Geogenic and anthropogenic contamination of groundwater in a fragile eco-friendly region of southern Kerala, India
¹Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, India
²School of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
³Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (WNA), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, India
In environmentally fragile regions that rely solely on groundwater resources, the hazards to the environment and human health are amplified by geogenic and anthropogenic pollution through the supply and use of groundwater for drinking and irrigation use. Groundwater from borewells in the study area was evaluated through hydrogeochemical analysis of 17 parameters in 2018 and 2019 across three seasons: pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon. The study area, Kainakary, a fragile eco-friendly area in South India, was specifically chosen, as agriculture is the predominant anthropogenic activity in the region and other anthropogenic activities with known negative effects are negligible compared to other parts of India. Despite diligent attention paid to sustainable practices in Kainakary, iron, fluoride, and ammonia components in groundwater exceeded the permissible limits stipulated by the World Health Organization and Indian drinking water standards. Significant need for water resources due to below sea level farming practices of rice cultivation and potable water requirements result in over-extraction of groundwater, an inevitable cause of geogenic pollution. Anthropogenic pollution of groundwater sources was evidenced by the presence of coliform bacteria in samples. Determining the origins of major geogenic and anthropogenic pollutants, as well as understanding irrigation use patterns, play a key role in mitigating the overuse of groundwater sources. This study contributes to evolving strategies for reducing geogenic and anthropogenic pollution and for groundwater management in ecologically fragile areas toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 12, which focuses on responsible consumption and production.