Groundwater Contamination and Quality Management Policy in Asia

In IRES Vol.6 No.2
Peer-reviewed Article
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This paper provides an overview of the common types of groundwater contamination observed in Asia, along with a discussion of the policy aspects of groundwater management. Groundwater is an essential part of the water cycle and plays an important role in domestic water supplies and economic activities. However, groundwater contamination, both naturally occurring and human-caused, has been widely reported in Asian countries. Where groundwater is used for drinking, contamination could cause healthrelated problems. In addition, once polluted, groundwater is not easy to purify due to cost, technological limitations, and the time involved. Sometimes, the damage can be irreversible. Therefore, taking preventive measures to avoid groundwater contamination is vitally important. Human-caused contamination can originate from various sources, including effluent from sanitary facilities, industrial waste discharge, and overuse of fertilizer in agriculture. Thus, it is crucial to take a holistic, integrated approach to counter groundwater contamination, in accordance with the causes of pollution. Also discussed in this paper is the complexity of contamination processes, remediation of contaminated aquifers, alternative water sources, and constraints to implementing effective policies.

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