What is Behind the Water?

by AliciaFoisy on August 29, 2017 - 10:34pm

An important article was written by Zamira Rahim, “Up to 60 million in Pakistan at risk of arsenic in water supply, study says”, published in the CNN on the 24 of August in 2017, is showing a reality that we may not want to see but that we have to face: they need help.


We can count up to 60 million people of the Pakistan’s Indus Plain population who are at risk when it comes to being affected by the arsenic in the groundwater supply and this statistic is according to the journal Science Advances. 


The population of Pakistan has the chance to count by their side the help that is provided by an international team of scientist. They did create what they call, “the hazard map”. It’s gathering locations that may be affected using water samples from about 1200 sites around the country. The team uses statistical modeling, they evaluated the environmental factors that could affect the movement of arsenic and also calculate the extent and the size of the population at risk. The conclusion to this, there are 50 to 60 million people who get their groundwater where there’s arsenic contamination.


"This alarmingly high number of people likely affected demonstrates an urgent need to test all drinking water wells in the Indus Plain," the team said. It is a need, people are maybe drinking water they shouldn’t because it hasn't been tested. There are way more places that are affected than we can imagine. Consequently, they have urged authorities, making sure they would treat affected wells. The trap with the arsenic: it has no smell or taste, also there are no short-term symptoms. Long-term drinking same often may lead to big and serious illnesses, like lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Joel Podgorski of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology said, "doesn't mean every well in the area is affected, but the easiest thing to do and the first obvious step is to test each and every well.» Sounds like the easiest way to prevent people from being sick. Because they are aware, they will be able to find another safe water source. 


The World Health Organization estimates that around 200 million people in the world are touched by arsenic contamination in water. The same organization’s guidelines for the concentration of arsenic for consumed water permit up to 10 micrograms per liter and Pakistan's guidelines allow to reach up to 50 micrograms per liter. Is that even normal? A difference of 40 micrograms. 


Podgoski also did bring the fact that in some cases, humans have exacerbated the issue. He also mentioned,"Sometimes, human and animal waste getting into a shallow well can make the issue worse locally, as it causes a different type of arsenic release."We may have a part of the responsibility. Correlation has also been made up between, high arsenic levels in water and high organic pollution in groundwater. Another correlation between irrigated areas and high arsenic levels in water. These correlations are stressing Podgorski, asking himself if this could be a coincidence.  The team is suggesting emergency measures, like health intervention programs for those who are affected. 


This whole situation is a serious issue. We never should arrive at a point where people are dying and where people’s lives are affected. We should simply make periodical testing on the sources of water we consumed on a daily basis and close all access where the water is contaminated. Everyone on earth hasn’t necessarily the same opportunity, we have to help our peers.  


About the author

5 foot 6 of knowledge and a giant thirst to know more about what is my surroundings. Weather it's about countries, cultures, I'm looking forward to travel and get to know more about my pairs all around the world.