Water pollution, tourism and growing economies.

Water pollution can have drastic and terrible consequences for growing economies in nations that  have scare resources and capitol.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that contaminated water can drive up the costs associated with maintaining clean water sources for drinking, damage revenue from commercial fishing, hurt tourism industries and damage property through contamination of lands and erosion related problems.

These threats are especially pressing for small nations whose primary sources of income and revenue are tourism or fishing. Nations like the Maldives, Macau, Bahamas and other similarly small nations that rely almost entirely on their tourism sectors for their gross domestic product (GDP). Should a water crisis occur in these nations it could be devastating to the local economies should tourism be blocked or interrupted in some manner.

Another viewpoint of the intersection of tourism and water pollution is how economies that rely heavily on tourism affect the local water sources. For example the tourist spot of Cancun, Mexico and the whole state of Quintana Roo in which Cancun resides, 70% of the Mexican state's water use goes towards hospitality and the tourism sector. The primary struggle the state has had with water is not quantity or availability but quality and contamination threats. The ground water sources with which the state gets most of its drinking water from are threatened heavily by contamination from the local tourism and hospitality economies. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists bring with them a myriad of domestic products like toothpaste, makeup, shampoo, soups and beyond contribute huge quantities of chemical pollution into the ground water. One major problem compounding the presence of all these pollutants is the fact that only 30% of the waste water is treated while the rest is directly sent to lagoons, rivers and other water sources.


Written by : Ted Esparza