Kerala has the highest chemical/bacterial contaminated drinking water among 28 tested States in the country, according to the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the State’s Economic Review for 2011-2012 has stated.

As on January 9 this year, out of the total 1,02,900 tested sources in the State, nearly 34 per cent had been identified with contamination of iron, fluoride, salinity, nitrate, arsenic and other bacteria with Kozhikode district having the most contaminated water in the State.

Out of 10,803 tested sources, 54 per cent were found to be contaminated there while Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur, Kasaragod, Ernakulam and Palakkad being the other vulnerable districts in terms of access to safe drinking water in the State.

The Review, which states that there was a mistaken notion that Kerala was abundant in water resources, points out that despite the southwest and north east monsoons, there was a large spatial and temporal variation in the rainfall system and the abundance of water resources in one season led to shortage in the next season. Rapid urbanization, increased economic activity, population explosion and changes in land use pattern among others were widening the gap between the demand for and the supply of water.

It calls for an integrated water management system and augmentation of existing water resources.

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