Journal Publications

SAWAS Journal

Volume1, Issue 1, 2015


Water Security in Peri Urban South Asia

Peer Reviewed Papers

Bangladesh

Hydro-Meteorological Trends in Southwest Coastal Bangladesh: Perspectives of Climate Change and Human Interventions


India

Changing Waterscapes in the Periphery - Anjal Prakash, Sreoshi Singh, and Vishal Narain†

The Periurban Water Security Problem: A Case Study of Hyderabad in Southern India - Anjal Prakash

Whose Land, Whose Water - Narain


Nepal

Adapting to Peri-urban Water Insecurity Induced by Urbanization and Climate Change - Anushiya Shrestha, Rajesh Sada and Lieke Melsen

Comparing People’s Perceptions on Changes in Climate and the Facts of Changing

Evaluating the changes in climate and its implications on peri-urban agriculture - Anushiya Shrestha and Rajesh Sada

Groundwater Extraction: Implications on Local Water Security of Peri-urban Area of Kathmandu Valley - Rajesh Sada, Anushiya Shrestha, Kanchan Karki and Ashutosh Shukla

Sada and Shrestha, 2013


South Asia

Adapting to periurban water insecurity induced by urbanization and climate change: insights from South Asia - MSA Khan, A Prakash, V Narain, R Sada

Urbanization, peri-urban water (in)security and human well-being: a perspective from four South Asian cities - Vishal Narain, M. Shah Alam Khan, Rajesh Sada, Sreoshi Singh & Anjal Prakash


Arsenic Knowledge and Action Network

An ecological economic assessment of flow regimes in a hydropower dominated river basin: The case of the lower Zambezi River, Mozambique
Authors: Safa Fanaian, Susan Graas, Yong Jiang, Pieter van der Zaag

Abstract: The flow regime of rivers, being an integral part of aquatic ecosystems, provides many important services benefiting humans in catchments. Past water resource developments characterized by river embankments and dams, however, were often dominated by one (or few) economic use(s) of water. This results in a dramatically changed flow regime negatively affecting the provision of other ecosystem services sustained by the river flow. This study is intended to demonstrate the value of alternative flow regimes in a river that is highly modified by the presence of large hydropower dams and reservoirs, explicitly accounting for a broad range of flow-dependent ecosystem services. In this study, we propose a holistic approach for conducting an ecological economic assessment of a river's flow regime. This integrates recent advances in the conceptualization and classification of ecosystem services (UK NEA, 2011) with the flow regime evaluation technique developed by Korsgaard (2006). This integrated approach allows for a systematic comparison of the economic values of alternative flow regimes, including those that are considered beneficial for aquatic ecosystems. As an illustration, we applied this combined approach to the Lower Zambezi Basin, Mozambique. Empirical analysis shows that even though re-operating dams to create environmentally friendly flow regimes reduces hydropower benefits, the gains to goods derived from the aquatic ecosystem may offset the forgone hydropower benefits, thereby increasing the total economic value of river flow to society. The proposed integrated flow assessment approach can be a useful tool for welfare-improving decision-making in managing river basins.


Arsenic contamination in groundwater in India

Status of groundwater arsenic contamination in the state of West Bengal, India: A 20-year study report
Authors: Chakraborti D, Das B, Rahman M M, Chowdhury U K, Biswas B, Goswami A B, Nayak B, Pal A, Sengupta K M, Ahamed S, Hossain A, Basu G, Roy Chowdhury T and Das D

Abstract: Last decade saw the emergence of the arsenic contamination issue in South East Asia among which the most affected are Bangladesh, India and China. This research publication is the latest in the series of reports on the status of arsenic contamination in West Bengal. The publications are based on a study over a period of 20 years commencing from 1988. The study covered all the 19 districts of the state with the collection of 140150 samples. The commencement of the survey in 1988, showed 22 affected villages in 5 districts and the latest shows 3417 affected villages in 9 districts. The samples were analyzed using Flow-Injection-Hydride Generation- Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. 48.1% samples had arsenic concentrations above 10µg/L and 23.8% above 50µg/L. About 3.3% had arsenic concentrations above 300µg/L. 187 tubewells had arsenic concentrations above 1000µg/L and an extreme case of arsenic concentration above 3000µg/L was detected in a private tube well in the village of Ramnagar, South 24 Parganas District had arsenic concentration above. It was found that all nine members in the household were affected by arsenic skin lesions and four had died of cancer. Based on the analysis, the state has been categorized into highly affected districts, mildly affected and unaffected zones based on the results of the analysis. 9 districts were highly affected, 5 were mildly and 5 were unaffected. According to estimates, 26 million people are potentially exposed to arsenic contamination in the state. Study also indicated that arsenic concentrations decreased with increasing depth of the tubewell. Water from depths beyond 100m is considered safe for drinking. Variations in concentrations occur with seasonal changes and with the geological features. Prevention of consumption of arsenic contaminated water is prescribed to avoid health effects. Awareness among communities, coloring of the tubewell in red and safe alternatives like consumption of surface water, dug wells, rainwater harvesting etc are suggested as there are no medicines available to treat chronic arsenicity.

