Sunday, March 21, 2004

Water again:

In Florida pollution in the Escambia County aquifer has closed four water supply wells in Pensacola since 1958. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is going to spend $70,000 this year to try to find the source of radium and other pollutants in the aquifer in the Palafox Street industrial corridor.

The handling of drinking water pollution by public and private officials already has prompted a grand jury investigation and four lawsuits. Predictably all sides deny reponsibility for the aquifer.

India is facing much more severe problems.

The annual recharge of water is far less than what is consumed. The situation is more alarming in urban areas due to population pressure and industrial growth.

New Delhi's water tables are dipping by an average of 0.4 metres a year. In Gujarat, nearly 14,000 villages suffer from severe water scarcity every year. Groundwater tables have dipped around 3-4 metres every year, according to a report by NGO Utthan.

Add to this the high levels of pollution in water bodies, including lakes and rivers. Sewage disposal, industrial effluents, chemicals from farm run-offs, and arsenic and fluoride contamination have made water extremely poisonous both for consumption and irrigation.

Water conditions are approaching crisis levels and can only get worse as population continues to grow.


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