Vol. 2, Issue 8 (2015)
Contamination of Groundwater by Usage of Pesticide in Cotton Growing Area
Author(s): S. Thakur, K. Gulati, T. Jindal
Abstract: Cotton is cultivated throughout the world under subtropical climatic conditions. The high water requirements and indiscriminate use of pesticides in cotton cultivation in India have resulted in contamination of associated surface water, such as streams, ditches, rivers, lakes and also the groundwater aquifers through percolation of pesticides from the contaminated soil. Through contaminated soil, pesticide also leaches down to groundwater. Cotton is a widely cultivated important cash crop in India and grows in largest area of 90 million hectares. In India 5% of total cultivable land is used in cotton cultivation and consumes 50% of total pesticides produced in India. Therefore a study was conducted to analyze the pesticide contamination of groundwater in and nearby areas of cotton growing fields. Pesticides used in the cotton field were surveyed from the farmers. Ground water samples were taken from eight different tubewells of cotton growing farm fields. Area selected for study was Sirsa belt in Haryana, India. A Cotton variety grown in the fields was Desi Cotton (RG-8 and HD-123). Pesticides spray in the cotton fields according to the survey with farmers were Chlorpyriphos, Carbofuran, Phorate, Imidacloprid, Endosulfan, Lindane, DDT, Carbandazim, Quinalphos, Monocrotophos, Carbaryl, and Methyl Parathion at different time interval. Among the various pesticides analyzed, 65.2% samples were found contaminated with organochlorine pesticides and 91.6% samples were contaminated with organophosphate pesticides above MRL values while synthetic pyrethroids were not detected in groundwater samples. Concentration of organochlorine pesticide ranged from 0.005- 1.055µg/l in groundwater samples. While concentration of organophosphate pesticides ranged from 0.004 to 4.364µg/l. Almost 93% samples were found contaminated with organochlorine pesticides, organophosphate pesticides respectively. According to the analysis, residues of the banned organo chlorine pesticide residues (DDT and BHC) were found above MRL value. It seems that they are present either due to the high persistence of these pesticides or due to their continuous use in the form of adulterated pesticides by farmer. Study reveals that rigorous extension services are required to make farmers aware about harmful residues in water and switching to safer molecules like synthetic pyrethroids and Integrated Pest Management techniques for judicious use of pesticides.