Groundwater levels plunge, contamination rises, crisis grows

Five years ago, when Ramakant Desai, 55, hired a drilling rig to sink a borewell to irrigate his maize fields, he struck water at 200 ft. Today, the rig must drill more than four times as deep to 900 ft.

This is a common story in Desai’s village of Gargoti in the southern Maharashtra district of Kolhapur, as it is 682 km to the north in Jalgaon district’s Bhusaval, where Rajendra Nad, 52, narrates a similar story, complicated by fertiliser overuse. “Overuse of fertilisers has contaminated our groundwater”, said Nad, who farms millet, sorghum and groundnut.

In a country where 74 percent of farmland is not irrigated and water shortages are growing – a report by the EA Water consultancy warns India will become “water scarce” by 2025 – depleting groundwater levels add to an ongoing farm crisis. In recognition of groundwater declines, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said his government would spend Rs.6,000 crore (almost $900 million) on “groundwater management”, but the details are unclear.

India draws more freshwater annually compared to any other country – 761 billion cubic meters per year for domestic, agricultural and industrial use, according to four-year (2011 to 2015) World Bank data. The scarcity has worsened because more than half of that water is now contaminated, mainly by industry and sewage, sparking diarrhoea, typhoid and viral hepatitis.

With larger population, China uses 28 percent less freshwater than India

A common argument is that India’s growing water use in inevitable. But China, with 1.4 billion people, uses 554.1 billion cubic meters of freshwater every year – that’s 28 percent less than India.

The consequence: India’s annual per capita availability of water fell 74 percent over 69 years, from 6,042 cubic metres in 1947 to 1,545 cubic metres in 2011, according to a government water policy report.

“The political economy of subsidies has resulted in unsustainable extraction and use of groundwater and eventually to its depletion,” said Ayan Biswas, a water-management expert. Farmers using cheap, subsidised electricity are encouraged to draw groundwater without restriction, he said.

Water depletion in rural India is a result of unsustainable agriculture practices such as farms in water-scarce regions with water-hungry crops like paddy, cotton and sugarcane.

Groundwater levels “critical” in nine states

In nine states – in south, west and central India – groundwater levels are now described as “critical”, according to a 2016 parliament committee report on water resources. “Critical” implies a stage where 90 percent of groundwater has been extracted, with a significant decline in recharge capability.

As of December 2015, of 6,607 units (blocks, mandals, talukas) assessed, 1,071 in 16 states and two in union territories, were categorised as “over-exploited”, which means 100 percent of groundwater has been drawn, with little chance of recharge.

Groundwater levels in India are now more critical than anywhere else on earth, IndiaSpend previously reported. More than half of India now faces what is called “high” to “extremely high” water stress, most across the fertile Ganga-Brahmaputra basin.

Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan have the most over-exploited blocks.

More than half of India’s groundwater is contaminated

The other aspect of the water crisis is contamination. Surface and groundwater is laced with fluoride, nitrate, arsenic and iron.

As many as 650 cities and towns lie along polluted rivers, which contaminate groundwater, according to the latest report of the Central Pollution Control Board.

“Poor environmental management systems” in industries lead to toxic and organic waste discharges of water, the report said. This has resulted in “pollution of surface and groundwater sources from which water is drawn for irrigation and domestic use”.

More than half of India’s groundwater is contaminated, according to the Central Groundwater Board report. As many as 276 districts have high levels of fluoride, 387 districts report nitrates above safe levels and 86 districts have high levels of arsenic, the report said.

On average, contaminated water caused 10 million cases of diarrhoea, 740,000 cases of typhoid and 150,000 viral-hepatitis cases between 2007 and 2011, the groundwater board said.

Back in Jalgaon, Nad’s village is falling back on traditional methods to fight the crisis. “We are looking at reviving the watercourse, to water pooling,” he said. “Hopefully these will provide water for drinking and crops during dry spells.”

Credits :

Protect your family from waterborne diseases: Switch to Bloom water purifiers

Protect your family from waterborne diseases: Switch to Bloom water purifiers

Water has many benefits. But this colourless odourless liquid had a tendency to dissolve many impurities in it. These impurities not only make the water unfit for consumption, but also leads to various water borne diseases like jaundice, cholera etc. At times these diseases become life threatening. To keep your family safe and healthy choose Bloom water purifiers. These purifiers are designed with multi stage purification process so that every glass of water you get form it is pure as safe.

Protect your family from waterborne diseases: Switch to Bloom water purifiers

Protect your family from water borne diseases Switch To Bloom Water Purifiers

Water has many benefits. But this colourless odourless liquid had a tendency to dissolve many impurities in it. These impurities not only make the water unfit for consumption, but also leads to various water borne diseases like jaundice, cholera etc. At times these diseases become life threatening. To keep your family safe and healthy choose Bloom water purifiers. These purifiers are designed with multi stage purification process so that every glass of water you get form it is pure and safe.  

