|CANDELA, LUCILA - Technical University Of Catalonia|
|PARKER, BETH - University Of Guelph|
|LAPWORTH, DANIEL - British Geological Survey|
|SMEDLEY, PAULINE - British Geological Survey|
|DANERT, KERSTIN - Skat Foundation|
Submitted to: International Association of Hydrological Science
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Candela, L., Parker, B., Lapworth, D., Smedley, P., Danert, K., Borchardt, M.A. 2016. Human health and groundwater. International Association of Hydrological Science. www.iah.org.
Technical Abstract: The high quality of most groundwaters, consequent upon the self-purification capacity of subsurface strata, has long been a key factor in human health and wellbeing. More than 50% of the world’s population now rely on groundwater for their supply of drinking water – and in most circumstances a properly-located and soundly-engineered waterwell represents a low-cost, reliable and safe source. However, a few aquifer systems are rapidly connected to the land-surface, and are thus more vulnerable to pollution from most waterborne microbiological and chemical contaminants. Intensive agricultural land-cultivation employs heavy applications of nutrients and pesticides which can be leached from soils, and thus constitute the most widely-distributed groundwater pollution threat in many aquifers. Some synthetic organic chemicals are very resistant to degradation in most groundwater systems and can constitute a long-term health hazard – and this includes certain so-called ‘emerging organic contaminants. Serious natural contamination of groundwater (especially with arsenic and fluoride) can occur through rock dissolution in some situations.