GIS-based prediction of groundwater fluoride contamination zones in Telangana, India

  • S Kiran Kumar Reddy
  • Dinesh Kumar Sahadevan
  • Harish GuptaEmail author
  • Dontireddy Venkat Reddy


Groundwater is the only perennial water resource available to rural communities, especially in semi-arid regions. This study aims to provide an overview of fluoride-contaminated groundwater in the Telangana, India, by predicting potentially affected areas. The prevalence of endemic fluorosis in different parts of Telangana has been widely reported. Therefore, it is necessary to demarcate the fluoride-affected areas to adopt the remedial measures. In this context, the available information on related environmental variables such as geological settings, hydro-morphological inputs, climatic information and soil properties have been integrated as thematic layers in an ArcGIS environment. The thematic layers and their features were assigned with suitable weights, which were normalised using the analytic hierarchy process to obtain final ranks and the weighted overlay analysis method was carried out to delineate the potential fluoride contamination (PFC) zones. The entire state was classified into four broad categories, i.e., very high (17.6%), high (15.8%), medium (32.7%) and low (33.9%), in terms of groundwater fluoride enrichment. A comparison of the output map and the reported data indicates that the PFC zone model could explain 68.7% of fluoride variation. This study is the first such attempt to offer a regional-scale PFC zone for an entire state and offers a first-hand insight into the severity of fluoride contamination.


Geographic information system AHP technique contamination fluoride groundwater India 



KKR is grateful to the DST-Inspire Fellowship Program, India, for providing financial support (IF150795). HG thanks UGC for the faculty position under the Faculty Recharge Programme. The authors would also like to thank the director, CSIR–National Geophysical Research Institute. The accessible database online on the portals of Central Ground Water Board, Survey of India, NRSC–Bhuvan, Geological Survey of India and WRIS India, were greatly helpful in carrying out this study. We are grateful to AE Subimal Ghosh and the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful reviews and comments on the original manuscript.


