Problems of arsenic contamination have been reported from a large number of aquifers in various parts of the world. Especially in Bangladesh, the presence of arsenic in groundwater has been the major environmental health catastrophe that has affected the source of safe water not only for drinking but also for irrigation purposes. The unavailability and inaccessibility of data and dissemination of proper and rapid information has further reduced the accessibility to safe drinking water for nearly 95% of the population of the country. The development of solutions for the arsenic problem and the allocation of resources for mitigation are information-oriented activities. This paper focuses on the mapping and interpretation of field data (based on a case study area) through the application of GIS for presenting and assessing the scope of the arsenic problem in Bangladesh. The mapping and interpretation is done taking into consideration the geophysical characteristics, socio-economic conditions and socio-cultural behavior of the people living in the study area. The mapping and interpretation technique is aimed at assisting planners and policy makers at the district level to make an assessment about the extent and magnitude of the arsenic problem based on an estimation of the exposed population and the extent and severity of groundwater contamination. In addition, it will enable decision-makers to select possible options and give recommendations based on users' responses. The advantages of this interpretation technique are that the knowledge base is easy to build and any updated information or modifications can be quickly incorporated into the knowledge base.
- mitigation option
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