VIJAYAWADA: People in 13 mandals of Krishna district face a health risk due to high content of saline in the drinking water.
A study undertaken by the groundwater department and National Institute of Hydrology revealed that the groundwater in 13 mandals of Machilipatnam area is not only unsuitable for drinking, but it is also harmful for agriculture.
According to the groundwater department, water with electrical conductivity value of 1,000 to 2,000 units is safe for drinking. However, the electrical conductivity values of groundwater in these mandals ranged from 6,000 to 8,000 units.
Since east Krishna region is heavily dependant on agriculture, the higher electrical conductivity values pose a threat to the fields.
Alarmingly, the area hit by high saline content is expanding in east Krishna. “The agriculture fields may lose their potency at this rate,” said former drainage board member E. Nagendranath.
He said that farmers have asked the government to take steps to stop the spread of saline content in groundwater.
Experts have proposed checkdams on the River Krishna to counter the problem.
Krishna district irrigation department is studying the proposal to construct checkdams, said SE K. Srinivasa Rao.
The VGTM-UDA has also proposed various tourism projects that include checkdams.
“The increasing sodium chloride content can be stopped by constructing checkdams,” said retired irrigation engineer Y Subba Rao.
Krishna district geophysicist Satyajeevan said that earlier, farmers and voluntary organisations began a project used to recharge wells in various parts of east Krishna.
“Gradually, the project dwindled away. Now, people of these 13 mandals depend on the canals for their drinking water needs,” he said.