GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 40-5
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM


KRISHAN, Gopal1, BHATTACHARYA, Prosun2, SUDARSAN, Natarajan1, POLYA, David3 and VASISHT, Rajesh4, (1)Water Resources, River Development, Ganga Rejuvenation, National Institute of Hydrology, Groundwater Hydrology Division, Roorkee, 247667, India, (2)Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 10B, Stockholm, SE-114 28, SWEDEN, (3)Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science, The University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom, (4)Soil and Water Conservation, Chandigarh, 160017, India

Worldwide, millions of people are at risk of adverse health effects due to the intake of arsenic (As) through drinking water and food. Much of this exposure arises from the exploitation of groundwater. High concentrations of As are found in groundwaters in many parts of the densely populated flood plains of the South Asian region including in the state of Punjab.

In the present study, a total of 275 wells were sampled and As was detected in 53 wells. 19% of the 53 As affected groundwater wells have concentrations above World Health organization (WHO) guideline of 10 μg/L. Further, high (> 1) Health Hazard Quotients (HHQ) were found in ~ 21% of wells; this indicates a potential risk from exposure to arsenic and other contaminants in the groundwater used for drinking purposes. We are carrying out a more detailed health risk assessment to estimate the extent of the health impacts plausibly attributable to arsenic in these groundwater. There is an urgent need for a detailed depth-wise analysis of groundwater arsenic to identify depths at which the groundwater arsenic hazard is lower.

Keywords: Arsenic concentration, groundwater, health hazard quotient, Punjab, Northwest India