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  • Writer's pictureArpit Shah

Water Risk & Remedy Workflows

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

My parents often try to nudge me out of Kolkata, the place I've called home for most of my life. Indifferent, as most inhabitants of this city are, I refuse to budge. Instead of using an understandable 'economic opportunity, or lack thereof' rationale, I am often advised '...your horoscope indicates you will achieve professional growth & success if you were to reside besides a sea'.

(As if the obese Hooghly river flowing into the not-so-distant Bay of Bengal wasn't enough!). In order to lend credence to their claim, they highlight the 'proximity' between the moments of fulfilment I've experienced and the presence of sea or ocean in the vicinity. I keep mum.

Water & Identity: Still from the movie Rango (2011)
Figure 1: Water & Identity: Still from the movie Rango (2011)

And since Nature works in mysterious ways, it also dawns on me that I've written extensively on Water & Water body-related workflows here on Mapmyops. Not that I didn't know about it already but it is still way more than I had anticipated-


Chronology:


Immerse yourself if you'd like!


Topics such as Evotranspiration, Water Body Extraction & Ship Detection may inspire feelings of awe because of the sheer scale and intricacies involved. Drought Monitoring, Seaweed Invasion, Chamoli Flash Floods & the likes would, on the other hand, help you recognize the severity of the water system-related threats that we face today. And if the recent Titan - Titanic tragedy piques your interest, you may want to view the video workflow within the Ocean Currents mapping article to know about one of the many complications involved in deep-sea inspection / rescue missions.

 

IN A NUTSHELL


In this article, you'll find three video workflows pertaining to Risk Mapping & Treatment of Water Pollution:


(section-hyperlinked)


Combined Video for all these three workflows can be accessed below:

Video 1: Summary Video for the 3 workflows: Trace Analysis, Suitability Modeling, Water Treatment


The video covers these aspects (time-stamped):


00:06 - Case Details


00:26 - W1: Trace Analysis on a Stream Network to map the spread of Water Pollution

00:29 - W1.1: Exploring & Setting up the Geodataset

07:00 - W1.2: Configuring a Trace Network of the Water Streams

10:55 - W1.3: 1st Scenario - Upstream Trace Analysis without Barrier - to determine extent of water body that has already been affected by pollution given no known point of origin

15:48 - W1.4: 2nd Scenario - Upstream Trace Analysis with Barrier - to determine extent of water body that has already been affected by pollution given a particular point of origin

17:40 - W1.5: 3rd Scenario - to determine extent of water body that can be affected by the pollution


19:17 - W2: Assessing Groundwater Vulnerable Zones using Suitability Modeling

19:20 - W2.1: Exploring & Setting up the Geodatasets

28:03 - W2.2: 1st Scenario - Suitability Modeling with Soil Drainage Conditions & Water Table Depth Datasets

37:00 - W2.3: 2nd Scenario - New Suitability Model combining Land Cover dataset with the previous model (Soil Drainage Conditions & Water Table Depth)

45:09 - W2.4: 3rd Scenario - Identifying Land Clusters for Conservation efforts from within High Risk Groundwater Contamination Zones


52:41 - W3: Novel, Nature-based Solution to treat Pollution in Open Water Bodies & at Wastewater Plants

52:44 - W3.1: Pollution in Water Bodies: Establishing the Context

59:15 - W3.2: Treating Water Pollution


01:15:54 - Video Summary Note

 

ABOUT US


Intelloc Mapping Services | Mapmyops is engaged in providing mapping solutions to organizations which facilitate operations improvement, planning & monitoring workflows. These include but are not limited to Supply Chain Design Consulting, Drone Solutions, Location Analytics & GIS Applications, Site Characterization, Remote Sensing, Security & Intelligence Infrastructure, & Polluted Water Treatment. Projects can be conducted pan-India and overseas. Demonstrations for these workflows are documented on our website. For your business requirements, reach out to us via email - projects@mapmyops.com or book a paid consultation (video meet) from the hyperlink placed at the footer of the landing page.

 

WATER POLLUTION: A MAN-MADE SCOURGE THAT NEEDS TO BE CHECKED


I've covered aspects such as the sources, types & effects of water pollution as well as water quality parameters in detail in the video on Water Treatment which I'd recommend you to view from this timestamp. Besides being informative, it is also our civic duty to be aware about how this precious resource is misused and how that impacts not only us but also a wide variety of flora & fauna on land and in marine ecosystems.


India is no stranger to water pollution (refer Figure 2). Increase in population and rapid industrialization & urbanization coupled with poor waste management practises contribute significantly towards the spurt of pollution in open water bodies such as ponds, lakes, drains, estuaries and rivers and these eventually find their way into the sea / ocean wreaking havoc everywhere it goes.


I've used Remote Sensing (Satellite Imagery Analytics) to detect water pollution previously:

a) Sargassum Seaweed Invasion, which extends from the eastern coast of the Americas to the western coast of Africa, is the most read article on my website as of today. Its cause: among other things, nitrogen-rich runoffs from the landmass - Amazonian forests are increasingly deforested to be converted into farmlands where fertilizers and other nitrogen-rich chemicals are applied which gets washed away and find its way into the Atlantic ocean. The devastating b) Oil Spill in Mauritius was caused by the bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which ran aground on a coral reef in 2020.


