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GROUNDWATER QUALITY RELATED TO NATURAL ARSENIC CONTAMINATION IN CORDOBA ARGENTINA

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Magali E. CARRO PEREZ, Franco M. FRANCISCA
Affiliations: National University of Cordoba (UNC) National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) Mailing Address: Velez Sarsfield 1611, Cordoba, Argentina, Tel ++54-351-4334404 (109) Emails: mcarroperez@isrh.unc.com.ar, ffrancis@co

Keyword(s): arsenic, groundwater, geoindicators, natural contamination
AbstractMany aquifers around the word contain natural arsenic with concentrations higher than that allowed by current international regulations. In Cordoba State, located at the central part of Argentina, groundwater contains arsenic, fluorine, vanadium and many other trace elements that restrict the use of this natural resource as a source of drinking water. Environmental indicators, as for example the groundwater quality, are very helpful providing information about natural resources and evaluating the intensity and the direction of possible geoenvironmental changes. The purpose of this work is to characterize the groundwater quality in the study area by means of geoindicators that consider arsenic concentrations in conjunction with other naturally chemical substances found in groundwater. Proposed indicators can help to achieve a sustainable handling of this natural resource. Different dimensionless indicators are proposed from the chemical properties of groundwater. Regarding the observed local chemical concentrations, these indicators are used to develop risk maps that permit a rapid visualization of the environmental situation. Developed maps allow evaluating the spatial variability of groundwater quality and the associated environmental risk. In addition, they can also be used to monitor the temporal evolution of groundwater properties and to detect anthropogenic sources of contamination. The influence of recently adopted regulations on the area of the zone with at least one aquifer having arsenic in excess is discussed. Obtained results provide a simple and very useful characterization of the regional risk associated to arsenic contaminated groundwater in different areas in Cordoba State.
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