For more details:

Spectra plus from bloom for all round protection from water borne diseases

Spectra plus from bloom for all round protection from water borne diseases

These days, the water we get is contaminated with harmful germs, chemicals, hazardous metals that makes the water unfit for consumption. Every day we are hearing news related to contaminated water. This has become a matter of concern for us. Bloom brings  you Spectra plus ro water purifier which has seven stage purification system so that you get the best of the water for yourself and your loved ones. Keep your water related worries at bay. Get safe water from bloom’ s spectra plus.

For more details:

The Most Important Water Stories of 2015

Water was a Top Risk on the 2015 Global Agenda

In early 2015, participants at the World Economic Forum, a who’s who of the political and business elite, ranked water crises as the top global risk. Water was also a key factor in the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for international development over the next 15 years. Ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation for all by 2030 is one of six water goals for the SDGs. In December at the UN climate change conference in Paris, world leaders acknowledged the instrumental role that water will play in a warming planet. Water security was included in the response plans of most nations and was at the core of numerous debates and side agreements.

Extreme Hydrologic Events — Floods and Droughts — Dominated the News
The year 2015 saw more than its fair share of extreme hydrologic events, both ruinous floods and severe drought. In the United States, attention remained focused on California, which is suffering the worst four-year drought on record. The state’s soils are dry, reservoirs depleted and groundwater grossly overdrawn. The drought led to important regional conversations about improving water management and distribution, as well as new science exploring the links between drought and the growing influence of climate changes. Intense droughts also struck other regions hard: São Paulo, Brazil, the largest city in the Western Hemisphere,experienced daily water cutoffs for millions of residents. And a severe drought in South Africa that began in 2015 and has continued into 2016 is forcing utilities to order water restrictions for Johannesburg and other major cities.


A Major Urban Water-Quality Disaster: Flint, Michigan
Following the urban water-quality disasters in 2014 of toxic algae in Toledo, Ohio, and coal chemical contamination of the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia, another major catastrophe occurred last year. In Flint, Michigan, a combination of a change in water source chemistry, inadequate water-quality testing and reporting, and an outrageous failure of management and governance resulted in dangerous lead contamination in some drinking water. This story, which began in 2014, unfolded in 2015, and will continue in 2016, highlights the need for far more investment in maintaining and upgrading urban water infrastructure, vastly improved political oversight and accountability, and an acknowledgement of the unaddressed environmental justice issues facing poor and disadvantaged communities. We note these kind problems are all too prevalent in many parts of the developing world, but receive extra media attention when they occur unexpectedly in richer nations.

Groundwater Supplies Became a Big Global Worry
Thanks to several high-profile scientific assessments, the California drought, and growing public attention, unsustainable use of groundwater supplies became an international story. Satellite data showed that a majority of the world’s largest aquifers are declining, and isotope dating revealed that a small fraction of the world’s groundwater is being used in a renewable way. Coastal regions are battling to keep the ocean from seeping into freshwater aquifers that are used by cities and farms. In California’s Central Valley, a farming powerhouse, some land is collapsing and a growing number of private and municipal wells are going dry as more groundwater is pumped and groundwater levels drop.

The 2015 Vatican Encyclical, Laudato Si’, on Water
The official text of the Vatican’s 2015 Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’ (“On Care for our Common Home”) addressed many environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity, food, and the critical issue of freshwater. Woven throughout the Encyclical is attention to the social and equity dimensions of water, coupled with a deep concern for the poor. The water sections focus on the disparities in access, quality, and use of water between the wealthier, industrialized parts of the world and poorer populations. The Encyclical notes that the use of water is often exploitation of the resource, exceeding natural limits while still failing to satisfy the needs of the poorest (section 27). It also addresses the lack of access to clean drinking (section 28), the challenges for food production due to droughts, disparities in water availability and “water poverty” (section 28), the continued prevalence of water-related diseases afflicting the poor (section 29), contamination of groundwater (section 29), and the trend toward privatization and commodification of a resource the Vatican describes as an “basic and universal human right” (section 30).

Water in Space
Space agencies around the world continued in 2015 to find evidence of water in almost every form in almost every kind of celestial body. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provided the strongest evidence yet for liquid water flows on present-day Mars. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko confirmed water ice on the comet’s surface. The Cassini spacecraft has confirmed that Tethys, a mid-sized moon of Saturn is probably all water ice, while it also captured incredible photos of Saturn’s moon Enceladus where water blasts through cracks in surface ice. On October 28,Cassini flew about 48 kilometers over Enceladus’ south pole and took samples of this saline water. Other missions also returned positive findings: The New Horizons spacecraft detected numerous regions of water ice on Pluto. And outside – sometimes far outside – our own region of space, ice is prevalent as well. In April 2015, an international team of astronomers reported the successful identification of water molecules in the remote galaxy NGC 4258, 24 million light years from Earth.


