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Arsenic Contamination of Paddy Soils through Irrigation Water in Bangladesh: Field Evidence and Investigation of Relevant Processes

English title Arsenic Contamination of Paddy Soils through Irrigation Water in Bangladesh: Field Evidence and Investigation of Relevant Processes
Applicant Kretzschmar Ruben
Number 113654
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Biogeochemie und Schadstoffdynamik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Pedology
Start/End 01.01.2007 - 28.02.2009
Approved amount 208'080.00
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Keywords (16)

arsenic; paddy soil; rice contamination; oxidation; reduction; rice; contamination; sorption; precipitation; volatilization; cycling; mobility; modeling; Bangladesh; infrared spectroscopy; synchrotron spectroscopy

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Over the past decades, the source of drinking water in Bangladesh has been largely shifted from surface water to groundwater and more and more ground water is being used for the irrigation of paddy rice to meet the increasing food demand. Only in 1998 has it been established that 40-50% of the abstracted groundwater in Bangladesh contains arsenic at concentrations above the WHO drinking water guideline (10 µg/L). 30-50 million people in Bangladesh are estimated to consume drinking water with>50 µg/L As. More than 100’000 cases of As poisoning have been >documentedso far. In addition to the immediate threat from the consumption of As-rich drinking water, arsenic input into soils may lead to additional long-term risks for the environment and human health. Arsenic may accumulate in surface soils and eventually decrease the crop yield.Arsenic taken up by rice plants additionally increases the arsenic burden to the local population. Numerous biogeochemical processes affect the cycling of arsenic in the paddy soil - rice plant system. However, the relative importance of these processes and their effect on the fate and impact of arsenic are only poorly understood.
In this context, we perform a combined field and laboratory study involving two research teams in Switzerland (EAWAG and ETHZ) and researchers from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). One part of the project consists of an extensive field study in the village of Srinagar 30 km south of Dhaka, where we collect extensive data on the fate of arsenic in the irrigation and flood water and its distribution in the paddy fields and the uptake by rice plants. The second part of the project consists of well-controlled laboratory experiments related to the biogeochemistry of arsenic in the studied field system. The aim of these laboratory studies is to gain a detailed understanding of the most relevant biogeochemical processes that control the fate of arsenic at the field scale.
The project is the basis for two dissertations. One PhD student working at the EAWAG focuses on transformation processes of arsenic in the irrigation and flood water at the field site and performs laboratory studies on the chemical interactions of arsenic at mineral surfaces. The second PhD student working at the ETH investigates the spatial and temporal variations of the arsenic concentration in the field soils and in paddy rice and performs complementary laboratory experiments on the reduction and oxidation of As in paddy soil and the uptake of As by rice.
This project will provide detailed information on the fate of As that is transported into rice fields by irrigation. Detailed investigations of the relevant biogeochemical processes will lead to a better understanding of the key reactions that determine the spatial distribution and the temporal behavior of arsenic in these soils and its uptake by rice. Based on the quantitative understanding of the relevant processes, better predictions of the long-term fate of arsenic in irrigated paddy soils will be possible.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Arsenic dynamics in porewater of an intermittently irrigated paddy field in Bangladesh
Roberts L.C. Hug S.J. Voegelin A. Dittmar J. Kretzschmar R. Wehrli B. Saha G.C. Badruz (2011), Arsenic dynamics in porewater of an intermittently irrigated paddy field in Bangladesh, in Environ. Sci. Technol., 45, 971-976.
Arsenic Accumulation in a Paddy Field in Bangladesh: Seasonal Dynamics and Trends over a Three-Year Monitoring Period
Dittmar J, Voegelin A, Roberts LC, Hug SJ, Saha GC, Ali MA, Badruzzaman ABM, Kretzschmar R (2010), Arsenic Accumulation in a Paddy Field in Bangladesh: Seasonal Dynamics and Trends over a Three-Year Monitoring Period, in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 44(8), 2925-2931.
Arsenic in Soil and Irrigation Water Affects Arsenic Uptake by Rice: Complementary Insights from Field and Pot Studies
Dittmar J, Voegelin A, Maurer F, Roberts LC, Hug SJ, Saha GC, Ali MA, Badruzzaman ABM, Kretzschmar R (2010), Arsenic in Soil and Irrigation Water Affects Arsenic Uptake by Rice: Complementary Insights from Field and Pot Studies, in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 44(23), 8842-8848.
Arsenic mobilization from paddy soils during monsoon flooding
Roberts L.C. Hug S.J. Dittmar J. Voegelin A. Kretzschmar R. Wehrli B. Cirpka O. Saha (2010), Arsenic mobilization from paddy soils during monsoon flooding, in Nature Geoscience, 3, 53-59.
Spatial distribution and temporal variability of arsenic in irrigated rice fields in Bangladesh. 1. Irrigation water
Roberts LC, Hug SJ, Dittmar J, Voegelin A, Saha GC, Ali MA, Badruzzanian ABM, Kretzschniar R (2007), Spatial distribution and temporal variability of arsenic in irrigated rice fields in Bangladesh. 1. Irrigation water, in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 41(17), 5960-5966.
Spatial distribution and temporal variability of arsenic in irrigated rice fields in Bangladesh. 2. Paddy soil
Dittmar J, Voegelin A, Roberts LC, Hug SJ, Saha GC, Ali MA, Badruzzaman ABM, Kretzschmar R (2007), Spatial distribution and temporal variability of arsenic in irrigated rice fields in Bangladesh. 2. Paddy soil, in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 41(17), 5967-5972.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
132123 Iron(III) precipitates formed by iron(II) oxidation in natural waters: Structure, reactivity and impact on arsenic 01.02.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
122212 Influence of arsenate adsorption on iron and aluminium hydroxide surfaces on microbial arsenate reduction kinetics 01.09.2009 Ambizione
122212 Influence of arsenate adsorption on iron and aluminium hydroxide surfaces on microbial arsenate reduction kinetics 01.09.2009 Ambizione
138003 Redox-induced speciation changes and reductive mobilization of arsenic and iron in highly-contaminated river floodplains 01.01.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
105612 Arsenic Contamination of Paddy Soils through Irrigation Water in Bangladesh: Field Evidence and Investigation of Relevant Processes 01.01.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)

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