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Issue 22
, 2010
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Toxic cocktail in depleting Rajasthan groundwater

Source: Mail Today, New Delhi, Date: , 2010

The pace at which Rajasthan is drawing groundwater for consumption has overtaken the pace at which it is replenished. At this rate, the state's groundwater table - its main source of water - will soon run dry, experts warn.In 140 of the state's 237 blocks, the water table has been tagged as " overexploited", in another 50 blocks it is " critical" and in 14 more blocks " semi- critical". More alarming is the presence of saline, fluoride, chloride, iron and nitrate in the water exceed the World Health Organization's ( WHO) permissible limits, making it unhealthy for consumption.The total dissolved solids ( TDS) vary between 500 and 3,500 PPM ( parts per million) whereas WHO standards specify that if it is more than 500 PPM, the water is not drinkable.These pollutants can damage the teeth, heart, bones, arteries, liver and, in extreme cases, even the brain that may cause death. In parts of over half- a- dozen districts even arsenic was found in varied quantities, a recent survey by the Central Ground Water Board ( CGWB) found.These districts include Bikaner, Bharatpur, Churu, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Pali and Sirohi.The study was carried out by scientists A. K. Banerjee and L. N. Mathur.