Groundwater contamination in rural areas under the Sohna Municipal Council (MC) has exceeded beyond the permissible limit, due to heavy use of chemical fertilisers by farmers in the area, revealed a recent report on integrated water resources management of Sohna division by GuruJal and the TERI School of Advanced Studies. GuruJal is an integrated water management initiative, which aims to address the issues of water scarcity, groundwater depletion, flooding and stagnation in the Gurugram district.
Of the samples collected from 10 different locations in Sohna, the quality of groundwater has depreciated in Ward 7, which is primarily a rural area. It includes Lakhuwas village under the Sohna MC. The alkalinity and hardness in the water in the area have exceeded to 640 mg/l and 620 mg/l against the permissible limit of 600mg/l. Similarly, the chloride level has increased to 1,060 mg/l, which should be less than 1,000mg/l, the dissolved solid level has increased to 2,903 mg/l against the limit of 2,000mg/l, and the fluoride level has increased to 1.6 mg/l against the permissible limit of 1 mg/l.
“The water sample collected from the bore wells in the area shows a high level of contamination. This is due to the leaching of chemical fertilisers into groundwater,” Fawzia Tarannum, assistant professor, department of regional water studies, TERI, who conducted the study, said.
Going by the study, currently, 23 villages in the Sohna MC area are fluoride-affected. According to Tarannum, certain contaminants, such as high fluoride levels, are geogenic, but the rest can be attributed to man-made activities in the region. She said, “While conducting the study, we found several youngsters complaining of joint pain or problems of kidney stones, which are due to the high level of fluoride and dissolved solids in water. Although compared to Mewat, the fluoride level is less in Sohna MC.”
For water sampling, the team selected four major sites within the block. It included urban and rural areas under Sohna MC, Gairatpur Bas, Ullahawas and Ghangola. It reviewed the current status of water projects in Sohna and mapped the qualitative and quantitative analysis of drinking water, surface water, groundwater, and wastewater.
The data collected from Sohna MC shows that 13% of the population is extracting water from private bore wells, 6% from public taps, 4% from public bore wells and 77% from the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) supply. “Before the 27 MLD water treatment plant, which became operational in 2016, the water in the area was sourced from bore wells installed in the PHED premises,” Tarannum said.
Residents are also dependent on Shiv Kund, a natural hot water spring in the area, for daily consumption. Shubhi Kesarwani, programme manager, GuruJal, said, “We noticed people drawing water from the kund through bore wells due to certain beliefs and practices. Despite the PHED supply, people are using this water for daily consumption, which is not suitable.”
HT contacted Pushpa Devi, municipal councillor, Ward 7, but she was unavailable for comment.Read More
‘Increased temperatures, further acidification, marine heatwaves, more frequent extreme El Niño and La Niña events,’ reads the summary of the report
With representatives from nearly 200 countries at the United Nations Climate Summit underway in the United States, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the apex referee for scientific evidence on the impact of global warming — made public a special report on Wednesday that underlined the dire changes taking place in oceans, glaciers and ice-deposits on land and sea.
“Over the 21st century, the ocean is projected to transition to unprecedented conditions with increased temperatures, further ocean acidification, marine heatwaves and more frequent extreme El Niño and La Niña events,” according to a summary of the report made available to policymakers.
The report updates scientific literature available since 2015 — when the IPCC released its comprehensive 5th Assessment Report — and summarises the disastrous impacts of warming based on current projections of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“It is virtually certain that the global ocean has warmed unabated since 1970 and has taken up more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system (high confidence). Since 1993, the rate of ocean warming has more than doubled. Marine heatwaves have very likely doubled in frequency since 1982 and are increasing in intensity,” the report notes.
The Southern Ocean accounted for 35%–43% of the total heat gain in the upper 2,000 m global ocean between 1970 and 2017, and its share increased to 45%–62% between 2005 and 2017.
The ‘Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate’ was prepared following an IPCC Panel decision in 2016 to prepare three Special Reports and follows the Special Reports on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR1.5), and on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL).
The 1.5°C report was a key input used in negotiations at Katowice, Poland last year for countries to commit themselves to capping global temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century.
“A major impact is in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Regions,” said Anjal Prakash, a researcher at The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) School of Advanced Studies, and among those involved with the report, adding, “Floods will become more frequent and severe in the mountainous and downstream areas of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra river basins, because of an increase in extreme precipitation events... the severity of flood events is expected to more than double towards the end of the century.”Read More
Sources cited in the report have estimated that approximately 28 million people across Mumbai, Kolkata, Surat, Chennai, Kochi and Vishakhapatnam are at risk with the global mean sea level projected to rise 10 times faster by 2100, if global greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed.
According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global climate science body, Mumbai is one of six Indian cities at critical risk from sea level rise, which could lead to infrastructural damage, severe flooding, economic losses and a surge in extreme weather events. IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), released on Wednesday, examines how a drastic rise in sea surface temperatures may affect marine life and the threats posed by rising water levels to islands and coastal regions by the end of the century.
Sources cited in the report have estimated that approximately 28 million people across Mumbai, Kolkata, Surat, Chennai, Kochi and Vishakhapatnam are at risk with the global mean sea level projected to rise 10 times faster by 2100, if global greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed. Islands like Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep may not be habitable in a few years, which would mean relocating thousands. The SROCC, which was approved by 195 governments, directly associates rising greenhouse gas emissions to changes in the ocean environment.
“Mumbai’s infrastructure and drainage capacity has to be climate resilient to take into account the impacts of changing weather patterns. This can be done based on early choices made by the government to combine environment planning with the city’s development plans,” said Anjal Prakash, coordinating lead author, SROCC and associate professor at TERI School of Advanced Studies.
A 2018 study by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) found low-lying areas like Haji Ali, Worli and stretches between Nariman Point and Marine Drive could be completely submerged by 2100 due to the rise in sea level. The coastal belt from Gorai to Mira Bhayander would be worst-affected.
Prakash said that globally, sea level is currently rising twice as fast – 3.6 mm per year and accelerating – as it did in the entire 20th century. “It would reach around 30-60cm by 2100 even if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply reduced and global warming is limited to below 2 degrees Celsius. In the event of high greenhouse gas emissions, it would rise to 60-110 cm,” he said.
For coastal cities like Mumbai, this would mean high salinity ingress. “This will not only pollute freshwater bodies, but lead to huge economic losses as it will directly impact the domestic water sector and then food production,” said Prakash. Extreme weather events like cyclones in the Arabian Sea may also increase in frequency. This year has already seen two cyclones (Vayu and Hikka).
“The increase in extreme weather events witnessed this monsoon in Mumbai is already an indicator of this changing climate scenario, and new technology needs to be adopted much faster to understand and respond to this,” said Prakash.Read More
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