguous.  The larger amount is close to what a baseline poll would cost, and polls are usually reported as “research” on campaign disclosures.  However, polls do not typically have separate expenses for relatively small amounts.  It is possible that the expenditures also reflect opposition research, and that the smaller amount reflects an expense for court records.  Since the vendor was subcontracted through Grainger Terry, it is difficult to tell for sure based on the public record.

The press.  From a research perspective, it is highly probable the Chicago press knew about the domestic violence arrest, meaning the actual court record and not the Mark Brown columns, before the primary election.  The story that initially came out late Wednesday night was assembled from three separate jurisdictions: the Cook County Domestic Violence Court (the arrest), the Cook County Clerk of Court in Skokie (the divorce), and the Lake County Clerk of Court (the prostitution arrest).  These records are difficult to retrieve, assemble and report in one business day presuming no prior knowledge of where they are or what they say.

Other lieutenant governor campaigns.  Research is reported in different ways on disclosures; indeed, sometimes it is not reported at all.  However, according to the Illinois State Board of Election for all lieutenant governor campaigns from both parties, only Cohen reported expenditures for “research” from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.  It should be noted that such a disclosure search does not reflect research conducted by campaign staff.

What lessons can be learned from this?

Opposition research is essential for effective campaigns.  Cohen is a clear example of a flawed candidate winning in a vacuum of good research.  It is not enough to insinuate, or claim that an attack might exist.  Effective attacks require factual data.

Do not count on the press to help your campaign.  Whether the press’ behavior was appropriate in this matter is for themselves to resolve.  Campaigns cannot rely on journalists to help them out by doing footwork they should do themselves, even if journalists have already done it.

Do not count on a flawed candidate’s team to be loyal partisans.  It is no secret why anyone at Grainger Terry did not come forward with information about Cohen: They received $628,882 from him (not including spending from 2010).  There will always be someone to take a candidate’s money, particularly a self-funding candidate.  It is not a wise gamble that someone’s conscience will outweigh his paycheck.