  1. Amini M, Mueller K, Abbaspour K C, Rosenberg T, Afyuni M and Møller K N et al. 2008 Statistical modeling of global geogenic fluoride contamination in groundwaters; Environ. Sci. Technol. 42(10) 3662–3668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arveti N, Sarma M, Aitkenhead-Peterson J and Sunil K 2011 Fluoride incidence in groundwater: A case study from Talupula, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Monit. Assess. 172(1–4) 427–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayoob S and Gupta A K 2006 Fluoride in drinking water: A review on the status and stress effects; Crit. Rev. Env. Sci. Technol. 36(6) 433–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Babiker I S, Mohamed M A, Hiyama T and Kato K 2005 A GIS-based DRASTIC model for assessing aquifer vulnerability in Kakamigahara Heights, Gifu Prefecture, central Japan; Sci. Total Environ. 345(1) 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. BIS 2012 Bureau of Indian Standards; IS 10500:2012 Manak Bhawan, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  6. Brindha K, Rajesh R, Murugan R and Elango L 2011 Fluoride contamination in groundwater in parts of Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Monit. Assess. 172(1) 481–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brindha K, Jagadeshan G, Kalpana L and Elango L 2016 Fluoride in weathered rock aquifers of southern India: Managed aquifer recharge for mitigation; Environ. Sci. Pol. Res. 23(9) 8302–8316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Census 2011 Census Report-2011; Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India.Google Scholar
  9. CGWB 2015 Ground water year book – 2014–2015; Telangana State.Google Scholar
  10. CGWB-Annual 2015 Central Ground Water Board – annual report, India 2014–2015.Google Scholar
  11. Chakraborti D, Rahman M M, Chatterjee A, Das D, Das B and Nayak B et al. 2016 Fate of over 480 million inhabitants living in arsenic and fluoride endemic Indian districts: Magnitude, health, socio-economic effects and mitigation approaches; J. Trace Elem. Med. Biol. 38 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chitsazan M and Akhtari Y 2009 A GIS-based DRASTIC model for assessing aquifer vulnerability in Kherran Plain, Khuzestan, Iran; Water Resour. Manag. 23(6) 1137–1155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foody G M 2002 Status of land cover classification accuracy assessment; Remote Sens. Environ. 80(1) 185–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Foody G M 2008 Harshness in image classification accuracy assessment; Int. J. Remote Sens. 29(11) 3137–3158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gautam R, Bhardwaj N and Saini Y 2010 Fluoride accumulation by vegetables and crops grown in Nawa Tehsil of Nagaur district (Rajasthan, India); J. Phytopathol. 2(2) 80–85.Google Scholar
  16. GSI 1993 Geological map of India, published by Geological Survey of India.Google Scholar
  17. Handa B 1975 Geochemistry and genesis of fluoride-containing ground waters in India; Groundwater 13(3) 275–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacks G, Bhattacharya P, Chaudhary V and Singh K 2005 Controls on the genesis of some high-fluoride groundwaters in India; Appl. Geochem. 20(2) 221–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Karthikeyan G, Pius A and Apparao B 1996 Contribution of fluoride in water and food to the prevalence of fluorosis in areas of Tamil Nadu in south India; Fluoride 29(3) 151–155.Google Scholar
  20. Kumar V V, Sai C, Rao P and Rao C 1991 Studies on the distribution of fluoride in drinking water sources in Medchal Block, Ranga Reddy District, Andhra Pradesh, India; J. Fluorine Chem. 55(3) 229–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lerner D N and Harris B 2009 The relationship between land use and groundwater resources and quality; Land Use Policy (S26) S265–S273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Machender G, Dhakate R and Reddy M N 2014 Hydrochemistry of groundwater (GW) and surface water (SW) for assessment of fluoride in Chinnaeru river basin, Nalgonda district, (AP) India; Environ. Earth Sci. 72(10) 4017–4034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Machiwal D, Jha M K and Mal B C 2011 Assessment of groundwater potential in a semi-arid region of India using remote sensing, GIS and MCDM techniques; Water Resour. Manag. 25(5) 1359–1386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mall R K, Gupta A, Singh R, Singh R S and Rathore L S 2006 Water resources and climate change: An Indian perspective; Curr. Sci. 90(12) 1610–1626.Google Scholar
  25. Mollert I 1993 Endemic dental fluorosis (oral diseases in the tropics); Oxford University Press, Delhi.Google Scholar
  26. Mondal N C, Prasad R K, Saxena V K, Singh Y and Singh V S 2009 Appraisal of highly fluoride zones in groundwater of Kurmapalli watershed, Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh (India); Environ. Earth Sci. 59(1) 63–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mukherjee I and Singh U K 2018 Groundwater fluoride contamination, probable release, and containment mechanisms: A review on Indian context; Environ. Geochem. Health 40(6) 2259–2301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Narsimha A and Sudarshan V 2016 Assessment of fluoride contamination in groundwater from Basara, Adilabad District, Telangana State, India; Appl. Water Sci. Scholar
  29. Narsimha A and Sudarshan V 2017 Contamination of fluoride in groundwater and its effect on human health: A case study in hard rock aquifers of Siddipet, Telangana State, India; Appl. Water Sci. 7(5) 2501–2512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nawlakhe W G, Kulkarni D N, Pathak B N and Bulusu K R 1975 Defluoridation of water by Nalgonda technique; Ind. J. Environ. Health 17 26–65.Google Scholar
  31. NSSO 2006 Morbidity, health care and the condition of the aged, national sample survey; 60th Round (January–June 2004), Report N0507, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  32. Pathak D R, Hiratsuka A, Awata I and Chen L 2009 Groundwater vulnerability assessment in shallow aquifer of Kathmandu valley using GIS-based DRASTIC model; Environ. Geol. 57(7) 1569–1578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Planning Commission 2002 Government of India, Vol. 104, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  34. Radhakrishna B 1987 Geology and mineral resources of Andhra Pradesh; Geol. Soc. India 29(5) 531.Google Scholar
