Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater in Indus River Basin of Pakistan

  • Arslan AhmadEmail author
  • Prosun Bhattacharya
Part of the Springer Hydrogeology book series (SPRINGERHYDRO)


Arsenic (As) contamination of drinking water from groundwater sources is an issue of public health concern in many parts of the world, including South Asia. The presence of As in groundwater of Pakistan was reported around the city of Karachi as early as 1997. Widespread occurrences of As are reported in groundwater through a number of subsequent studies in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh, the two most populated provinces in the Indus River basin of Pakistan and thereby emerged as an issue of public health concern. These studies have revealed that concentrations of As are elevated by a factor of 10–250 as compared to the WHO drinking water guideline. Both natural and anthropogenic processes have been primarily indicated as cause for elevated As concentration in groundwater. An increasing number of studies also show evidence that irrigation with As contaminated groundwater is associated with elevated As concentrations in agricultural products. The future research should therefore focus on the detailed understanding of the complexities of the geological and hydrogeological setting of Pakistan and to outline the sources of As and the mechanisms of transport to the Indus basin aquifers.


Arsenic Indus River basin Groundwater Aqueous environment Drinking water Pakistan 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KWR Water Cycle Research InstituteNieuwegeinThe Netherlands
  2. 2.KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group, Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and EngineeringKTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, School of Civil Engineering and Surveying & International Centre for Applied Climate ScienceUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Technology (ETE)Wageningen Univeristy and Research (WUR)WageningenThe Netherlands

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