“Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra (GMB) Plain” by SOES
GROUNDWATER ARSENIC CONTAMINATION IN GANGA-MEGHNA-BRAHMAPUTRA (GMB) PLAIN (1976-2008)
Reported work done by SOES
Before the onset of twenty first century, twenty groundwater arsenic contamination incidents from different parts of the world were known and out of these five major incidents are from Asia. In order of severity of occurrence, this includes Bangladesh, West Bengal-India, Inner Mongolia, Xin-Xiang Provinces of P.R. China and Taiwan. In recent years, new arsenic groundwater contamination incidents (Map 1) are being reported from other Asian countries including new sites in China, Lao People Democratic Republic, Cambodia, Myanmar and Pakistan. Severe groundwater arsenic contamination has been reported from Vietnam where several million people consuming untreated groundwater may run a considerable risk of chronic arsenic poisoning. It has been reported that Kurdistan province of western Iran is also arsenic affected and people were drinking arsenic contaminated water and suffering from arsenicosis since 1984. Groundwater arsenic contamination has also been reported from the Terai area of Nepal during 2001. In 2003, we reported arsenic groundwater contamination in Bihar state of India in Middle Ganga Plain. Recently we have discovered arsenic groundwater contamination in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand states in Gangatic plain of India. Combining the first report of groundwater arsenic contamination reported in 1976 from Chandigarh and a few villages of Punjab, Patiala in northern India of upper Ganga plain with Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states of India and that of Bangladesh, it appears that a good portion of Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra (GMB) plain of an area 569749 km2 and population over 500 million may be at risk from groundwater arsenic contamination (Figures).