Groundwater Arsenic Contamination Inventories and Risk Assessment using Geographic Information System: Case Studies Kishoreganj and Netrokona Districts of Bangladesh.


99- Abstract #840

Md. Masud Karim
Consultant, Environmental Planning, Dainichi Consultant Inc., 3-1-21 Yabuta Minami, Gifu 500-8384, Japan.
Zakia R. Begum
Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Letters, Kumamoto University, Japan.

ABSTRACT

Groundwater in Bangladesh is contaminated with Arsenic, which occurs naturally in alluvial and deltaic sediments. The first official detection in 1993 and subsequent confirmation after 1995 of high levels of Arsenic in numerous shallow and deep wells in various parts of the country has raised serious health concerns. Recent investigations, though incomplete, confirm that the occurrence of Arsenic in groundwater is more widespread than assumed at first and that it already affects a large number of people. The latest statistics available on the arsenic contamination in groundwater indicates that 52 districts around 80% of the total area of Bangladesh and about 40 million people are at risk. It is estimated that at least 1.2 million people are exposed to Arsenic poisoning with tens of millions potentially exposed. The reported number of patients seriously affected by arsenic in drinking water has now risen to 60001 demands extensive research in this field.
Emission inventories are essential tools for assessing releases to the environment. Analysis on emissions inventory data can be useful for environmental program planning and management purposes as well as identifying emissions that are potentially above the standard level. In identifying only the level of concentration is not enough; the concentrations resulting from the emissions are important to estimating exposure and risk. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) used in this study for visualizing water quality characteristics in Union census block, distribution of arsenic groundwater concentration, and exposure risk zones for two northeastern districts Kishoreganj and Netrokona of Bangladesh.