Technology to Support Human Right to Safe Drinking Water: Stopping Arsenic Poisoning

GroundwaterU Video Summary

Presentation by Prof. Ashok Gadgil, Dept. of Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley and scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, March 2021.

He reviews the history of arsenicosis (arsenic poisoning) in Bangladesh and India. He reviews the consequences of the fact that, although the UN General Assembly indicates that access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right, hundreds of millions of rural poor have no other water to drink than groundwater contaminated with toxic levels or arsenic.

Presentation materials includes a graph showing the dramatically greater excess cancer risk as a result of exposure to arsenic in water compared to the risk due to various human-made carcinogens in water. Arsenic concentration in groundwater of west Bengal and Bangladesh are orders of magnitude greater than the USEPA MCL level of 10 ppb.

Other images include pictures of Arsenic Remediation Units placed in the district of Murshidabad, which typically fail within one year, in part because they are not financially sustainable and because they cannot be maintained in the absence of community social systems. He describes a sustainable technology called Electro-Chemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR), and several figures are shown that illustrate the chemical reactions and processes that the technology employs to remove arsenic from the water. Pictures are shown of community implementation, including at a plant in Dhapdhapi, West Bengal, India
A graphs show how the ECAR reduces arsenic concentrations to safe levels. Another technology is also described an illustrated: Air-diffusion cathode assisted iron electrocoagulation (ACAIE).

About this Video

Video Creator: ICWRAE
Recommended/Summary by: Andrew J.B. Cohen
Curated by GroundwaterU on: 01/25/2022

Video Language: English
Video Category: Science/Engineering
Multimedia Type: Film/Pictures, Drawings/Graphs/Maps, Descriptive Text
Presentation Style: Lecture
Technical Level: Advanced