Management of Groundwater Contamination

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Executive Summary4
1.1.What is groundwater?6
1.2.Availability and use of groundwater6
2.Sources of Groundwater Contamination8
2.1.Natural Sources8
2.2.Agricultural Activities8
2.3.Human Activities9
3.Regulatory, Institutional and Policy Framework13
4.Ways to manage Groundwater15
4.1.Groundwater Recharge15
4.2.Recycling and wastewater treatment16
5.Case Study19
5.1.Case Study I: Ambuja Cement Limited19
5.2.Case Study II: Bosch Limited – Safe Drinking Water21 6.Recommendations22
7.Way Forward24

Executive Summary

Water is inextricably linked with every facet of human development. Its unavailability, deterioration in quality and neglect drastically impedes the quality of human life. The India's accelerated and continuous growth has led to an unprecedented stress on the finite and fragile water resources that are on the verge of depletion on account of overexploitation. Sectoral demands for water are growing rapidly in line with urbanization, population increase, rising income and industrial growth. One of the major sources of drinking water is underground water. The poor management of water calls for action by all stakeholders. In the advent of a water crisis, industry will be hard hit and, it is, therefore, incumbent upon the same to undertake pro active measures toward effective water management. Despite massive outlays for drinking water and sanitation in India, access to safe drinking water remains a challenge. Institutional challenges in rural and urban drinking water and sanitation remain a major hurdle. These include addressing leakages in official spending, monitoring of progress and creating linkages between different agencies. There are concerns on groundwater and surface water sustainability, with emerging concerns of inequity in access that is both intra-rural and rural-urban. The crisis has become intense over the past decade affecting both rural and urban sectors. With two-thirds of India being drought prone, increasing demands on available water from intensive agriculture and industry and increasing levels of groundwater and surface water pollution, drinking water availability is emerging as a constraint in many places. Access and delivery of safe drinking water varies from state to state and even within a state.

We hope the report will provide a roadmap to various stakeholders on embarking and forging partnerships towards sustainable management of our critical underground water resources.

Management of Groundwater Contamination


The last century of the bygone millennium, especially its later half, has seen unbelievable scientific and technological developments in improving the quality of life of mankind. People are looking for the state-of-the art equipment and accessories, which are available in urban centers, to have comfort in day-to-day life. As a consequence, there is a tremendous stress in urban infrastructure services, be it housing, water supply, waste management, transportation, power generation, telecommunication or any other system. The more the stress, the more is the failure rate in the provision of these services. The ill effects of such fall-outs then boomerang on the management of the services adversely affecting the various components of environment out of the ‘uncared for’ residues which reach the natural water bodies through direct and indirect routes polluting them. India, on the whole, is not well off in water resources. The country has 16% of the world’s population, accommodated in 2.45% of the worlds land area. The total water resources available to India are about 4% of the world’s resources. Groundwater, which is 38.5% of the available water resources of the country, plays an important role in irrigation, rural water supply and even in meeting industrial demands and drinking water needs. Groundwater is an open access common property natural resource and anyone...
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