Assessment of Groundwater Quality in Tehsil Jhang and its Impact on Human Health Using GIS Based Techniques
Groundwater Quality in Tehsil Jhang
Groundwater is a vital natural resource for drinking in the world. People in the rural areas of Pakistan are using groundwater for drinking without any test and assessment of its quality. The present study focuses on spatial distributions of groundwater quality and its impact on human health in the rural area of Tehsil Jhang. Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques, considered a more reliable and authentic approach which have been adopted to assess the quality of water and the damage caused by contaminated water to people's health in this study. Sample points for groundwater were collected from 24 tube wells which are well spatially distributed in the study area. Subsequently, health data comprising of the patient's information from the same sampled location who had suffered from the water born diseases was also acquired. These water samples were analyzed against the selected total four physio-chemical parameters i.e. total dissolved solids, arsenic, fluoride and nitrate. Groundwater quality maps were prepared using the spatial interpolation technique of Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) for each of the parameters and classified according to the WHO standards. Some samples from the field were selected for validation of the results by PCRWR. The data of PCRWR's closely matches the acquired data from the field. Results reveal that 67% of total samples were contaminated by arsenic and 50% nitrate and 30% fluoride samples also showed high values than the WHO standards. Results depict that the majority of the population in the study area is consuming contaminated water which causes a severe threat to health (stomach ulcer, kidney and lungs cancers, teeth problems, weakened immune system). This study concludes that the groundwater quality of the study area needs higher attention to treat the contaminated water on an immediate basis. This study shows the significance of geospatial techniques for mapping of groundwater quality on large scale and its spatial correlation with water-born disease. Furthermore, this study will be quite helpful for Government to take precautionary measures for diseases.