Finger Print of Arsenic Contaminated Water in India-A Review
Authors: Neha Chaurasia, Amarnath Mishra, and S K Pandey

Abstract: Higher occurrence of arsenic in drinking water has been recognized as a public health hazard, in the last three decades. Drinking water is one of the important pathways for exposure to arsenic. Reported first in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, its presence has been identified in West Bengal and Bihar in 1984 and 2002. This paper is a review on identification of arsenic contamination in the states along the Ganga-Meghan-Brahmaputra plain from the first reporting in India till present. It presents the sources of contamination, theories for occurrence, brief on global and Indian scenario with effects of drinking contaminated water. Few mitigation measures like piped water supply of surface water, separate department in District hospitals, spot test facility and awareness program have been suggested along with technologies available for removal of arsenic in drinking water have also been reviewed. The paper attempts to prescribe that safe water is a problem for majority of population and how health effects are further negated with poverty as techniques for removal of arsenic from water are expensive. Uttar Pradesh is the most affected state and there is no cure or chronic arsenic toxicity and prevention is the best option.

Status of arsenic contamination in potable water of Northern areas of Mizoram State and its adjoining areas of Southern Assam, India
Authors: S Kumar, K Baier, R Jha, R Azzam

Abstract: This is an investigative study in parts of Mizoram and southern Assam in India with emphasis on arsenic concentration. These states are in proximity to Bangladesh that has high arsenic contamination in groundwater rendering the water unfit for consumption.The study examines the differences in groundwater quality in these two regions vis-avis the geology, arsenic contamination in groundwater and other geochemical concentrations. Geology is dominated by arenaceous and argillaceous groups of rocks occur with shale, sandstone and siltstone. Physical parameters like pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Electrical Conducitivity and Total Hardness were measured and a qualitative analysis was conducted for presence of arsenic and other elements. The samples were collected from drinking water sources like handpump, borewell etc. Samples from Mizoram expressed zero presence of arsenic while 4 out of 7 samples from Assam showed significant amount of arsenic and three samples had higher concentrations above the permissible limit of 10µg/L. One of these samples is safe according to BIS permissible limit of 50µg/L. Except for the 3 samples in Assam with higher concentrations of arsenic, all other samples were concluded to be potable. Study concludes that presence of arsenic in Assam is attributed to the geology of the area around Silchar City. These areas have younger rocks that are dominant with sandstone, mottled clay, pebbled bed, boulders and absence of shale. This minimizes the absorption of arsenic and other heavy metals leading to higher concentrations of arsenic and other toxic metals in the water of Silchar City.

Spatial Distribution of Arsenic in Ground Water from Nuggihalli, Mining Area and its Surroundings, Southern Karnataka, India
Authors: K. Rama Mohan*, A. Keshav Krishna, K. Manohar, N. N. Murthy

Abstract: Arsenic, a carcinogen is released through anthropogenic activities like mining. Arsenic released during refining process makes way into the ground and contaminates surface water. This study was conducted to analyze the presence of As in borewater in Nuggihalli, a mining region in Southern Karnataka. Populations in this region depend on groundwater for drinking and agriculture. Random collection and testing of 33 samples from the borewells indicated presence of Mn, Fe, boron and arsenic. 79% of samples had arsenic in concentrations higher than the WHO standards of 0.010mg/L for drinking water. Concentration of arsenic varied between 0.002 to 0.51mg/L in Nuggihalli and surrounding areas. Arsenic exhibited good significant correlation with iron and manganese indicating common origin for all three elements. High boron concentrations also found along with higher concentrations of arsenic. The correlation among these elements shows that the other three elements regulate the concentration of arsenic, according to this study.

Recent Trends of Arsenic Contamination in Groundwater of Ballia District, Uttar Pradesh, India
Authors: ALI, I., RAHMAN, A., KHAN, T., ALAM, S., KHAN, J.

Abstract: The arsenic contamination in groundwater in the district of Ballia in UP, India was recently discovered so has been selected for study of mitigation of arsenic. The region is surrounded by Ghaghara River in North, Chhoti Sarju and Ganga Rivers in the South. Tubewells, groundwater and artificial canal are used for irrigation and agriculture is the main source of income. 100 pre-monsoon and post-monsoon samples from 34 sourcing points were analyzed for levels of arsenic present. The samples were grouped into shallow, medium and deep aquifer depending on the respective depths of 0-80 feet, 81-120 feet and above 120 feet. Arsenic concentrations varied from 6-820 ppb in pre-monsoon and from 2-950 ppb in the post-monsoon. Seasonal variations were indicated and higher levels in the post-monsoon indicate inadequate rainfall. Arsenic mitigation is from shallow to medium to deep aquifers. Excessive withdrawal from deep aquifers may pose risk as arsenic infiltration is possible and requires regular monitoring of arsenic levels in tubewells. Study area covered old and young alluvial plains. Younger alluvial plains are along the River Ganga that transports arsenic bearing pyrite with the fluvial sediments and in course of time these get deposited in the younger alluvial plains. So, this is considered as the source of arsenic contamination.

Groundwater arsenic contamination in Manipur, one of the seven North-Eastern Hill states of India: a future danger
Authors: Dipankar Chakraborti,. Jayantakumar Singh, Bhaskar Das, Babar Ali Shah, M. Amir Hossain,Bishwajit Nayak, Sad Ahamed, N. Rajmuhon Singh

Abstract: The authors noticed from available reports that the arsenic affected plains in Asia are along the rivers that originated from the Himalayas or Tibet Plateau. Manipur, a state in North-Eastern India is this region and hence the study. This study was conducted to analyze and describe the severity of arsenic contamination in groundwater in all four valley districts, home to 60% population in the state. Potentiality of watershed management to avoid arsenic poisoning in surface water was also demonstrated. This study covered 88 of the 490 villages in 8 blocks with collection of samples from 628 tubewells from available 2014 tubewells. The average depth of tubewells was 50m, average age of was between 7-11 years for the tubewells and 233 people were dependent of each tubewell on an average. 63.3% of the 628 samples had arsenic above 10µg/L, 23.2% exhibited between 5-11µg/L and 40% had arsenic above 50µg/L. Thoubal was the most severely affected district with 77.6% of tubewells expressed arsenic above 10µg/Land 44.4% above 50µg/L. Least affected was the district of Bishnupur in which only 21.4% of wells had arsenic above 10µg/L and 7.1% had above 50µg/L. The arsenic concentrations found in these four valleys was higher than the concentrations found in the Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra (GMB) plains but was close to the severely affected regions of Bangladesh. No systematic correlation existed between depth and arsenic concentration as tubewells even above the depth of 100m are unsafe. The arsenic concentrations did not vary with depth in Manipur as in other states. 56 urine samples collected to analyze exposure resulted in 66% samples exceeded normal range of 5-40g/day. The population in this region depends on tubewells for consumption due to easy access and availability though rainwater is abundant. As the arsenic presence has been discovered through this study, the authors advice that educating villagers, use of surface water, rainwater and economic utilization can prevent future arsenic toxicity and effects.

Arsenic poisoning and health impact

Arsenic Contamination of Ground Water and its Health Impact on Population of District of Nadia, West Bengal, India
Authors: Debendra Nath Guha Mazumder, Aloke Ghosh, Kunal Kanti Majumdar, Nilima Ghosh, Chandan Saha, and Rathindra Nath Guha Mazumder

Abstract: In West Bengal, India 6 million populations in 8 districts are exposed to arsenic contamination. Health effects include pigmentation, keratosis, arsenicosis, chronic respiratory disease, liver fibrosis, peripheral vascular disease and cancer. Consumption of arsenic free water is the only remedy and affected villages do not have this source. This epidemiological study covering 2297 households in 37 affected villages with the participation of 10469 subjects. The district of Nadia is highly affected and the study was carried as a door-to-door survey of households. The study was multi-stage and the selection of households was based on these. An average exposure time of 12 years was a criterion. The resultant number of affected people was accounted by the number of people affected in a household considering the number remains the same in households not covered by the survey. Water exposure data, socioeconomic characteristics, demographical features and symptoms were recorded through interviews and clinical examination in the subjects and were compared to controls living in the affected villages. Arsenic levels in the tubewells were also analyzed. Of the total 10469 participants 1616 showed clinical features of arsenicosis, 8853 participants did not have the skin lesions(control subjects), expressing that only 0.14 million or 15.5% of the population were affected by arsenicosis. Incidence was found to be high among men and belong to the lower socioeconomic strata. 207 subjects from the total cases had chronic lung disease while peripheral neuropathy and abdominal pain were found in 257. Poverty and lack of education prevent these people from seeking treatment, even in severe cases. Free treatment in state run hospitals and transport to and from these villages can help to alleviate their suffering, according to the study.

Environmental arsenic contamination and its health effects in a historic gold mining area of the Mangalur greenstone belt of Northeastern Karnataka, India
Authors: Dipankar Chakraborti, Mohammad Mahmudur Rahmana, Matthew Murrill, Reshmi Das, Siddayya, S.G. Patil, Atanu Sarkare, Dadapeer H.J., Saeed Yendigeri, Rishad Ahmed, Kusal K. Das

Abstract: Arsenic exposure through consumption of contaminated water has adverse health effects and even affects fetal development. Regions where gold or base metals are mined often express arsenic contamination. This study was conducted in the northeastern region of Karnataka, India with several historic gold mines of which few are still active. Arsenic skin lesions cancers and related health issues were identified in Kiradalli Tanda in early 2009 and this study is a more detailed survey till September 2009. The study area is located in the greenstone belt of Mangalur and 4km south of the Tanda is located the Mukangavi gold mine. The mine was operational from 1887 to 1913 and was reopened in 1980 but closed operations in 1994 from heavy water inflow into the mine. Lab tests were performed on water, hair, nail, soil and rice samples. 50% of soil samples exhibited As levels above 2000mg/kg; hair/nail samples of 171 residents had high concentration of As and about 58.6% of total 181 screened residents exhibited As skin lesions. Samples of local staple food exhibited 12 to 112µg/ kg against the permitted limit of 1000µg/kg in rice. The minimal levels of As in food samples is related to the topology of the area that is a hillside and water flow into the valleys. Groundwater contamination is hypothesized as the source of contamination yet more research is necessary with high levels of As in the soil samples. The Mangalur belt is considered as a significant contributor with the historical and current mining activities in the region. The authors also express concern about the increasing interest to reopen the closed mines and prospective ones and suggest sound monitoring is essential. They also state that the UNICEF-GOK (Government of Karnataka) study showed higher concentrations of As in surrounding communities and also the adverse health effects. The study concludes with the suggestion that regular medical screening and water sample analysis has to be organized immediately.

