Arsenic-Safe Aquifers in Coastal Bangladesh: An Investigation With Ordinary Kriging Estimation

Spatial point pattern is one of the most suitable methods for analyzing groundwater arsenic concentrations. Groundwater arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh has been one of the biggest environmental health disasters in recent times. About 85 million people are exposed to arsenic more than 50 μg/L in drinking water. The paper seeks to identify the existing suitable aquifers for arsenic-safe drinking water along with “spatial arsenic discontinuity” using GIS-based spatial geostatistical analysis in a small study site (12.69 km2) in the coastal belt of southwest Bangladesh (Dhopakhali union of Bagerhat district). The relevant spatial data were collected with Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS), arsenic data with field testing kits, tubewell attributes with observation and questionnaire survey. Geostatistics with Kriging methods can design water quality monitoring in different aquifers with hydrochemical evaluation by spatial mapping. The paper presents the interpolation of the regional estimates of arsenic data for spatial discontinuity mapping with Ordinary Kriging (OK) method that overcomes the areal bias problem for an administrative boundary. This paper also demonstrates the suitability of isopleth maps that is easier to read than choropleth maps. The OK method investigated that around 80 per cent of the study site are contaminated following the Bangladesh Drinking Water Standards (BDWS) of 50 μg/L. The study identified a very few scattered “pockets” of the arsenic-safe zone at the shallow aquifer.

Authors: Hassan, M. Manzurul; Ahamed, Raihan
Type: Conference Proceedings
Year: 2017