ePrints@IIScePrints@IISc Home | About | Browse | Latest Additions | Advanced Search | Contact | Help

Vulnerability of groundwater from elevated nitrate pollution across India: Insights from spatio-temporal patterns using large-scale monitoring data

Sarkar, S and Mukherjee, A and Duttagupta, S and Bhanja, SN and Bhattacharya, A and Chakraborty, S (2021) Vulnerability of groundwater from elevated nitrate pollution across India: Insights from spatio-temporal patterns using large-scale monitoring data. In: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 243 .

[img] PDF
jou_con_hyd_243_103895_2021.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (10MB)
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2021.103895


Agriculture-sourced, non-point groundwater contamination (e.g., nitrate) is a serious concern from the drinking water crisis aspect across the agrarian world. India is one of the largest consumers of nitrogen fertilizers in South-Asia as well as in the world but groundwater nitrate lacks critical attention as a wide-scale drinking water pollutant in the country. Our study provides the first documentation of the distribution of groundwater nitrate and the extent of elevated nitrate contamination across India, along with the delineation of the temporal trends and the natural and anthropogenic factors that influence such occurrence of groundwater nitrate. High resolution, annual-scale spatio-temporal variability of groundwater nitrate concentration and consequent contamination was delineated using groundwater nitrate measurements from ~3 million drinking water wells spread across 7038 administrative blocks between 2010 and 2017 in India. An average 8 of the studied blocks were found affected by elevated groundwater nitrate (> 45 mg/L). Depth-dependent trend demonstrated that nitrate concentrations were about 14 higher in shallow water wells (� 35 m) than deep wells (>35 m). The overall temporal trend of groundwater nitrate concentration was decreasing slightly nationwide in the study period. The correlation tests and causality test results indicated that the spatial distribution of groundwater nitrate was significantly associated with agricultural N-fertilizer usage, whereas the decreasing temporal trend corresponded with the overall reduced N-fertilizer usage during the study period. Spatial autocorrelation analysis identified the clustering of high nitrate areas in central, north, and southern India, specifically in areas with higher fertilizer usage. We estimate about 71 million Indians possibly exposed to elevated groundwater nitrate concentrations and the majority of them reside in rural areas. Thus, this study provides the previously unrecognized, wide-scale, anthropogenic, diffused groundwater nitrate contamination across India. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier B.V.
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2021 07:37
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2021 07:37
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/70411

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item