Water Contamination in India
Each year in India 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhea caused by contaminated drinking water.
In 2015, a total of 133,625 cases of waterborne viral Hepatitis A and E infections were recorded resulting in 397 deaths. This outbreak was caused by the ingestion of water contaminated by sewage.
73 million working days are lost due to water-borne disease each year. The resulting economic burden is estimated at $600 million a year.
In India, 19 states have reported fluoride contamination of water and groundwater in at least 10 states is contaminated with arsenic.
A majority of India’s wells have registered declining water levels. Falling water levels lead to increased Arsenic concentrations.
Industrial processes pollute surface waters with metals like lead, arsenic, copper, cadmium, mercury and nickel. These processes include;
- Discharge of industrial effluents containing metallic solutions into the water. These include effluents discharged from battery and paint manufacturing, electroplating, viscous-rayon manufacturing, copper picking and galvanizing & rubber processing industries.
- Dumping of solid wastes which contain metal salts
- Agricultural runoff
- Acute or chronic toxicity/poisoning resulting in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous functions
- Changes in the blood composition and damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs
- Physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis
- Risk of allergies
Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer in the skin, lungs, bladder and kidney.
In India, the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Chhattisgarh are reported to be most affected by arsenic contamination of groundwater above the permissible level.