Collage of some News Clippings on Water Pollution Incidents & Developments in India in 2023 alone
Figure 2: Collage of some News Clippings on Water Pollution Incidents & Developments in India in 2023 alone

Besides Remote Sensing, Mapping (GIS) also plays an important role in Water Pollution Risk Assessments. The first two video workflows are based on Risk Mapping using GIS - a) to identify the extent of water pollution spread in a network of streams flowing into a reservoir, and b) deploying Suitability Modeler (an advanced spatial analytics tool which I've also demonstrated in the comprehensive Supply Chain Design workflow) to identify zones that could be highly vulnerable to groundwater pollution.


(I've created the Water Risk video demonstrations based on the tutorials published on Esri's Learn ArcGIS platform)


The cornerstone of this article is the third workflow on Water Treatment where I expound on a new, nature-based solution invented by an Indian scientist which is effective, scalable & cost-effective at remediating Water Pollution in Open Water Bodies & at Sewage & Wastewater Treatment plants.


Did you know? While nutrient-inflows into the human body is welcome, inflows into water bodies isn't - the nutrients actually pollute it.

 

PERFORMING TRACE ANALYSIS ON A STREAM NETWORK USING GIS TO DETERMINE THE SPREAD OF POLLUTION


Screengrab from the Trace Analysis - Contamination Spread Workflow
Figure 3: Screengrab from the Trace Analysis - Contamination Spread Workflow

Mapping Methodology: Basic


Hypothetical Situation: Contamination was observed at a particular water stream and was reported to you. The area is infested with a network of water streams and you have to quickly ascertain what could be the potential number, location, and length of the streams that could have been contaminated already. You are also informed about the potential location(s) of the origin of contamination - let's say a factory releasing effluents into a water body lying upstream to the observation spot. How would you factor this information to revise your analysis? Not only would you have to remediate the extent of water body already contaminated, but also you would have to plan & prevent the spread of further contamination downstream. You know that your team's response time would be a minimum of 30 minutes. Where would your team need to reach in order to be effective in their counter?

Video 2: Water Body Risk Mapping Workflow: Trace Analysis to determine spread of Pollution

 

SUITABILITY MODELING USING GIS TO DETERMINE GROUNDWATER VULNERABLE ZONES


Screengrab from the Suitability Modeling - Groundwater Contamination Workflow
Figure 4: Screengrab from the Suitability Modeling - Groundwater Contamination Workflow

Mapping Methodology: Advanced


Hypothetical Situation: You are tasked with safeguarding the economic prosperity of a district and the health of its residents. Contamination metrics in groundwater have increased over time. Factors such as drainage conditions of the soil & distance to the water table determine the probability of the contaminant to seep in from the surface and reach the groundwater table. Moreover, the type of activity happening on the surface (farming, commercial etc.) would influence the generation of contaminants at that spot. Given this information, how would you identify areas in your district which are most vulnerable to groundwater contamination? You'd need to determine the relative influence these three variables have on groundwater contamination and factor it in your model as well. Within those identified high-risk zones, how would you identify land clusters which you can prioritize for protection & conservation purposes?


Video 3: Water Body Risk Mapping Workflow: Suitability Modeling to determine Groundwater vulnerable zones

 

NATURE-BASED POLLUTION TREATMENT FOR OPEN WATER BODIES & STPs


Result-Oriented Real Solution: My firm, Intelloc Mapping Services, sells this patented & made-in-India Water Treatment solution. If you like what you see in the video demonstration below and would be interested to rejuvenate a polluted pond or a lake near your residence, get rid of foul smell & disease emanating from a nearby open drain, or enhance the performance of the existing wastewater treatment plant at your township or factory (with potential cost savings to add), I'll be happy to help.


You may email the water body's location, photos, dimensions (length, breadth and depth), inlet & outlet numbers & flow rates and existing water treatment mechanisms & quality reports, if available, for me to suggest a plan of action and share an estimate of the cost of treatment.


As you will encounter in the video, the solution does not involve the addition of chemicals into the water body. It just restores the right conditions for the Aquatic Food Web to thrive - a prosperous Food Web, in turn, has in-built mechanisms which auto-cleanses the water body in consideration.

Our solution is Effective (treats pollutants only, leaves the 'good' bacteria alone), Scalable (can treat large, open water bodies), & is Cost-Effective (compared to competing technologies).

Video 4: Water Body Remediation Workflow: Treating Organic Pollution using Nature-based solution

 
Water Conflict. A bothering prospect. Still from the movie Rango (2011)
Figure 5: Water Conflict. A bothering prospect. Still from the movie Rango (2011)

It was the Academy Award-winning animated comedy Rango (2011) where I was first introduced to the concept of 'Water Conflict'. Significant wars are predicted to be fought between those seeking access to and those exercising control over water, an eventuality that has surfaced already, much before its time. So while the quirky 'lizard with no name' found his calling by becoming 'Rango' - the Sheriff who fought for his friends in Dirt Town and restored their water supply just in the nick of time, would we be able to safeguard the very same precious resource for our planet?

Regards,

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