Chapter 10 - Addressing the Arsenic Issue in the Lower Mekong Region-The Challenges and Systematic Approaches

Hristovski Kiril, Leslie Greg, Henderson Mark, Mirumachi Naho, Markovski Jasmina, Rosl Sh-Refaat, Chadwick Michael

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Construction of dams in the upper catchments of the Mekong river for hydropower generation and water storage threatens to alter the relative allocation of surface water resources raising concerns about increased reliance on groundwater withdrawals for irrigation and drinking water purposes. These alterations to water regime of the Mekong create groundwater management implications related to arsenic and other water quality challenges, which are catalyzed by the proliferation of tube wells as an alternative solution for access to potable water. In an attempt to address this newly developed paradigm and develop a systematic approach for sustainable potable water solutions in the lower Mekong region, the goal of this introspect is to identify and elucidate the factors that govern the existing challenges and issues related to the arsenic problem in this densely populated region. Specifically, this introspect examines four key areas: (1) water governance and hydrogeology; (2) arsenic mobilization, metal toxicity, and nutrition; (3) public health and epidemiology; and (4) humanitarian engineering and water treatment, as cornerstones of a sustainable platform for mitigating the arsenic problem in the lower Mekong region. This sustainable arsenic management platform could only be implemented through synchronized engagement of multidisciplinary teams. Establishing an effective educational and training platform represents a prerequisite for developing and implementing a long-term system-based platform for sustainably managing the arsenic problem in the lower Mekong area. The universities in the developed countries are uniquely positioned on many levels to lead the creation of this platform because they have the institutional and intellectual capacity to establish interdisciplinary research and educational collaborations with the universities, communities, organizations, and institutions in the lower Mekong region. Only through joint efforts the arsenic issue in the lower Mekong region could be successfully addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Water Purification Techniques
Subtitle of host publicationMeeting the Needs of Developed and Developing Countries
PublisherElsevier
Pages259-270
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128147917
ISBN (Print)9780128147900
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2018

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Epidemiology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Mekong region
  • Mobilization
  • Water resource

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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