India is the world’s biggest user of groundwater for farming and other purposes, and over the years, the levels of groundwater have been depleting precipitously. More than 75% of the Indian population relies heavily on groundwater for their needs. While the official data indicates that 94% of the Indian population has access to improved water sources, the ground reality is far from what the statistics indicate. It’s not just the scarcity that is the issue here, but the quality of available water.
This is why contamination of groundwater can be a serious issue. But solving this issue is not easy — groundwater contamination presents several challenges concerning clean up or remediation. We will explore some of these challenges in this blog, and also talk about solutions to the grave challenges we have at hand.
The key problems when it comes to groundwater contamination remediation are access, subsurface geology and type of contaminant. Access to the groundwater for treatment or remedial options is quite limited in general, often requiring the installation of specialized wells for sampling and treatment purposes.
Hazards of Contaminated Groundwater
Contamination of groundwater can have serious health effects. One can easily fall prey to diseases such as hepatitis and dysentery. Other long term effects such as certain types of cancer may also result from exposure to polluted water. It’s not just humans who get impacted by contaminated water but even wildlife is not immune to polluted water.
Potential Sources of Groundwater Contamination
- Leak in Septic Systems
- Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste
- Chemicals and Road Salts
- Atmospheric Contaminants
Common Contaminants in Groundwater?
Groundwater contamination occurs when man-made products such as gasoline, oil, road salts and chemicals get into the groundwater and cause it to become unsafe and unfit for human use. Materials from the land’s surface can move through the soil and end up in the groundwater. For example, pesticides and fertilizers can find their way into groundwater supplies over time.
How Can We Prevent Groundwater Over-Usage?
Prevention is better than cure. This applies to groundwater contamination as well — it is better to prevent the contamination from happening in the first place instead of looking for remediation solutions later. And it also helps to ensure we don’t overuse groundwater. Here are some steps we can take:
- Try to maximise the usage of surface water — provide a number of check dams across all the small nalas and make use of this stored water.
- Stop developments like residential colonies or shopping complexes on tank beds and work to preserve the existing tanks.
- Maintain the cleanliness of catchments and feed nalas of tanks.
- Stop polluting the rivers, tanks and other water bodies — don’t make them dump yards of your localities. Stop the running water (by building bunds) and allow this water to percolate in the ground.
- Develop new tanks in and around your localities which will help in improving the groundwater levels. Renew the existing old wells and use them regularly.
- Promote rooftop rain harvesting systems and encourage judicious use of water. Encourage Drip Irrigation and Precision Irrigation Systems.
- Maintain the existing forest cover and plant long-living plants — promote sustainable development.
- Meter all the usage points to bring about rationing of water.
How Do We Increase India’s Groundwater Level?
India has over 30 million extraction points. However, India’s water aquifers are in a critical stage due to unsustainable levels of exploitation. Most of the states in India have registered declining water levels. Falling groundwater levels without the regulation of working aquifers can lead to an increase in the concentration levels of arsenic.
Arsenic groundwater contamination makes groundwater unfit for human consumption. In the coming years, the implications of declining water levels and their quality are unfathomable for agriculture, food security, livelihoods and economic growth. Hence, now more than ever, there is an urgent need to increase India’s groundwater levels.
At Aapaavani, we provide both in-situ (on-site) and ex-situ (off-site) remediation solutions to make groundwater safe for humans and minimize the negative impact that contaminants have on the environment. Our solutions are based on sound scientific data gathered from undertaking geological studies, hydrological mapping and environmental toxicology studies.
Reach out to our representative right away — call us at 8147901288 or 9980584372 or email us at email@example.com