What impact do urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural practices have on land
and water quality? Provide examples of infrastructure, technology, or other alternative
practices for each that have been developed to promote human and environmental
Impact of Urbanization, Industrialization, and Agricultural Practices on Land and Water
Human Expansion, from a global perspective, dictates the level of industrial scales
and compels agriculture to dominate nearly all land management systems. Urbanization
continues to be an alternative for many people seeking employment in different industries
located in urban centers. Consequently, the continued arrival and eventual settlement of
people in urban centers result in extensive pollution of the land and water bodies. The process
of urbanization leads to an increase in both land and surface water pollution sources because
of an exponential rise in population around urban centers. Additionally, the uncontrolled
disposal of effluents bearing COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) and Biological Oxygen
Demand (BOD) eventually enter water bodies (Hu et al., 2013).
Industrialization depends on mining and agriculture for essential raw materials.
Consequently, the process of manufacturing leads to the release of heavy metals both on land
and in water, leading to heavy pollution. The mining processes lead to environmental
degradation, too (Hu et al., 2013).
URBANIZATION, INDUSTRIALIZATION AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES 2
Agricultural practices are the result of the need to increase food production to meet
the growing feeding demands of an ever-increasing population both in rural and urban
centers. Accordingly, extensive land degradation through deforestation is the alternative
during agricultural practices (Baker, 2006). Furthermore, the agricultural sector depends on
the use of herbicides and pesticides, which often lead to both land water pollution.
Alternative developments to improve human and environmental health include proper
town planning to cater for destructive practices during urbanization, improved wastes, and
effluent treatment and disposal, and the manufacture of environmentally friendly pesticides
and herbicides for use in agriculture. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been
instrumental in the development of necessary infrastructure for the improvement of both
human and environmental health (The World Health Organization, 2016). For instance,
effluents from industries must meet specific standards before their release into the
environment. Additionally, education of the masses regarding the importance of the natural
environment’s health is a global campaign.
URBANIZATION, INDUSTRIALIZATION AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES 3
Baker, A. (2006). Land use and water quality. Encyclopedia of hydrological sciences.
Hu, Y., Liu, X., Bai, J., Shih, K., Zeng, E. Y., & Cheng, H. (2013). Assessing heavy metal
pollution in the surface soils of a region that had undergone three decades of intense
industrialization and urbanization. Environmental Science and Pollution
Research, 20(9), 6150-6159.
World Health Organization. (2016). World health statistics 2016: monitoring health for
SDGs sustainable development goals. World Health Organization.