Effects of drinking arsenic-contaminated water in children
Authors: Majumdar K, Mazumder DG

Abstract: Limited knowledge is available on health effects of arsenic contamination in children. This article is a review of the available literature on effects of arsenic contamination in children. Chronic ingestion causes cutaneous and systematic manifestations along with skin, bladder and lung cancer in adults. Initial reports on nonmalignant pulmonary effects in children have been available from as early as 1970s in Chile. Autopsies on five children affected by chronic arsenic toxicity revealed abnormalities in lung tissue and pulmonary interstitial fibrosis with mild bronchiectasis were found in two children. 144 children were infected with skin lesions according to a cross-sectional survey in 1976 in Chile. Chronic cough was also associated with skin lesion. Epidemiological studies from 1995-96 in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal reported skin manifestations in children from exposure to arsenic above 50mg/l. Studies from dose-response relationships resulted in dermatological symptoms/manifestations among children in Bangladesh. These children were exposed to arsenic through groundwater. A study from China reported that even infants of 6-18 months were also affected. Higher incidence of skin lesions among children was also reported in Cambodia. Incidences also vary with dose and duration of exposure, ethnicity and nutritional status of children. Studies on the intellectual development of children exposed to arsenic toxicity show that their IQ scores are lesser than the normal children. The studies conducted in Bangladesh and China indicate that urinary arsenic was associated with well water arsenic than urinary while the study in West Bengal showed association with urinary arsenic. Children do not retain arsenic in the body as much as adults and so the effects in children are affected with other factors. The review concludes stating that arsenicosis affects the education of children fearing ridicule at school and to compensate for the hospital expenditure of the bread-winner in the family. The socioeconomic status of the family gets affected to the arsenicosis.

Arsenic exposure through drinking water increases the risk of liver and cardiovascular diseases in the population in West Bengal, India
Authors: Das N, Paul D, Chatterjee et al

Abstract: A case-control study in the district of Murshidabad, West Bengal, India to study the health effects of arsenic exposure. Door to door survey by trained volunteers aided in identification of 103 study participants in the age group of 15-78 years with 10 years exposure to arsenic in drinking water. The subjects exhibited skin lesions. 107 control subjects were identified from East Midnapur district that has only 3-10µg/L of arsenic in drinking water. Medical examination was conducted on all villagers of Murshidabad to study the demographic, socioeconomic and medical history of the villagers. Samples from consented subjects were collected for the study. Comparison of case and control subjects suggested that the affected were from lower socioeconomic strata and worked as farmers or household workers. Case participants were susceptible to respiratory problems, fungal, parasitic and other infections. Water, urine, blood samples were collected for analysis. Arsenic content in water and urine was significantly higher in the exposed group, above the recommended limit of 10µg/L. Increased bilirubin, AST, ALT and ALP indicates chronic exposure to arsenic and deposition in liver causing malfunction and injury. Participants complained of muscular cramps and joint pains, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis expressed elevated autoimmune markers. With increase of arsenic concentration in urine, increase in liver malfunction and autoimmune markers was found. Inflammatory cytokines are indicators of cardiovascular disease. It is evident from this study that arsenic exposed populations are prone to liver and cardiovascular diseases. Exposure to arsenic also induces rheumatoid arthritis.

Arsenic contamination in food chain

Arsenic contamination in Rice, Wheat, Pulses and Vegetables: A study in an Arsenic affected area of West Bengal, India
Authors: P. Bhattacharya, A. C. Samal, J. Majumdar, S. C. Santra

Abstract: The authors studied the arsenic contamination in rice, wheat, pulses and vegetables based on the findings that intake of arsenic through food chain also has negative impact on health. Farmers in Nadia District of West Bengal depend on groundwater for irrigation and this area is affected by chronic. These farmers are not aware of the FAO guideline of 0.01mg/l of arsenic in irrigation water. The study evaluated the health risk of the population from arsenic toxicity through water-soil-plant system. Haringhata, Chakdaha, Ranaghat-I, Shantinagar and Krishnanagar blocks from Nadia district were chosen. Groundwater samples were collected from shallow tube well pumps and soil samples were collected from field irrigated with arsenic contaminated water. Rice, pulse and vegetable samples were collected from the same sites or from sites as close as possible. All samples were analyzed using the FIHGAAS method. Arsenic levels in irrigation water samples ranged between 0.318 and 0.643, higher than the recommended limit. Arsenic concentration in soil was between 5.70 to 9.71 mg/kg dry weight. Extensive withdrawal of groundwater over the years elevated the levels of arsenic in soil. The level is yet below the maximum acceptable limit of 20.0 mg/kg recommended by European Community. Infiltration, uptake by plants, microbial methylation and run off water and carrying of arsenic downstream as the study area is in the flood plain of river Ganges are attributing factors for the reduction in levels of arsenic. Arsenic concentrations in rice, pulses and vegetables cultivated in arsenic contaminated water varied from <0.0003 to 1.02mg/kg dry weight. Boro rice, amaranth, radish, Aman rice grain, lady’s finger, cauliflower and brinjal had higher concentrations compared to garlic, wheat, lentil, beans, green chili, tomato, bitter gourd, lemon and lowest was in turmeric. Compared to all, potato exhibited higher concentrations of arsenic as the studies from Bangladesh. Rice being the staple food of South Asia, accumulation of arsenic in rice is considered a danger to the food security. Accumulation in Boro rice was more compared to Aman rice and intake through water was only 13% while intake through cooked rice was 56%. Potato absorbed arsenic from soil than water as very little water is used to grow potato. Populations from other non-affected areas are also exposed as the vegetables are transported. There is no imminent danger with the arsenic levels within the recommended limits. Proper watershed management can prevent the future health hazard.

