POLLUTION AND ITS MANAGEMENT
College of Fisheries, Mangalore
Central Institute of Fisheries
Education, Versova, Mumbai-400061
is water that comes from the ground. Everyone drinks groundwater
every day. Groundwater is used for agriculture. Groundwater comes
from rain, snow, sleet, and hail that soak into the ground. The water
moves down into the ground because of gravity, passing between
particles of soil, sand, gravel, or rock until it reaches a depth
where the ground is filled, or saturated, with water. Think about
this: have you ever dug a hole in sand next to an ocean or lake? What
happens? As you're digging, you eventually reach water, right? That
water is groundwater. The water in lakes, rivers, or oceans is called
surface water...it's on the surface. Groundwater and surface water
sometimes trade places. Groundwater can move through the ground and
into a lake or stream. Water in a lake can soak down into the ground
and become groundwater. The area that is filled with water is called
the saturated zone and the top of this zone is called the water
table. Groundwater is stored in the ground in materials like gravel
or sand. It's kind of like the earth is a big sponge holding all that
-an area that holds a lot of water, which can be pumped up with a
well, is called an aquifer. Wells pump groundwater from the aquifer
and then pipes deliver the water to cities, houses in the country, or
to crops. Most groundwater is clean, but groundwater can become
polluted, or contaminated. It can become polluted from leaky
underground tanks that store gasoline, leaky landfills, or when
people apply too much fertilizer or pesticides on their fields or
lawns. Because it is deep in the ground, groundwater pollution is
generally difficult and expensive to clean up.
is the major source of drinking water in both urban and rural india.
Besides, it is an important source of water for the agricultural and
the industrial sector. Water utilization projections for 2000 put the
groundwater usage at about 50%. Being an important and integral part
of the hydrological cycle, its availability depends on the rainfall
and recharge conditions. Till recently it had been considered a
dependable source of uncontaminated water. The demand for water has
increased over the years and this has led to water scarcity in many
parts of the world. The situation is aggravated by the problem of
water pollution or contamination. India is heading towards a
freshwater crisis mainly due to improper management of water
resources and environmental degradation, which has lead to a lack of
access to safe water supply to millions of people. This freshwater
crisis is already evident in many parts of India, varying in scale
and intensity depending mainly on the time of the year.
OF GROUNDWATER DEPLETION AND CONTAMINATION
is an integral part of the environment. An uncontrolled use of the
bore-well technology has led to the extraction of groundwater at
such a high rate that often recharge is not sufficient.
pollution of air, water, and land has an affect on the pollution
and contamination of groundwater. The solid, liquid, and the
gaseous waste that is generated, if not treated properly, results
in pollution of the environment. For example, when the air is
polluted, rainfall will settle many pollutants on the ground,
which can then seep into and contaminate the groundwater
extraction without proper recharge and leaching of pollutants from
pesticides and fertilizers into the aquifers has polluted groundwater
supplies. In addition, leachates from agriculture, industrial waste,
and the municipal solid waste have also polluted surface- and
ground-water. Some 45 million people the world over are affected by
water pollution marked by excess fluoride, arsenic, iron, or the
ingress of salt water.
OF GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
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. Some of the major sources of
these products, called contaminants, are storage tanks, septic
systems, hazardous waste sites, landfills, and the widespread use of
road salts, fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals.
tanks may contain gasoline, oil, chemicals, or other types of liquids
and they can either be above or below ground. There are estimated to
be over 10 million storage tanks buried in the United States and over
time the tanks can corrode, crack and develop leaks. If the
contaminants leak out and get into the groundwater, serious
contamination can occur.
systems can be another serious contamination source. Septic
systems are used by homes, offices or other buildings that are
not connected to a city sewer system. Septic systems are designed to
slowly drain away human waste underground at a slow, harmless rate.
An improperly designed, located, constructed, or maintained septic
system can leak bacteria,
chemicals, and other contaminants into the groundwater causing
waste sites can lead to groundwater contamination if there are
barrels or other containers laying around that are full of hazardous
materials. If there is a leak, these contaminants can eventually make
their way down through the soil and into the groundwater.
are another major source of contamination. Landfills are the places
that our garbage is taken to be buried. Landfills are supposed to
have a protective bottom layer to prevent contaminants from getting
into the water. However, if there is no layer or it is cracked,
contaminants from the landfill (car battery acid, paint, household
cleaners, etc.) Can make their way down into the groundwater.
widespread use of road salts and chemicals is another source of
potential groundwater contamination. Road salts are used in the
wintertime to put melt ice on roads to keep cars from sliding around.
When the ice melts, the salt gets washed off the roads and eventually
ends up in the water. Chemicals
include products used on lawns and farm fields to kill weeds and
insects and to fertilize the plants. When the rain comes, these
chemicals get washed into the ground and eventually into the water.
So it has to remember that since groundwater is part of the
cycle, contaminants in other parts of the cycle, such as the
atmosphere or bodies of surface water, can eventually be transferred
into our groundwater supplies.
supply based on clean groundwater is both economically and
environmentally desirable. Groundwater management involves a number
of engineering disciplines including survey and monitoring,
geological interpretation, hydrological assessments, hydro-geological
modelling, chemical and geochemical assessments and optimisation.
subsurface constructions such as train tunnels and buildings often
have a large impact on groundwater flow, especially in the
construction phase, where groundwater lowering may change flow
management projects, for example the optimisation of groundwater
pumping schemes, often involves the development of a groundwater
model or even a hydrological model.
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