IIT-Madras, ICCW plan studies to forecast groundwater quality

IIT-Madras, ICCW plan studies to forecast groundwater quality

The quality of groundwater in localities closer to the beach in Chennai like Injambakkam and Besant Nagar is poor, while the quality in core areas like Adyar, Choolaimedu and suburbs like Ramapuram was found to be excellent.

This was revealed by an IIT-Madras team that has started collecting data as part of a pilot project to map the quality of Chennai’s groundwater in association with the state government.

Besant Nagar Beach, Chennai
Besant Nagar Beach, Chennai

While this was based on samples collected in March, the researchers said the quality of groundwater will further deteriorate in June with water table levels dropping. As the quality of water fluctuated, the project aims to gather enough data so that ground water quality can be forecast.

The International Centre for Clean Water (ICCW) has developed a device to assess various water quality parameters on the spot and upload the details into a cloud server. It plans to collect enough data that can help in the forecast in the city at any time of the year at the click of a button.

The team has already collected samples and tested them from 39 locations and plans to expand it to 60 more locations. “Water quality changes even at a 50 to 100 m distance. We cannot talk about water quality in a given region by just one parameter in any city, where rapid urbanisation has happened. But overall, Chennai’s water quality is reasonable. We have enough water and enough good water. But we need to conserve it,” said Prof T Pradeep, professor-in-charge, ICCW.

Water quality index is measured based on various parameters like chloride, total hardness, fluoride, nitrate, turbidity, ammonia, alkalinity is considered poor when it is between 100 and 200, good if it is between 50-100 and excellent if it is between zero and 50.

The researchers said several factors influence the city’s groundwater quality including the rate of withdrawal, proximity to the sea shore, contamination from sewer lines, amount of rainwater recharge and industrial effluents. “Typically groundwater levels will go down between March and June and continue to go down till monsoons start in October. So compared to March the quality would have deteriorated in June,” said E Nandakumar, ceo, ICCW-IIT-M.

ICCW, which collected data with the help of students from Stella Maris College, will soon cover another 60 locations in the city. To collect data on the spot, the team has developed a device with sensors that can assess the various water quality parameters, generate a reading and transfer the same to a cloud server through a mobile phone.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by Water Today staff and is generated from news feeds. Source: The Times of India

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