Screening of Popular cauliflower cultivars towards arsenic contamination in plant parts under deltaic Bengal
Authors: Kundu R, Pal S, Majumder A

Abstract: Cauliflower is one of the important commercial crops in West Bengal. The arsenic contamination in food chain occurred through water and has been reported for the past few years. Translocation to the edible parts of the crops and varying levels among crops and cultivars of same crop was observed. Ingestion of arsenic by humans through food chain is higher than water. This study was based on the usage of groundwater for irrigation during summer and winter. Study area is the village of Nonaghata under Haringhata block in Nadia district of West Bengal. Experiment was laid out in Randomized Block Design replicated three with 5 types of cauliflower and was conducted for two consecutive years. The samples were planted in mid-October and collected for testing at maturity. FIAS was utilized to analyze arsenic. At mature stage arsenic accumulation was root > leaf > stem > edible part across cultivars. Among the different types of cultivars, late kartik, white flesh and pusa snowball had maximum accumulation of arsenic in the root and least was found in white marvel followed by Pusa synthetic. The stems and leaves of Late kartik and White marvel accumulated maximum and minimum respectively. Edible part accumulated the least with least concentration in white marvel with no significant difference with Pusa synthetic. Late kartik accumulated the highest in the edible part. It is concluded that white marvel accumulated least followed by Pusa synthetic. Loading of arsenic changes with different cultivars and food with higher concentration poses risk of exposure. Appropriate agricultural management practices are necessary to minimize accumulation in the crop that is part of the regular diet.

Response to Taro to Arsenic contamination in the Ganga Basin of Eastern India
Authors: Kundu R, Pal S, Bandopadhyay P

Abstract: Taro is tropical tuber crop highly consumed in the regions of Northern and Eastern states of India. Presence of arsenic in food chain has been reported in the regions of West Bengal and Bangladesh leading to poisoning in humans. The arsenic concentrations have been found to vary between crops and even cultivars of same crop. This study evaluates the varietal tolerance and patterns of arsenic accumulation among selected cultivars of the taro. The study area was Nonaghata village of haringhata block, Nadia District, west Bengal. The site had average rainfall of 1200 to 2500mm and temperatures ranged between 12 to 400 C. Water from wells have been used as irrigation source and are contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic levels in water and soil were 0.110mg/l and 9.08mg/kg respectively in the first year (2007-8) and 0.129 mg/l and 9.24mg/kg in the second year (2008-9). Eight cultivars were selected and planted in mid-April in a randomized block design. Shallow well water was used for irrigation and plant samples were collected at 2 months, 4 months and at harvest (6-7 months). Tests for arsenic contamination were conducted using FIAS. Analysis revealed that leaves accumulated the most at 55% while petiole and cormels accumulated 37% and 8% respectively. The leaves and cormels of the plant are consumed. Pattern of accumulation remained same in all samples among all cultivars- leaves> petiole>cormel. Accumulation of arsenic increased continuously as early growth period< mid growth period< maturity in all cultivars. As leaves are also consumed as leafy vegetable appropriate management strategy is necessary to reduce the contamination and exposure of humans to arsenic.

Contribution of water and cooked rice to an estimation of inorganic arsenic in rural village in west Bengal, India
Authors: Signes A, Mitra K, Burlo F, Carbonell-Barrachina AA

Abstract: Arsenic contamination of rice plants results in higher concentrations in cooked rice. Objective of this study is to estimate the intake of total and inorganic arsenic in the rural population of West Bengal, India. Populations here are exposed through drinking water and cooked rice. The study was conducted in North 24 Parganas where groundwater is utilized for drinking, cooking, other domestic purposes and in agriculture. 70% of tubewells in this area have arsenic concentrations above 0.05mg/l. Rice is the staple diet and consumption of rice grown in contaminated soil and cooked in contaminated water adds to the exposure of humans to higher concentrations of arsenic. Rice is washed and cooked in the contaminated water and is easy to bind with inorganic arsenic. The total and inorganic arsenic (i-As) intake is evaluated through cooked rice for iAs and drinking water for total arsenic. Food questionnaires were administered to 115 people living in this village and consumed water from tubewells and ate local raw or cooked food. Rice samples were collected throughout the year and boro rice indicated highest concentrations of arsenic posing health hazard. Cooking of rice consisted of two methods: one by adding rice directly to water and cooking, second by injecting four arsenic species in the cooking water and discarding additional water after cooking rice. Total As concentrations were measured in dry rice, wet cooked rice, cooking water and discarded starch water. Amount of arsenic in cooked rice was 2,2-20% higher than the raw rice and absorbed water suggesting that chelation of As in water by rice grains or concentrated presence due to evaporation. Initial As concentration was 50 µg/L and in cooked rice was 30% lower when the extra starch was discarded. Results report that rice cooked in contaminated water is source of i-As and also the process of cooking such as ratio of water, water and volume of discarded water has effect on the amount in cooked rice. Dose-response relationship with just drinking water will never present the complete picture of health risks. Provision of cooking water with low levels of As can reduce the As concentrations in cooked food even if the vegetables are contaminated as some of the As migrates to the cooking water.

