Advertisement

Groundwater modeling to understand the impact of pumping in the deep Late Pleistocene aquifers of the western Bengal Basin on arsenic migration

  • Pradip Kumar SikdarEmail author
  • Utsab Ghosal
  • Surajit Chakraborty
Original Paper
  • 37 Downloads

Abstract

Numerical modeling of groundwater flow and particle tracking have been applied to assess whether deep pumping in a part of western Bengal Basin will transport arsenic (As) from the shallow paleo-channel (SPC) Holocene aquifer to the deep aquifer of Late Pleistocene age. Current pumping has shifted the groundwater recharge zones at variable depths closer to the pumping wells compared to no-pumping condition. Large irrigation and domestic withdrawals over more than 50 years from the deep aquifer (depth > 70 m bgl) have drawn down some As-polluted groundwater from SPC aquifer into the deep paleo-channel (DPC) Holocene aquifer but not into the deep aquifer. Therefore, As in Late Pleistocene groundwaters beneath DPC has originated locally and has not been transported from the overlying As-polluted SPC aquifer. To obtain As-free drinking water for a long-time, wells fitted with hand-pump can be constructed in Late Pleistocene paleo-interfluvial (PI) aquifer made of brown sands underlying a capping of the last glacial maximum paleosol and even below it in the gray sands. In the paleo-channel aquifer, wells fitted with hand-pump may be constructed at depths > 200 m to provide safe drinking water. Caution is needed regarding development of high-yielding irrigation or drinking water wells in the deep aquifer.

Keywords

Bengal Basin Jamuna sub-basin Groundwater modeling Pumping impacts Arsenic migration 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank John M. McArthur of the University College London for his critical comments that helped in improving the paper. The authors also thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that improved the presentation of this work.

Funding information

The authors thank the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for funding this research through their grant SR/S4/ES-399/2009 to PKS

