DMPQ- “Groundwater pollution in India has become a serious problem in recent years.” Elucidate.

. Due to its low capital cost, groundwater is the most preferred source of water in India. According to an  estimate, groundwater accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the rural domestic water needs, and 50 per  cent of the urban water needs in India.   However, a variety of land and water- based human activities including over  exploitation and unscientific extraction  are polluting this reliable and safe source  of water,making it unsafe and unfit for  human use.

Groundwater pollutants

70% of India’s water resources are  contaminated with one or more  heavy metals and chemicals such as  Arsenic, Uranium, Fluoride, Nitrate  etc. Other reasons of groundwater  contamination are:

Inland Salinity

Inland salinity in  ground water is prevalent mainly in  the arid and semi-arid regions such  as Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab etc. It  is also caused due to practice of surface water irrigation without consideration of ground water  status.

Coastal Salinity

Withdrawal of fresh ground water from coastal aquifers may result in intrusion of  saline water in coastal aquifers. E.g. Problem of salinity ingress has been noticed in Minjur area of Tamil Nadu and Mangrol – Chorwad- Porbander belt along the Saurashtra coast.

Issues in Tackling Groundwater Contamination and Pollution 

  • Ground Water Board (CGWB) and state groundwater agencies lack  adequate staff to carry out their
  • There are a few observation stations in the country that cover all the  essential parameters for water  quality and hence the data obtained  are not decisive on the water quality
  • The SPCBs perform the dual functions of monitoring pollution  and enforcing pollution control  This creates a disincentive for  them to perform the first function  meaningfully.


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