Originally Posted by unimacs
On the other hand I had the misfortune of finding myself swimming through a "garbage patch" on a local lake a few years ago while training for a triathlon. This was after a storm. Obviously this isn't just a third world problem. The city has started to divert storm sewers so that they don't run straight into the lakes and rivers and instead goes into holding ponds.
Stormwater runoff is the #1 problem for all developed countries, which by and large have already addressed the point source discharges by municipal and industrial water users. It can be done with just a bit more money, and it generates many additional side benefits, like improving groundwater recharge rates (stormwater gets a chance to sink into the ground), creating habitat for wildlife and green spaces for people to enjoy, and even impacting the climate (wetlands have the cooling effect in the summer and warming in the winter.
I work in the environmental field and I'm amazed how little it actually costs to improve the environment as compared to let's say military spending. How many lives would we be saving annually if we diverted just 10% of current military spending to improve the quality of our environment here in the States? Probably like 10,000 times more than are killed by the terrorists.