Connection between economic growth & reduction of fecal
pathogens in groundwater: Study
    Kolkata, Oct 25 (PTI) A team of researchers from the
IIT Kharagpur have found a connection between economic growth
and reduction of fecal pathogens in groundwater.
    The presence of fecal pathogens in groundwaters causes
water-borne diseases.
    Prof Abhijit Mukherjee, faculty at the School of
Environmental Science and Engineering and Department of
Geology and Geophysics at IIT Kharagpur, led the research
    The study reported fecal coliform concentration
in potable groundwater in rural regions across India, it also
made first-time observations on significant reduction of
faecal pathogen concentration in the spatially variable
groundwater from 2002 to 2017.
    Over the last 26 years till 2016, about 15.5 per cent
of the total deaths are caused due to water-borne diseases
like Diarrhoea, an IIT Kharagpur statement said on Thursday
quoting the research findings.
    Different statistical analyses conducted in the study
showed about 3.09 per cent decrease in fecal coliform
concentration and 2.69 per cent decrease in acute diarrhoeal
cases per year for last three decades.
    Groundwater quality with respect to fecal coliform
concentration and acute diarrhoeal cases generally reduced in
most areas of India, and has been mostly caused by sanitation
development, urbanization and related land-use changes, it
    The researchers studied long term, high-spatial
resolution measurements of fecal coliform concentration (1.7
million) and acute diarrhoeal cases.
    The study data covered almost the last three decades
to delineate the long-term improvement trends of groundwater
quality across India, as consequence of development.
    It has been observed that very high population density
deteriorates the quality of water in certain areas. Problem of
overpopulation and slums is an intricate problem which is
reflected on all life aspects in countries like India, the
statement said quoting the study.
    The researchers opined that societal practices, poor
human practices are mostly related to lower literacy rate
which lead to malpractice on sanitation, eventually leading to
increased faecal waste into drinking water sourced to
    He said that until recently, India has more than 500
million open-defecating population resulting in unsafe
disposal of fecal waste to nearby drinking water sources and
this posed a serious environmental crisis and public health
    However, sanitation development to achieve Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) has been encouraged across India by
implementing Clean India (Swachh Bharat) Mission, but there
effect to groundwater quality and human health are yet
unquantified, the statement said. PTI SUS

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)