Determination of Groundwater Quality Index of a Highland Village of Kerala (India) Using Geographical Information System

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In this study, the authors’ goal was to understand the groundwater quality of Nedumkandam panchayat by an integrated approach of traditional water quality analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Fourteen wells were identified from the study area and samples were collected and analyzed using standard protocols (American Public Health Association, 1998). Parameters analyzed include pH, hardness, nitrate, chloride, sulfate, phosphate, trace metals (cadmium, zinc, copper, and lead), and fecal coliforms. All parameters except pH, cadmium, and fecal coliforms were within the limit of drinking water quality standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) (BIS, 1983). The spatial distribution of physico-chemical and biological parameters was analyzed using the Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) approach and the maps thus obtained were integrated using the raster calculator option of spatial analyst in ArcGIS 8.3 software, and a water quality index (WQI) was calculated. Based on the WQI values, the study area was divided into poor, moderate, and good water quality zones.

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