INDIA: Recharging groundwater only long-term solution

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INDIA: Recharging groundwater only long-term solution

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Nagpur: Recharging groundwater only long-term solution to fluorosis, say experts

NAGPUR: Exposure to high concentrations of fluoride through drinking water is the reason for incidence of fluorosis in
Vidarbha. It is made worse because we are drawing groundwater from greater depths that has higher fluoride content.

Terming defluorination techniques such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) as temporary fixes, Deepak Malpe, who has been heading
research on fluoride for two decades, emphasized that recharging groundwater sources with rainwater was the only affordable
and long term solution.

“Water coming from dug wells in Vidarbha has fluoride content anywhere between 0.08 and 7.7 mg/litre. Borewell water has
0.13 to 19 mg/litre fluoride which was way higher than permissible limit of 0.7 mg/litre. If we recharged borewells with fresh
rainwater, fluoride-level can be decreased effectively,” Malpe said. Expensive and complex techniques like RO, activated
alumina, and Nalgonda techniques were temporary solutions and not suitable for rural areas, he said.

Malpe heads Post Graduate Department of Geology at RTM Nagpur University. He delivered Shivani Ghosh memorial lecture
organized by Indian Institute of Mineral Engineers (IIME) at Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) on Wednesday. CS Gundewar,
controller general (retd.), IBM, and president of IIME, Nagpur chapter, presided over the function. Indira Ravindran, controller
general of IBM and G Vidya Sagar, additional director general and HOD of Central Region Geological Survey of India, were
special guests.

Malpe presented alarming facts from his study that covered seven most affected tehsils of Yavatmal and Chandrapur districts.
“Over the years, rural population too has become highly dependent on groundwater. Tooth and bone decay are known forms
of fluorosis, but it also has hazardous effects on renal, reproductive, neurological, endocrine, and development systems.
Nonskeletal fluorosis can be carcinogenic and may cause cancer,” he said.

Those living in cities and getting drinking water from borewells should eat calcium-rich food, Malpe stated, adding that they too
should install rainwater harvesting systems to recharge borewells at the earliest.

SOURCE: ... 124898.cms
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