Besides a rapidly depleting groundwater table, the country faces another major problem on the water front — groundwater contamination — a problem which has affected as many as 19 states, including Delhi.
The geogenic contaminants, including salinity, iron, fluoride and arsenic have affected groundwater in over 200 districts spread across 19 states, which includes Delhi.
Several studies have been undertaken in the past to understand the effects of fluoride, salinity, iron and fluoride in drinking water.
While salinity (dissolved salt in a water body) and iron make the taste of water and vegetables cooked in it unappealing, long-term usage of water with fluoride and arsenic can lead to several health hazards.
Studies have shown that long-term intake of fluoride can cause tooth decay and and crippled bones. Arsenic can cause skin cancer and skin pigmentation.
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Delhi are the states facing contamination of ground water, according to statistics available with the Central Ground Water Board.
Najafgarh, Khanjawala and Mehrauli blocks in Delhi have salinity in water, UP’s Agra, Mathura and Mainpuri districts face a similar problem, the Board said.
Arsenic has been found in Patna and Bhojpour in Bihar, Ballia in UP, Malda, South-24 Parganas, Nadia, Hoogly, Murshidabad, Bardhman and Howrah in West Bengal.
Fluoride content in groundwater has been traced in UP’s Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Aligarh, Unnao and Rae Bareli, West Bengal’s Birbhumi and Northern bank of river Brahmaputra in Assam. PTI