Groundwater as a source of drinking water

Drinking contaminated groundwater can have adverse effects on health. For example, salinized water can cause kidney malfunction. A high intake of nitrate as a result of drinking water with high nitrate concentrations is particularly risky for infants.

Arsenic in food and drinking water is poisonous and can lead to cancer of bladder, lung, skin, kidney and liver. Fluoride in low concentrations can improve dental health, but too much fluoride can actually result in tooth decay and even bone disease. Bacterial pollution can cause diarrhoea and therefore dehydration.

Western countries often have detailed information about the quality of drinking water. If drinking water does not comply with the standards, alternatives are considered. In other parts of the world, clear information about the quality of the groundwater used for drinking is not always available.

We help to develop affordable ways of analysing the quality of surface water, groundwater and drinking water, and train NGOs and local people to use them. Measurements and models can be used to take steps and prevent problems.