Groundwater Uranium Contamination in Bihar
A Study jointly conducted by University of Manchester and Bihar based Institute has found Uranium contamination in the groundwater in 10 districts of Bihar.
• Uranium concentrations are profound in 10 districts some of which are Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, Patna, Nalanda and Nawada.
• The 10 districts showed uranium concentrations very much in excess of the WHO’s prescribed limit.
• Uranium concentrations are elevated mostly in the North West-South East band along and to the east of Gandak River and running south of the Ganga River towards Jharkhand.
• The maximum uranium contamination is detected in Supaul, 80 microgram of uranium per litre of water. The permissible limit according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is 30 microgram per litre.
• However, India still has lack of integrated approach, and unavailability of permissible limit data. The concerned authorities are yet to provide such limits.
Water Contamination Issue in Bihar
Arsenic was first reported in 2003. Today, arsenic content is found in 22 districts of the state. The arsenic contaminated water causes adverse impact on paddy production.
Groundwater arsenic and uranium were strongly inversely correlated, with higher arsenic generally prevalent in reducing conditions near the north of the Ganga.
A significant amount of Fluoride contamination and fluorosis is also observed in the state. However, there is no official record of fluoride contamination in Bihar.
Ground Water Quality in India
Ground water is an important and vital component of life support system. The ground water resources are being used for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes.
The quality of ground water has experienced a change to an extent of being hazardous. Increase in overall salinity of the ground water and presence of high concentrations of fluoride, nitrate, iron, arsenic, total hardness and few toxic metal ions have been noticed in large areas in several states of India. This causes threat to Crops, livestock and humans.
Ground water in shallow aquifers is generally suitable for use for different purposes and is mainly of Calcium bicarbonate and mixed type. However, other types of water are also available including Sodium-Chloride water.
The quality in deeper aquifers also varies from place to place, though it is generally found suitable for common uses. Only in some cases, ground water has been found unsuitable for specific use due to various contaminations mainly because of geo-genic reasons.
For Broad Coverage on ‘Uranium Contamination in Groundwater’ Refer KSG Current Connect, March 2020, Page No-72
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