Effect of Environmental Exposure of arsenic on cattle and poultry in Nadia district, West Bengal, India
Authors: Datta BK, Bbhar MK, Patra PH et al

Abstract: This study was conducted to evaluate the alternative sources of arsenicosis in human food chain through livestock. Samples of thirty milch cattle and 20 poultry birds along with eggs were randomly selected from two endemic villages Mandal-Hat and Mitrapur of Nadia district and from Akna village of Hooghly district that is non-endemic. The cattle and poultry in this region consumed water from affected tubewells. Observations showed that people suffered from arsenicosis even after safe water was provided for a prolonged period of 12 years and proves that there are other sources of arsenic exposure through food chain. As concentrations in hair, feces, urine, milk from both experiemental and control animals were collected. Samples of water and straw fed to these animals were collected. Twenty healthy poultry birds and their eggs were tested for estimation of As residue in different organs and eggs. Samples from endemic villages contained higher As concentrations compared to control and among endemic, samples from Mitrapur had significantly higher concentrations than Mandal-hat. Total As concentrations of egg yolk and albumen of Mandal-Hat were the highest followed by Mitrapur and Akna. Feather retained the highest residue in poultry birds of Mitrapur and Mandal-Hat. Calculations from straw and water samples indicated consumption of As by cows through straw was higher compared to water. Hair retained maximum As and rest was excreted through feces, urine and milk in the sequence. As concentrations was retained in all organs including meat of poultry birds. Provision of As free water for human consumption still reported arsenicosis suggesting that milk, milk products and poultry products can be a source of arsenicosis among humans.

Effect of Environmental Exposure of arsenic on cattle and poultry in Nadia district, West Bengal, India
Authors: Datta BK, Bbhar MK, Patra PH et al

Abstract: This study was conducted to evaluate the alternative sources of arsenicosis in human food chain through livestock. Samples of thirty milch cattle and 20 poultry birds along with eggs were randomly selected from two endemic villages Mandal-Hat and Mitrapur of Nadia district and from Akna village of Hooghly district that is non-endemic. The cattle and poultry in this region consumed water from affected tubewells. Observations showed that people suffered from arsenicosis even after safe water was provided for a prolonged period of 12 years and proves that there are other sources of arsenic exposure through food chain. As concentrations in hair, feces, urine, milk from both experiemental and control animals were collected. Samples of water and straw fed to these animals were collected. Twenty healthy poultry birds and their eggs were tested for estimation of As residue in different organs and eggs. Samples from endemic villages contained higher As concentrations compared to control and among endemic, samples from Mitrapur had significantly higher concentrations than Mandal-hat. Total As concentrations of egg yolk and albumen of Mandal-Hat were the highest followed by Mitrapur and Akna. Feather retained the highest residue in poultry birds of Mitrapur and Mandal-Hat. Calculations from straw and water samples indicated consumption of As by cows through straw was higher compared to water. Hair retained maximum As and rest was excreted through feces, urine and milk in the sequence. As concentrations was retained in all organs including meat of poultry birds. Provision of As free water for human consumption still reported arsenicosis suggesting that milk, milk products and poultry products can be a source of arsenicosis among humans.

Arsenic mitigation

Irrigating with arsenic contaminated groundwater in West Bengal and Bangladesh: A review of interventions for mitigating adverse health and crop outcomes
Authors: Nari Senanayake, Aditi Mukherji

Effect of Environmental Exposure of arsenic on cattle and poultry in Nadia district, West Bengal, India
Authors: Datta BK, Bbhar MK, Patra PH et al

Abstract: This study was conducted to evaluate the alternative sources of arsenicosis in human food chain through livestock. Samples of thirty milch cattle and 20 poultry birds along with eggs were randomly selected from two endemic villages Mandal-Hat and Mitrapur of Nadia district and from Akna village of Hooghly district that is non-endemic. The cattle and poultry in this region consumed water from affected tubewells. Observations showed that people suffered from arsenicosis even after safe water was provided for a prolonged period of 12 years and proves that there are other sources of arsenic exposure through food chain. As concentrations in hair, feces, urine, milk from both experiemental and control animals were collected. Samples of water and straw fed to these animals were collected. Twenty healthy poultry birds and their eggs were tested for estimation of As residue in different organs and eggs. Samples from endemic villages contained higher As concentrations compared to control and among endemic, samples from Mitrapur had significantly higher concentrations than Mandal-hat. Total As concentrations of egg yolk and albumen of Mandal-Hat were the highest followed by Mitrapur and Akna. Feather retained the highest residue in poultry birds of Mitrapur and Mandal-Hat. Calculations from straw and water samples indicated consumption of As by cows through straw was higher compared to water. Hair retained maximum As and rest was excreted through feces, urine and milk in the sequence. As concentrations was retained in all organs including meat of poultry birds. Provision of As free water for human consumption still reported arsenicosis suggesting that milk, milk products and poultry products can be a source of arsenicosis among humans.

A simple chemical free arsenic removal method for community water supply
Authors: Sen Gupta B, Chatterjee S, Rott U, Kauffman H et al

Abstract: This is a paper about the successful use of a simple chemical free method used by a team of Indian and European Scientists for removal of arsenic from groundwater. The experiment/study was conducted in Kasimpore in North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, India. Kasimpore was chosen for the study as 70% of the tubewells had arsenic above 0.50mg/L and the villagers belong to socio-economic strata. The villagers were dependent on shallow wells and tubewells for their water needs. The technology is based on the principle of oxidation and filtration processes of conventional surface treatment plants for removal of iron and manganese from water. Underground aquifer is used as a natural biochemical reactor and adsorber that removes arsenic along with iron and manganese when dissolved oxygen concentration is increased above 4mg/L. Water is pumped from the ground and 15-20% of this is again returned to aquifer under gravity after aeration and the remainder free of arsenic is supplied to consumers. Wells with depth of 37 m are dug and only the pipes for delivery, infiltration, aeration and de-aeration device go through sealed well head. The feasibility of this technology is sourcing of the components from local shops and installation by local plumbers and electricians. Sealing of the well head prevents water pollution from solid waste. After the success of this study, six such wells have been installed in the village. The arsenic level in these wells was below 10mg/L, below the WHO recommendation.

