Demarcation of fluoride vulnerability zones in granitic aquifer, semi-arid region, Telengana, India

Abstract

This study has been carried out in the granitic aquifer of Maheshwaram watershed, Telengana, India. In this study, groundwater sample data of 8 years were analyzed for the fluoride content with other chemical quality parameters. The correlation and factor analysis were employed to understand the mechanisms for fluoride (F) enrichment as well as the hydrochemistry of the area. These analyses addressed that the observed groundwater quality was due to water-rock interaction in the aquifer and fluoride is coming from the dissolution of fluorite and other silicate minerals like biotite and hornblende by the groundwater. Land use/land cover (LULC) study from 2002 to 2008 revealed there were significant positive changes in build-up land and negative changes in vegetation cover after 2003. The main agriculture (paddy) has been reduced to 0.97 km2 in 2008 from 2.39 km2 in 2003. The studied watershed has been characterized on the basis of F concentration into safe, transition, and unsafe groups following the WHO and BIS guidelines. The temporal variation of the three groups showed that 57.6% area of the watershed was in unsafe zone in 2000–2003, but 69.2% of the area became safe in 2006–2009. It has been found that F concentration reduced in 12.59% of the area (became safe from unsafe) accompanied by the reduction of paddy field area. After validation with present (2016) fluoride concentrations, it was found that 16.28% are vulnerable in near future. The results of this study showed that (a) the safe and unsafe zones of fluoride concentrations vary with time with the changes in other parameters associated with it like crop pattern and (b) vulnerable zone can be identified based on the susceptibility to change of safe and unsafe zones. Such studies are useful for planning and management purposes.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to Dr. V.M. Tiwari, Director, CSIR–NGRI for permission to publish the paper. This study was carried out at the Indo-French Centre for Groundwater Research (BRGM–NGRI). Thanks are also due to the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments that improved the quality of this manuscript significantly.

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Chatterjee, A., Sarah, S., Sreedevi, P.D. et al. Demarcation of fluoride vulnerability zones in granitic aquifer, semi-arid region, Telengana, India. Arab J Geosci 10, 558 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-017-3334-0

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Keywords

  • Fluoride contamination
  • Vulnerability
  • Groundwater
  • Granite hard rock