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GIS based fluoride contamination mapping of groundwater and its exposure risks to the hilly populace of the Chenab River Basin in Jammu province, North India

IWRA 2021 Online Conference One Water, One Health
Theme 1: How can we better manage water for food and public health in a changing world?
Author(s): Deepika Slathia and Karan Dev Jamwal

Deepika Slathia1 and Karan Dev Jamwal1

1 Department of Environmental Sciences University of Jammu, J&K, INDIA

Keyword(s): Fluoride contamination; Fluorosis; Exposure risks, Geographical information system (GIS), Spatial analysis


(a) Purpose or objectives and status of study or research hypothesis

  1. To investigate the groundwater fluoride contamination level in the Chenab River Basin of Jammu Province of North India in order to identify the most vulnerable areas and to prepare maps of the contamination zones using GIS
  2. To assess the health risks associated with fluoride contamination among the local populace and to establish its relationship with spatiotemporal distribution of fluoride in groundwater.

(b) Key issue(s) or problem(s) addressed
Generate data on Prevalence and severity of dental and skeletal fluorosis and other associated health risks in the most fluoride afflicted areas of Jammu province and suggest remedial measures.

(c) Methodology or approach used

  1. Collection of ground water samples from different districts of Jammu province and analyzing them for fluoride distribution and contamination using standard methods.
  2. For better understanding and interpretation of the analyzed results, the concentration of fluoride at various locations was integrated using GIS and fluoride distribution maps were prepared using spatial interpolation technique.
  3. Data was collected on prevalence and severity of dental and skeletal fluorosis and other associated health risks from the fluoride afflicted areas.
  4. Remediation measures were suggested based on the study.

(d) Results and conclusions derived from the project
The spatial distribution maps of fluoride contamination have illustrated groundwater sources in one district of Jammu having high fluoride content in various groundwater sources which are used by public for meeting their water requirements. The fluoride distribution has shown positive correlation with the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis and other associated health risks in the area. The study recommends increase in the capacity of supply water so that people do not depend on the groundwater for drinking purposes. Also, public should be educated about the ill-effects of drinking fluoride rich water. The prepared spatial distribution maps and present findings can be utilized by the concerned agencies in preparing drinking water management plan for the area.

(e) Implications of the project relevant to selected conference theme, theory and/or practice
The study clearly fits the theme 1 of the conference as managing water for public health in the hilly regions should be the topmost priority. In these areas people still rely on the fluoride contaminated ground water for meeting their requirements. The information on the health status of the population residing in the fluoride afflicted areas would be a ready refence for the concerned agencies for preparing management plans for these areas. The overall vision and scope of the study is to understand the physical and geochemical processes that govern fluoride retention and transport in ground water of the fluoride afflicted areas and to suggest measures for fluoride remediation for the local populace.

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