Ground water quality in shallow aquifers of India

India is a vast country with varied hydrogeological situations resulting from diversified geological, climatological and topographic settings. Water-bearing rock formations (aquifers), range in age from Archaean to Recent. The natural chemical composition of ground water is influenced predominantly by type & depth of soils and subsurface geological formations through which ground water passes. Ground water quality is also influenced by contribution from the atmosphere and surface water bodies. Quality of ground water is also influenced by anthropogenic factors. For example, overexploitation of ground water in coastal regions may result in sea water ingress and consequent increase in salinity of ground water, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture and improper disposal of urban/industrial waste can cause contamination of ground water resources. A diverse range of dissolved inorganic compounds present in different concentrations characterizes groundwater. These compounds originate from the chemical and biochemical interactions between water and geological substances. Inorganic impurities such as salinity, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, iron, and arsenic play a crucial role in assessing the suitability of groundwater for drinking purposes.

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