Conflicts over Water Continued
The long history of water-related conflicts continued in 2015. That history, chronicled and detailed at the Water Conflict Chronology, grew with several dozen more examples. By far the largest number of new cases occurred in the Middle East, where ongoing violence, civil war, and regional tensions put water in the cross hairs. There were numerous attacks on dams and other water infrastructure in the Tigris-Euphrates watershed. There was violence over access to water in Somalia and Nigeria, and attacks on water systems in Colombia and Ukraine. We anticipate the growing risks of violence over water access, attacks on water infrastructure, and both sub-national and international water tensions will continue to be a concern.

Growing Links between Water and Energy Policy
The realization that water and energy issues are often tightly linked has been dubbed the water-energy nexus. In 2015, these links drew the attention of policymakers and national leaders. China, facing serious water quality and availability challenges as well as energy and climate concerns, announced it would reduce water-wasting coal mining and the use of coal in electricity generation. India, too, is shifting to water-conserving wind and solar power. Mexico prohibited new groundwater supply permits for shale oil and gas development in the northern desert state of Coahuila. Researchers in California published major new studies onrisks to surface and groundwater from oil and gas production and on risks and opportunities for agricultural users of wastewater. The state also shut down injection wells for dumping oilfield waste into groundwater. New evidence of the risks of earthquakes associated with oilfield reinjection of wastewater in Oklahomaalso came to light and renewed debates about disposal policies.


Get the benefits of activated carbon in Sparkle water filter from Bloom

Get the benefits of activated carbon in sparkle water filter from Bloom

Activated carbon is known to have qualities of absorbing carbon compounds. Impure water has dissolved carbon traces that are injurious to health. These chemicals also gives bitter taste and pale colour to water. Bloom Sparkle water filter is loaded with activated carbon to remove these impurities from water and make the water chemical free. You get the crystal clear and odourless water.

For more details:

Everything you Need to Know About E. Coli

E. coli

Recently, the popular fast-food chain, Chipotle, has been scrutinized in the media for its E.coli related outbreaks. Chipotle underwent multiple outbreaks of E.coli during the tail end of 2015 which was caused by two outbreaks of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STECO26) infections. Thus far, 58 people have been infected with this strain across 12 different states.

Based on this evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deduced that there is a common meal item or ingredient that is being served at Chipotle restaurants in several states which caused the outbreak. However they have not yet identified which food in particular is the direct cause.

So why is this disease so serious that it is causing Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants across the country to temporary close to address this issue?
Well, first off, what is E.coli?
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacteria that is surprisingly an important aspect of human intestinal tract health. Most E.coli are harmless bacteria and assist in everyday health. However the E.coli that generally make the headlines are pathogenic, which cause illnesses such as diarrhea, or even things outside the intestinal functions. According to the CDC E.coli is the most common causes of “food borne” illnesses within the United States, it usually infects about 265,000 people each year.

Variations of E.coli:
The pathogenic E.coli strains can be broken down into pathotypes.There are basically six pathotypes/versions that are associated with diarrhea (also known as diarrheagenic E. coli). One type of E. coli is Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC), sometimes referred to as Verocytotoxin, producing E.coli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic E.coli (EHEC), this is the most common E.coli that is usually being depicted in the news. Enterotoxigenic E.coli (ETEC), Enteropathogenic E.coli (EPEC), Enteroaggregative E.coli (EAEC), Enteroinvasive E.coli (EIEC), and Diffusely Adherent E.coli (DAEC) are all pathotypes of E.coli.
The Shiga toxin producing E. coli is the form of pathotype we most hear about because it is commonly seen in restaurants.
The E. coli that is caused by the Shiga toxin (STEC) has many serogroups within the STEC group itself. Groups within the STEC can often cause diseases such as bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which is a form of kidney failure.
How is it transferred?
Usually, the E. coli that causes diarrhea is transferred through food, water, or contact with animals/people who already have E.coli. The infection usually occurs if you swallow miniscule amounts of human or animal feces (this amount is often invisible to the naked eye). These tiny traces of feces usually comes from contaminated food such as, raw produce, raw milk, soft cheese, unpasteurized apple cider, or even dealing with a dirty diaper or an employee not thoroughly washing their hands when preparing food.

Symptoms and Issues:
Almost anyone can be at risk for E.coli bacteria, however the symptoms are seen to become more serious in children and the elderly. The most commonly experienced symptoms begin with stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, chills, loss of appetite, headaches, muscle aches, bloating, vomiting, slight fever, etc. Though the incubation period may last a week, these symptoms are usually experienced within the first 4 days.
People with symptoms such as these, mainly diarrhea, usually recover within 7 days. However the bacteria can potentially cause urinary problems, respiratory issues, pneumonia, and kidney problems (aforementioned HUS) as well, and rarely E.coli can be fatal.

If your symptoms do not get better or worsen within seven days, you should consult with your doctor immediately. However for those getting better, staying hydrated is key when dealing with E.coli.
That means drink lots of water and avoid sugars and salts (basically anything that will dehydrate you further). Similarly, there has been no proven evidence of antibiotics providing any sign of relief, therefore should be avoided because again, you want to steer clear of anything that may potentially dehydrate you.

The best way to avoid any E.coli contamination is to avoid raw and unpasteurized juices and raw meat. Most importantly, always wash your hands after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, and after any contact with farms or farm animals. If you are cooking, make sure to wash your hands, counters, cutting boards, utensils, and cook the meat thoroughly. Also, when enjoying a refreshing swim during the hot summer months, avoid swallowing water in swimming pools and ponds.
Therefore, it really is necessary to be cautious of where you are eating and how you prepare your own food. Use as many preventative measures as possible and deal with concerns immediately, especially if you think you may potentially have had contact with the bacteria. Most importantly always wash your hands thoroughly after you use the bathroom, before and after dealing with food!


Centre’s multi-crore plan aims to provide arsenic-free water

Picture for representation

The Narendra Modi government is working on a Rs 13,800 crore plan to save a large population forced to consume groundwater containing excess arsenic that leads to serious ailments.

About 10,000 habitations in India with 1.20 crore people, mostly poor, have sporadic sources of groundwater containing arsenic more than 10 parts per billion (PPB), latest government data shows. Consumption of such water leads to skin problems, hits the nervous system, and reduces IQ level among children. It can even cause cancer.

Arsenic contamination, first reported in West Bengal in 1983, is a major threat to India’s groundwater resource on which 80 per cent of rural domestic needs, 50 per cent of urban and industrial needs and 65 per cent irrigation water requirements depend. Depletion of groundwater levels, due to excess use and destruction of recharge systems, leads to contamination.

Based on sub-plans given by five affected states (Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab and West Bengal), they need about ` 4,000 crore for both short and long-term actions. Other states, mainly Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka and Manipur, facing similar problems, are also submitting their plans.

Central ministries, mainly the ministry of drinking water and sanitation (MoWDS), need Rs 9,800 crore for similar actions on their part. “For better operation and maintenance, it has to be done with private and community participation on a mission mode over five years. Its yearly execution will be monitored by an empowered and unified body. Old, defunct systems need to be set right,” said a senior official.

Each affected state will form a cross-department task force to map risk areas, set up labs, build, preferably, surface water supply and rainwater storage systems to recharge fast contaminating and depleting groundwater reserves.

High-tech water cleanup, both underground and after extraction, is also high on the agenda.

Healthcare facilities in these areas are very poor. As per the cross-ministry plan, the health ministry will fight the health related challenges, including diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients. The agriculture ministry is working on plans to push arsenic-resistant crops. The idea also is to tweak irrigation practices to keep arsenic consent from fields.

Funds are also going to be an issue. The MoDWS got only Rs 2,700 crore for 2015-16 as against Rs 11,000 crore the previous fiscal. “Such reductions would hamper the task at hand unless funds are mobilised from various other sources and given to the ministry,” said an official.

Dunu Roy of NGO Hazard Centre however said, “The government’s faith in the investment capacity of the private sector and the efficiency of technology remains unshaken in spite of a long history of demonstrated failures on both counts in several PPP projects.”

As a short-term measure, the government is looking at 10,000 ‘community water purification plants (CWPPs)’ in as many habitations by 2019. This will cost Rs 1,800 crore. NITI Aayog has agreed to provide Rs 1,000 crore for CWPPs in areas affected by arsenic and fluoride. Groundwater contamination has hit over 3.61 crore people across half of India’s districts, latest government data shows.


Bloom water purifiers: enjoy goodness of pure water

Bloom water purifier enjoy goodness of pure water

A lot has been said about pure water. But are we sure that the water we have in our glass is pure? Well no one can say without testing the same. But with Bloom water purifiers you can be rest assured that every glass of water that reaches your hands has undergone various stages of purification so that you get the germ, harmful metals and chemicals and odour free water. Enjoy the goodness of pure water with full heart.

For more details: