Fast depleting water levels is not the only problem in the national capital, whatever water is left, is so contaminated that it can hardly be recommended to sustain life. According to reports, contamination by lethal toxins such as arsenic, nitrates and fluorides in parts of Delhi.
A recent Lok Sabha secretariat report reveals that east and northeast districts of Delhi suffer from arsenic contamination of groundwater while other districts have recorded nitrate and fluoride pollution.
The report also quantifies how much the city is overdrawing its groundwater. The overexploitation was to the extent of 27% — that is, for every 100 litres that gets replenished, Delhiites draw out 127 litres. It’s based on analysis of groundwater use between 2011 and 2013, the latest year for which data is available.
The arsenic contamination is not widespread, but it may point to unacceptable ground pollution in the city.
“Arsenic contamination has been found in some parts of the Yamuna flood plains but it’s still a rare occurrence. Though arsenic pollution is considered geogenic (naturally occurring) in other parts of India, some papers have attributed arsenic contamination to fly ash from thermal power plants in Delhi,” said Shashank Shekhar, assistant professor of geology at Delhi University.