  35. Radhika V and Praveen G 2012 Determination of fluoride status in groundwater of Kommala area of district Warangal (Andhra Pradesh, India): A case study; Adv. Appl. Sci. Res. 3(4) 2523–2528.Google Scholar
  36. Rahman A 2008 A GIS based DRASTIC model for assessing groundwater vulnerability in shallow aquifer in Aligarh, India; Appl. Geogr. 28(1) 32–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ramesam V and Rajagopalan K 1985 Fluoride ingestion into the natural waters of hard-rock areas, Peninsular India; Geol. Soc. India 26(2) 125–132.Google Scholar
  38. Rao N S 2006 Seasonal variation of groundwater quality in a part of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Geol. 49(3) 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rao N S 2009 Fluoride in groundwater, Varaha River Basin, Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Monit. Assess. 152(1) 47–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rao N S and Devadas D J 2003 Fluoride incidence in groundwater in an area of Peninsular India; Environ. Geol. 45(2) 243–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rao N R, Rao N, Rao K S P and Schuiling R 1993 Fluorine distribution in waters of Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Geol. 21(1–2) 84–89.Google Scholar
  42. Reddy A G, Reddy D V, Rao P N and Prasad K M 2010a Hydrogeochemical characterization of fluoride rich groundwater of Wailpalli watershed, Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Monit. Assess. 171(1–4) 561–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reddy D, Nagabhushanam P, Sukhija B, Reddy A and Smedley P 2010b Fluoride dynamics in the granitic aquifer of the Wailapally watershed, Nalgonda District, India; Chem. Geol. 269(3) 278–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Saaty T L 1980 The analytic hierarchy process: Planning, priority setting; resource allocation; Vol. 287, MacGraw-Hill, New York International Book Company.Google Scholar
  45. Saaty T L 1994 How to make a decision: The analytic hierarchy process; Interfaces (Providence) 24(6) 19–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Saaty T L 2001 The seven pillars of the analytic hierarchy process (Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematics), pp. 15–37.Google Scholar
  47. Saaty T L and Kearns K P 2014 Analytical planning: The organization of system, Vol. 7.Google Scholar
  48. Saidi S, Bouri S and Dhia H B 2010 Groundwater vulnerability and risk mapping of the Hajeb–jelma aquifer (central Tunisia) using a GIS-based DRASTIC model; Environ. Earth Sci. 59(7) 1579–1588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Satyanarayana E, Dhakate R, Kumar D L, Ravindar P and Muralidhar M 2017 Hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater quality with special reference to fluoride concentration in parts of Mulugu–Venkatapur Mandals, Warangal district, Telangana; Geol. Soc. India 89(3) 247–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Saxena V and Ahmed S 2003 Inferring the chemical para-meters for the dissolution of fluoride in groundwater; Environ. Geol. 43(6) 731–736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sener E and Davraz A 2013 Assessment of groundwater vulnerability based on a modified DRASTIC model, GIS and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method: The case of Egirdir Lake basin (Isparta, Turkey); Hydrogeol. J. 21(3) 701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Shaji E, Viju J and Thambi D 2007 High fluoride in groundwater of Palghat District, Kerala; Curr. Sci. 92(2) 240–245.Google Scholar
  53. Shortt H, McRobert G, Barnard T and Mannadi N 1937 Endemic fluorosis in the Madras Presidency; Indian J. Med. Res. 25 553–568.Google Scholar
  54. Sreedevi P, Ahmed S, Madé B, Ledoux E and Gandolfi J-M 2006 Association of hydrogeological factors in temporal variations of fluoride concentration in a crystalline aquifer in India; Environ. Geol. 50(1) 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stehman S V, Wickham J, Smith J and Yang L 2003 Thematic accuracy of the 1992 National Land-Cover Data for the eastern United States: Statistical methodology and regional results; Remote Sens. Environ. 86(4) 500–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sudarshan V 2015 Geochemistry of fluoride bearing groundwater in parts of Telangana State, India; J. Wat. Res. Hyd. Eng. 4(4) 380–387.Google Scholar
  57. Sujatha D 2003 Fluoride levels in the groundwater of the south-eastern part of RangaReddy district, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Geol. 44(5) 587–591, Scholar
  58. Sujatha D and Reddy B R 2003 Quality characterization of groundwater in the south-eastern part of the RangaReddy district, Andhra Pradesh, India; Environ. Geol. 44(5) 579–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Susheela A 1999 Fluorosis management programme in India; Curr. Sci. 77(10) 1250–1256.Google Scholar
  60. Teotia S and Teotia M 1984 Endemic fluorosis in India: A challenging national health problem; J. Assoc. Physicians India 32(4) 347.Google Scholar
  61. Thapa R, Gupta S and Reddy D 2017 Application of geospatial modelling technique in delineation of fluoride contamination zones within Dwarka Basin, Birbhum, India; Geosci. Frontiers 8(5) 1105–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. TS SYB 2017 Telangana state statistical year book 2017; Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Hyderabad.Google Scholar
  63. Waldbott G L 1963 Fluoride in food; Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 12(6) 455–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. World Bank 2010 Deep Wells and Prudence: Towards Pragmatic Action for Addressing Groundwater Overexploitation in India; The World Bank, Washington, DC 97.Google Scholar
  65. World Health Organization 2010 World health statistics 2010; World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR–National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Osmania UniversityHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations