Least arsenic in J&K’s groundwater in all India: IIT study
SRINAGAR: The groundwater in Jammu and Kashmir contains the least percentage of arsenic among all regions in India, an IIT Kharagpur study has revealed.
The groundwater here has only one percent of arsenic concentration, the least among all regions of India. The study found that 20 percent of India’s total land area has toxic levels of arsenic in its groundwater, which means a large chunk of population is exposed to the poisonous element.
Presence of arsenic beyond a certain level in potable water and food can cause cancer and skin lesions, among other disorders.
The Artificial Intelligence-based prediction model of IIT Kharagpur has reported that Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have the highest arsenic concentration in groundwater reserves.
As per the study, Punjab has as much as 92 percent of arsenic concentration, the highest in the country.
Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have 70, 69, 48, 43, 28, and 24 percent, respectively, arsenic concentration in groundwater, as per the study.
The study is based on various geologic, hydrogeologic and anthropogenic factors that have been known to control the groundwater arsenic distribution in aquifers.
Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha have 9 percent, 8 percent and 4 percent of arsenic concentration in groundwater.
Experts say that if the use of groundwater in JK is made mandatory, pressure on other resources will come down and availability of water to all would become easy. The J&K government is in the process of re-assessing water resources in Jammu and Kashmir as per the Ground Water Resources Estimation Methodology 2015. This will tell us about the status of utilisation of the annual extractable groundwater resources in JK.
An official of the Public Health Engineering Department said that if use of groundwater in households becomes the norm, the department will be able to pump up the needed water to areas that face water shortage.