Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is undertaking a massive arsenic and fluoride survey all over the country to ascertain their chemical contents in the ground water for potable purpose by digging a great deal of wells in almost 21 states in which patchy reports have surfaced for their chemical presence in such a water, according to its Member, Dipankar Saha.
Addressing a National Conclave on Drinking Water Quality under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Department of Science and Technology here today, Saha pointed out that we are going to recommend to the 21 states to avoid potable water extracted from ground wells immediately beneath the surface as their exist huge possibility of chemicals such as arsenic and fluorides that are utterly dangerous for human consumption.
The Survey would lay emphasis on digging wells below 300 meters the surface as arsenic and fluorides contents there are missing and such water taken out of the wells could be fitter for human consumptions.
The Central Ground Water Board is concentrating on a massing survey in states such as West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and the like as in those 21 states, excessive use of fertilizers have led to accumulation of arsenic and fluorides immediately beneath the surface in the last couple of decades, filling their ground water with these dangerous and injurious chemicals, he pointed out.
According to him, the focus of the survey would be to dig wells deeper below the surface of 300 meters in which possibilities these chemicals hardly exist as of now and the dug up wells would be handed over to the states concerned for necessary water supply for drinking purposes.
In the meanwhile, a report was also released on the occasion which was jointly prepared by the PHD Chamber and Water Aid which stressed that the challenging task at the hand of water managers remains to ensure adequate access to water resources without undue environmental degradation.
The report warned that India will become a water stressed nation by 2020, keeping in view the fact that the average availability of water is reducing steadily with growing population.
Therefore, the two have suggested a way forward for improving on water accessibility with an integrated approach of various government departments responsible for this task pointing out that water has been an issue in India which has been dealt with by policy makers in isolation.
The Chamber has, therefore, recommended that a political consensus needs to be created for judicious use of water and recycling technologies need to be brought in from advanced nations such as Israel and the like in India for the intended purposes.
It was felt that 85 per cent of India’s drinking water needs are fulfilled by aquifers and 62 million people are suffering from various levels of fluorosis. Out of the total 17,13,303 water habitations in India, 176,177 are found to be contaminated.