, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 135–145 | Cite as

An overview of the effects of urbanization on the quantity and quality of groundwater in South Asian megacities

  • Syeda Jesmin HaqueEmail author
  • Shin-ichi Onodera
  • Yuta Shimizu
Review article


One of the challenges facing megacities in South Asian developing countries in their attempts to realize so-called urban rejuvenation is groundwater conditioned by canal seepage and immense sewage loads. To understand the connection between groundwater pollutants and urbanization, numerous studies were reviewed, and data obtained from a variety of national and international organizations were analyzed. In Delhi and Dhaka, urbanization has lowered the groundwater level as a result of severe overextraction, and its dense population makes Delhi particularly vulnerable to groundwater pollution. In the coastal areas of Karachi and Mumbai, such pollution is magnified by the proximity of seawater as well as the increasing populations of these areas. Among the groundwater pollutants associated with urbanization, chlorides and nitrates are the chief anthropogenic toxins; thus, they are examined in this study. This paper concludes with policy recommendations for minimizing the impact of urbanization on groundwater.


Urbanization South Asian megacities Groundwater Contamination 



The authors would like to thank GEMSTAT, particularly Ms. Kelly Hodgson, data specialist, for providing water quality data. Special thanks go to the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh for approving S.J. Haque’s study leave to work as a visiting researcher at the biogeochemical laboratory in Hiroshima University, Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Syeda Jesmin Haque
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shin-ichi Onodera
    • 1
  • Yuta Shimizu
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Integrated Arts and ScienceHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Geological Survey of BangladeshDhakaBangladesh

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