References

  1. AIP and PHED (Arsenic Investigation Project and Public Health Engineering Directorate) (1995) Prospective plan for arsenic affected districts of West Bengal. Government of West Bengal, Calcutta, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberti L, Colombo L, Formentin G (2018) Null-space Monte Carlo particle tracking to assess groundwater PCE (tetrachloroethene) diffuse pollution in north-eastern Milan functional urban area. Sci Total Environ 621:326–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BIS (2012) Indian standard drinking water specification (IS 10500:2012), p11Google Scholar
  4. Biswas A, Bhattacharya P, Mukherjee A, Nath B, Alexanderson A, Kundu AK, Chatterjee D, Jacks G (2014) Shallow hydrostratigraphy in an arsenic affected region of Bengal Basin: implication for targeting safe aquifers for drinking water supply. Sci Total Environ 485–486:12–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burgess WG, Burren M, Perrin J, Ahmed KM (2002) In Sustainable groundwater development, special publication 193 (eds Hiscock KM, Rivett MO. & Davison RM) 145–163 (Geological societyGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgess WG, Hoque MA, Michael HA, Voss CI, Breit GN, Ahmed KM (2010) Vulnerability of deep groundwater in the Bengal aquifer system to contamination by arsenic. Nat Geosci 3:83–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Census (2011) Census of India 2011, West Bengal, Primary Census Abstract (PCA)Google Scholar
  8. CGWB (Central Ground Water Board) and SWID (State Water Investigation Directorate) (2011) Report on the dynamic groundwater resources of West Bengal as on 31.03.2009, CGWB Eastern Region. Tech Report Series B 234:1–244Google Scholar
  9. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) (2006) The World Factbook United States Central Intelligence AgencyGoogle Scholar
  10. Deshmukh DS, Prasad KN, Niyogi BN, Biswas AB, Sinha BPC, Chatterjee GC(1973) Geology and groundwater resources of the alluvial areas of West Bengal. BullGeol Surv India, Series B 34Google Scholar
  11. DPHE (1999) Groundwater studies for arsenic contamination in Bangladesh. Phase I: rapid investigation, Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) of Government of Bangladesh, British Geological Survey (BGS) and Mott MacDonald Ltd (MML), UK.Google Scholar
  12. EROS (2002) Shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM) elevation data set. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Italian Space Agency (ASI), From: the National Center for Earth Resources Observations and Science, U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls.Google Scholar
  13. Ghosal U, Sikdar PK, McArthur JM (2015) Palaeosol control of arsenic pollution: the Bengal Basin in West Bengal, India. Groundwater 53(4):588–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harvey CF, Swartz CH, Badruzzaman ABM, Keon-Blute N, Yu W, Ali MA, Jay J, Beckie R, Niedan V, Brabander D, Oates PM, Ashfaque KN, Islam S, Hemond HF, Ahmed MF (2002) Arsenic mobility and groundwater extraction in Bangladesh. Science 298(5598):1602–1606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harvey CF, Swartz CH, Badruzzaman ABM, Keon-Blute N, Yu W, Ali MA, Jay J, Beckie R, Niedan V, Brabander D, Oates PM, Ashfaque KN, Islam S, Hemond HF, Ahmed MF (2005) Groundwater arsenic contamination on the Ganges Delta: biogeochemistry, hydrology, human perturbations, and human suffering on a largescale. Compt Rendus Geosci 337:285–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hoque MA, Khan AA, Shamsudduha M, Hossain MS, Islam T, Chowdhury TH (2009) Near surface lithology and spatial variation of arsenic concentration in the shallow groundwater of Bangladesh. Environ Geol 56:1687–1695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hoque MA, McArthur JM, Sikdar PK (2012) Thepalaeosol model of arsenic pollution of groundwater tested along a 32-km traverse across West Bengal, India. Sci Total Environ 431:157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hoque MA, McArthur JM, Sikdar PK (2014) Sources of low-arsenic groundwater in the Bengal Basin: investigating the influence of the last glacial maximum palaeosol using a 115-km traverse across Bangladesh. Hydrogeol J 22(7):1535–1547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hug SJ, Gaertner D, Roberts LC, Schirmer M, Ruettimann T, Rosenberg TM et al (2011) Avoiding high concentrations of arsenic, manganese and salinity in deep tubewells in Munshiganj District, Bangladesh. Appl Geochem 26:1077–1085CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnson AI (1963) Application of laboratory permeability data. Open File Report, USGS. Water Resource Division, Denver, Colarado, p 34Google Scholar
  21. Khan FH (1991) Geology of Bangladesh. Wiley Eastern Limited, New Delhi, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  22. McArthur JM, Banerjee DM, Hudson-Edwards KA, MishraR PR, Ravenscroft P, Cronin A, Howarth RJ, Chatterjee A, Talukder T, Lowry D, Houghton S, Chadha DK (2004) Natural organic matter in sedimentary basins and its relation arsenic in anoxic ground water: the example of West Bengal and its worldwide implications. ApplGeochem 19:1255–1293Google Scholar
  23. McArthur JM, Ravenscroft P, Banerjee DM, Milsom J, Hudson-Edwards KA, Sengupta S, Bristow C, Sarkar S, Tonkin S, Purohit R (2008) How paleosols influence groundwater flow and arsenic pollution: a model from the Bengal Basin and its worldwide implication. Water Resour Res 44:W11411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McArthur JM, Nath B, Banerjee DM, Purohit R, Grassineau N (2011) Palaeosol control of groundwater flow and pollutant distribution: the example of arsenic. Environ Sci Technol 45(4):1376–1383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McArthur JM, Ghosal U, Sikdar PK, Ball JD (2016) Arsenic in groundwater: the deep Late Pleistocene aquifers of the Western Bengal Basin. Environ Sci Technol 50(7):3469–3476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McDonald MG,Harbaugh AW, Banta ER, Hill MC (2000) MODFLOW-2000, the US Geological Survey modular ground-water model-user guide to modularization concepts and the ground water flow process, USGS Open-File Report 00–92Google Scholar
  27. Michael HA, Voss CI (2008) Evaluation of the sustainability of deep groundwater as an arsenic-safe resource in the Bengal Basin. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105:8531–8536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Michael HA, Voss CI (2009) Controls on groundwater flow in the Bengal Basin of India and Bangladesh: regional modeling analysis. Hydrogeol J 17:1561–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. MPO (Master Plan Organisation) (1987) Technical report no. 5. The groundwater resource and its availability for development. Ministry of Irrigation, Water Development and Flood Control, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  30. Mukherjee A, Fryar AE (2008) Deeper groundwater chemistry and geochemical modeling of the arsenic affected western Bengal basin, West Bengal, India. Appl Geochem 23:863–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mukherjee A, Fryar AE, Scanlon BR, Bhattacharya P, Bhattacharya A (2011) Elevated arsenic in deeper groundwater of the western Bengal basin, India: extent and controls from regional to local scale. Appl Geochem 26:600–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pollock DW (1994) User’s guide for MODPATH/MODPATH-PLOT, version 3: a particle tracking post-processing package for MODFLOW, the U.S. Geological Survey finite-difference ground-water flow model, U.S.G.S. Open File Rep. 94–464Google Scholar
  33. Sahu P, Michael HA, Voss IC, Sikdar PK (2013) Impacts on groundwater recharge areas of megacity pumping: analysis of potential contamination of Kolkata, India, water supply. Hydrol Sci J 58(6):1340–1360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sikdar PK, Chakraborty S (2017) Numerical modelling of groundwater flow to understand the impacts of pumping on arsenic migration in the aquifer of North Bengal Plain. J Earth SystSci 126:29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. SWID (State Water Investigation Directorate). 2003. 3rd Minor Irrigation Census (2000–2001) in West Bengal (WB). Government of West Bengal: p. 192Google Scholar
  36. von Brömssen M, Larsson SH, Bhattacharya P, Hasan MA, Ahmed KM, Jakariya M, Sikder MMA, Sracek O, Bivén A, Doušová B, Patriarca C, Thunvik R, Jacks G (2008) Geochemical characterisation of shallow aquifer sediments of Matlab Upazila, south-eastern Bangladesh—implications for targeting low-as aquifers. J Contam Hydrol 99(1–4):137–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. von Brömssen M, Jakariya M, Bhattacharya P, Ahmed KM, Hasan MA, Sracek O, Jonsson L, Lundell L, Jacks G (2007) Targeting low-arsenic aquifers in Matlab Upazila, south eastern Bangladesh. Sci Total Environ 379(2–3):121–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. WARPO (Water Resources Planning Organization). 2000. National water management plan project: draft development strategy. Ministry of Water Resources, Government of the People’s Republic of BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  39. WHO 2011 World health statistics. ISBN 9789241564199 www. wbphed.gov.in accessed June 2012
  40. Winston RB (2000) Graphical user interface for MODFLOW, version 4: USGS Open-File Report 00-315Google Scholar
  41. Zheng Y, Datta S, Stute M, Dhar R, Hoque MA, Rahman MW, Ahmed KM, Schlosser P, van Geen A (2005) Stable isotopes (18O, 2H) and arsenic distribution in the shallow aquifers in Araihazar, Bangladesh Eos Trans AGU, vol. 86, no. 52, Fall Meeting Supplement, Abstract H31B-1305Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pradip Kumar Sikdar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Utsab Ghosal
    • 1
  • Surajit Chakraborty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environment ManagementIndian Institute of Social Welfare and Business ManagementKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations