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Groundwater pollution

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In the last two centuries, human pollution has been getting more and more dangerous to nature. We utilize the resources and flood the planet with chemicals, garbage, and plastic. Groundwater is no exception, moreover its vulnerability is even higher due to „invisibility” and it’s easy to forget about its protection. Although groundwater is naturally more protected than surface water, we can find in it lots of natural and artificial pollutants. It’s important to keep in mind that these two elements of water cycle are always in contact with one another and cannot be managed separately, as we will see in the following incidence from Miskolc. 2006 May was a very rainy month in the city with 215,8 mm precipitation just in 2 weeks on the 76 km2 drainage area of the city’s drinking water wells (as a comparison, the hungarian average is 500-750 mm per year). This enormous amount of water accumulated on the surface and transferred the bacteriological pollutants into the vulnerable karst aquif…

Groundwater and Mining

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The discipline of hydrogeology is essential for mining activities as a part of a complex geological-engineering knowledge. There­ are two main considerable connections between mining and water. First one is that mining activities mean a huge intervention in natural processes which is also true for the water cycle on regional scale. Furthermore, it is well-known that water can easily mobilize and transport natural and anthropogenic contamination. In the following, we can see the details of these two effects to make a better understand of mining–water connection. 
To understand the changes in water cycle we must keep in mind that – according to modern hydrogeology – in the saturated zone, under the groundwater level every pore is filled with water. Therefore, if the mineral is under the groundwater level, the water table must be sunk below. This is usually achieved by pumping wells creating a depression cone. The artificially generated depression can cause changes in the groundwater f…

Impact of irrigation on groundwater

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Source: https://www.urbanet.info/world-urban-population/
The world's population is currently growing at an unprecedented rate. According to forecasts, it can exceed 9.5 billion by 2050. Supplying a growing population brings new challenges to agriculture. As the amount of cultivable areas are limited, we must enhance crop yield to have enough food.
But how is it all related to groundwater? To understand the answer, we have to know that about 85% of the population lives in arid areas, where irrigation is the key to grow plants. Nowadays, 43% of all water used for irrigation comes from groundwater resources. Due to climate change and the vulnerability of surface waters, this ratio is expected to increase.
Source: https://www.digital-water.city/solution/early-warning-system-for-safe-reuse-of-treated-wastewater-for-agricultural-irrigation/
However, if we are not careful enough, intensive agricultural activity and, as part of this, irrigation can be dangerous to the environment. The most e…

Groundwater, wells, drinking water and COVID-19

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“The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water in either private wells or public drinking water systems”, as this article reveals in the Water Well Journal. The following summary is based on COVID-19 is not a reason by itself for home treatment systems and bottled water article which was written by William M. Alley, Ph.D., and Charles A. Job.
Source: https://waterwelljournal.com/covid-19-and-groundwater/
Human feces would be the most likely source of the COVID-19 virus in drinking water, but according to the World Health Organization, "the risk of catching COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low."¹

Filtration and disinfection methods used in most municipal drinking water systems should remove or inactivate viruses. Despite the low risks, the question has arisen about the vulnerability to COVID-19 of homeowners with private wells and those who rely on untreated public groundwater supplies. In general, groundwater contains…

The effect of water extraction at coastal regions

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Under the sandy coasts’ surface there’s an interface where seawater meets freshwater. Its position is controlled by lithology, topography, tide, and the human activity can also upset this natural balance. Due to the water extraction in coastal area, salinity of groundwater can change, thereby make it unfit for irrigation and human consumption.

Source: https://iah.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IAH-SOS-Ecosystem-Conservation-Groundwater-9-Mar-2016.pdf

World map of groundwater resources

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‘Groundwater is the largest accessible and often still untapped freshwater reservoir on earth. Its world-wide resources are assessed at 10.5 million km³. The increasing number of regional water shortages and water crises can only be met with a rational and sustainable use of this resource. Such sustainable use requires understanding and knowledge as well as careful planning and management. Yet, information on this hidden resource is still weak in many places.
In order to provide data and information about the major groundwater resources of the world and thus make a contribution to their reasonable management and protection the World-wide Hydrogeological Mapping and Assessment Programme (WHYMAP) was launched in 2000.
The programme compiles data on groundwater from national, regional and global sources, and visualises them in maps, web map applications and services. The generated products provide information on quantity, quality and vulnerability of the groundwater resources on earth a…

Can be the traces of COVID-19 detected in wastewater?

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Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), in its recent article pointed out that traces of COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater.

The novel coronavirus has been successfully detected in wastewater in samples collected at an early stage of the outbreak. The aim is to develop a system which could warn of a resurgence of cases earlier than clinical diagnostic tests.
“Detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater” – research projects on this scale generally take several years, but thanks to major efforts, a group of scientists could reach valuable results during the early stage of their project. Initial wastewater samples have been analysed from the period at the end of February when the first cases of infection were recorded in Switzerland. The researchers managed to detect the novel coronavirus in all the samples analysed. The researchers did not expect this result either:

“We didn’t expect that we’d already be able to measure a signal in wastewater ….…