Accounting for sustainability in Bengal: Examining Arsenic-Removal technology using Process Analysis Method (PAM)
Authors: Etmannski T, Darton R

Abstract: A standard method to evaluate the sustainability of technologies used for arsenic mitigation can help in identification of the appropriate technology for rural residents. This paper discusses the use of Process Analysis Method (PAM) for transparent and holistic assessment of sustainability of household and community level technologies. Mitigation strategies implemented in West Bengal were identified for the assessment. Inorganic arsenic exists as trivalent and pentavalent arsenic in the natural form. Speciation of arsenic is important for toxicological studies and remedial measures as their toxicity varies and their mobility in groundwater through adsorption to iron oxyhydroxides. Arsenic is derived from reductive dissolution of arsenic-rich iron oxhydroxides according to the geology in this region. The environmental and socio-economic conditions of the region are to be considered for planning mitigation strategies. Physiochemical techniques like oxidation/reduction, precipitation and coagulation that are often followed by sedimentation and filtration, sorption and ion exchange, physical exclusion via membranes and few are with aid of biological processes. These are the techniques employed in filter technologies for household and community level. Sono 45-25 is a household sand filter that uses adsorption, precipitation and co-precipitation. This technology uses two bucket system with various layers of filtration and can provide 45-50L per day of arsenic free water. Community wellhead unit is an example of communal system that serves 200-300 households. A stainless steel column is fitted to the pump. The column has spray head and splash plates to form small droplets help oxidise ferrous iron and then passes through an adsorbent layer. This system generates 1000, 000L but needs involvement of the whole village for maintenance. Different criteria are used by the Arsenic Task Force in India and ETV-AM (Environmental Technology Verification for Arsenic Mitigation) in Bangladesh for assessment of removal technologies and reports have limitations. Social and cultural norms, environmental and socio-economic conditions of the household or community are also included in the criteria for Process Analysis Method to ensure sustainability. These form the basis of the sustainability framework and their impact on the community and vice versa.

Removal of arsenic from contaminated groundwater by solar-driven membrane distillation
Authors: Manna A, Sen M, Martin A , Pal P

Abstract: This is an experimental study on removal of arsenic using solar powered membrane distillation. Experiments were conducted in few affected parts of West Bengal. Challenge is implementation of a low-cost and effective arsenic removal technology and scaling-up of the same. In many cases contaminated groundwater is not used but simulated water due to high sensitivity of membranes. Physio-chemical separation technique is considered as the best for South-East Asian countries for large-scale treatment. Solar –Driven Membrane Distillation (SDMD) is ideal for small scale treatment and ensures removal of 100% arsenic from groundwater using low grade solar energy. SDMD operates on the principle on vapour liquid equilibrium for molecule separation by using microporous membranes. In this technology hot aqueous feed is brought in contact with one side of a hydrophobic microporous membrane. After evaporation of volatile molecules, the vapour is transported through the membranes by the pressure difference and carried to the cold side. Two major components are solar collector and solar collector storage tank. The water is heated by solar energy and circulates by natural convection and gravity. Two peristaltic pumps for cold and hot water and a flat-sheet membrane for distillation form the arsenic removal loop. This technology is known to be effective for decades for ultra-purification of water but there is very little attention given.

Arsenic Scenario in Gangetic Delta of West Bengal: Risk and Management
Authors: Santra S, Samal A

Abstract: This paper reviews the current scenario of arsenic contamination in West Bengal and the management of the contamination. The paper explains on arsenic speciation, arsenic in water, soil and food crops. The impacts of cooking in arsenic water and the health issues from arsenic contamination have been detailed with reviewing few studies. Arsenic mobility and control mechanism forms the base for planning management or mitigation strategies. The adsorption or co-precipitation of arsenic with ferrous and manganese oxy hydroxides play a vital role in the presence and mobilization of arsenic in aquifers. Various physio-chemical and biological processes have been used for removal of arsenic. The physio-chemical treatment methods are adsorption-co-precipitation, reverse osmosis, adsorption on activated alumina/carbon/bauxite, oxidation followed by filtration, Fly ash filter and chemical tablet method etc. Surface water management like water shed management, limiting withdrawal of groundwater, use of alternative source of water like ponds, rivers and lakes are effective in provision of arsenic free water for the affected populations in West Bengal. Arsenic related health effects are caused or further elevated by low socio-economic status and poor nutrition. Poor nutrition promotes methylation of arsenic and increased retention in tissues. After studies on animals, it is concluded that chelating agents in humans can inhibit the second step of methylation and release arsenic from body through urine. Micronutrients have an important role in detoxification of arsenic. 2, 3- Dimercaptol-l-PropaneSulpahte (DMPS) is considered to be the best for arsenic treatment. Public awareness forms the crux of utilization of all the management strategies. The review concludes that social mobilization and local investment can aid in arsenic management. Irrigation from shallow tubewells and drinking water from handpumps are recommended. Arsenic exposed population might increase if immediate action is not taken for arsenic-safe environment. Government, academia, NGO and community level involvement in arsenic monitoring and mitigation can help overcome the issue.

Presentation on Arsenic mitigation strategies in Bihar
Authors: Ashok Ghosh

Abstract: This presentation briefly describes the arsenic situation in Bihar. Maps from 2004 to 2011 have been shown to depict the increase in affected areas. 24% of population in Bihar is exposed to arsenic toxicity. 18 districts are affected with high level of arsenic in groundwater and 35% of handpumps had arsenic contaminated water. 1861ppb was the highest recorded value and found 87% trivalent arsenic speciation in groundwater. He has presented on the geological structure of the aquifers in the state and the predominant species of iron and arsenic. Health effects have been explained. Management strategies are mass community awareness for development of community based rehabilitation, dietary supplements and antioxidants along with ointment, medical and surgical management in chronic cases and social, economic and physical rehabilitation where necessary. Arsenic mitigation strategies explain the pros and cons of the options available and the schemes from the government. Most of these have failed to sustain for various reasons like failure in monitoring, random construction of structures, lack of awareness, community mobilization, etc. Few possible alternatives are gravity driven filter, adsorption based community wellhead unit, double reverse osmosis, traditional dugwells and borewells. According to Prof. Ashok, the issues that need to be addressed are further research on arsenic speciation is required, mobilization has been fragmented, research or studies on hydro-geological variations has been restricted to West Bengal but attention is needed in along the entire river basin, lack of knowledge and medical infrastructure for diagnosis and treatment of arsenicosis and lack of comprehensive database of arsenic contamination aquifers.

Assessment of arsenic in water

Bioluminescent bioreporter for assessment of arsenic contamination in water samples of Indiadoi
Authors: Sharma P, Asad S, Ali A

Abstract: Mining activities contaminated the groundwater with arsenic and this issue has been identified in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, USA, UK etc. Contamination of groundwater has led to arsenic poisoning of the populations living near the mines. 7 states in India are affected by arsenic contamination. This study is about using arsenic resistant bacteria in water management and possible mitigation. Widespread known mechanism in microorganisms to resistance arsenic is the extrusion from the sells by the function of ars (arsenic resistance) gene system, also termed as ars operon. Both gram-positive and negative bacteria resist arsenate, arsenite and antimony. The toxic effect is reduced by a protein membrane that pumps arsenite out of the cell after reduction of arsenate to arsenite by soluble arsenate reductase. 39 wild-type arsenic-resistant E.coli isolates were collected from various geographical regions in India and Bangladesh along Yamuna, Hindon and Hooghly rivers. Vibrio fischeri was from Loyola University in Chicago. Sodium arsenite and arsenate were used as chemical agents. Tolerance to arsenic was determined by growing bacteria in sodium arsenite in liquid media. Minimal inhibitory concentration was considered the lowest concentration that prevented the bacterial growth. Plasmid DNA from these bacteria was isolated and luminescent measurements were used for analysis. The study basically developed bacteria of particular resistance to arsenic and acts as a biosensor. These biosensors responded to arsenic concentrations below the permissible limit of 0.10mg/L. The study responded positive result but further research outside the laboratory is required to analyze its use in large scale contaminations. Also, maintenance of cultures out of the lab is difficult and hence no interest in this method has been evinced.

Chemistry of arsenic in groundwater of Ganges-Brahmaputra region
Authors: A.K.Singh Arsenic contamination in soil-water-plant (rice, Oryza sativa L.) cgh

Abstract: Ganges-Brahmaputra fluvial plains are contaminated with arsenic in water causing public health hazard. Holocene and deltaic sediments are present in the affected regions including Bangladesh. Arsenic concentrations in the continental crust is 1-2mg/kg and is released through natural processes like weathering and volcanic eruptions and are carried by suspended particles and aerosols to long distances through water and air. Industrial activities also release arsenic through air. The released arsenic circulates in the ecosystems for extended durations depending on the geochemical environments. The source for contamination in the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin is yet to be identified. The reduction of Ferrous oxyhydroxides in the sediments release the arsenic, irrespective of the concentration of iron. Coal combustion in Eastern India is a major source of emission of arsenic in the environment due to average concentration of arsenic ranging 3.72mg/kg to 40mg/kg. Vicinity of landfills with waste and hazardous waste piles also show arsenic in groundwater. Usage of fertilizers and pesticides are also a source for arsenic presence in soil. Other activities like overdraft of water, burning coal and application of fertilizers also cause leaching of arsenic. Arsenic occurs in trivalent and pentavalent forms that are interconversible by oxidation and reduction. Organoarsenic another form of arsenic occurs from biomethylation of arsenic in plants, animals and humans. Anion exchange of phosphate and arsenic on reactive mineral surfaces when phosphorous is released due to excess withdrawal of water for irrigation and from fertilizers. This can only cause mobilization of arsenic and not arsenic pollution. The review concludes that the contamination in the Ganges Brahmaputra basin is geological, immediate source in groundwater is ferric arsenate, chemical and biological processes lead to formation of arseneous acids from buried arsenate due to hydrolysis by supply of excess oxygen during withdrawal of water from tubewells. There is further need for research to identify sources, release mechanisms, mobilization of arsenic in aquifers, chemistry and anomaly of arsenic in the groundwater of Ganges and Brahmaputra river basin.

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