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Article

Predicting Groundwater Vulnerability to Geogenic Fluoride Risk: A Screening Method for Malawi and an Opportunity for National Policy Redefinition

1
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK
2
The Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, Lilongwe Headquarters, Private Bag 390, Lilongwe, Malawi
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3123; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113123
Received: 19 October 2020 / Revised: 4 November 2020 / Accepted: 5 November 2020 / Published: 7 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Tools for Assessment of Groundwater)
Fluoride concentrations in Malawi’s groundwater are primarily controlled by geogenic sources that are highly variable and may cause a heterogeneous fluoride occurrence and local-to-regional variations in fluorosis health risks posed. Our aim was to address the challenge of developing a national solution to predicting groundwater vulnerability to geogenic fluoride risk in the country of Malawi where incidences of fluorosis are reported and typical developing world problems of limited data and resources abound. Previously there have only been sporadic, local-scale studies linking fluoride occurrence with health risks in Malawi with no attempts to tackle the issue nationally. We hence develop a screening method for predicting groundwater vulnerability to geogenic fluoride in the form of detailed risk maps developed from statistical relationships shown between groundwater fluoride occurrence and known geogenic fluoride sources. The approach provides for dynamic update and informed acquisition of new data and hence on-going improving capacity to manage fluoride risks in Malawi. Our screening method provides a technical basis for redefining national fluoride policy to ensure commensurate management of health risks posed. Specifically, the approach provides a pathway for stepped progression from the current 6 mg/L Malawian standard for fluoride in drinking water to adoption of the World Health Organisation 1.5 mg/L guideline standard. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluoride; groundwater; risk management; environmental management; SDG 6; rural community water supply; policy change fluoride; groundwater; risk management; environmental management; SDG 6; rural community water supply; policy change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Addison, M.J.; Rivett, M.O.; Phiri, P.; Mleta, P.; Mblame, E.; Wanangwa, G.; Kalin, R.M. Predicting Groundwater Vulnerability to Geogenic Fluoride Risk: A Screening Method for Malawi and an Opportunity for National Policy Redefinition. Water 2020, 12, 3123. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113123

AMA Style

Addison MJ, Rivett MO, Phiri P, Mleta P, Mblame E, Wanangwa G, Kalin RM. Predicting Groundwater Vulnerability to Geogenic Fluoride Risk: A Screening Method for Malawi and an Opportunity for National Policy Redefinition. Water. 2020; 12(11):3123. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113123

Chicago/Turabian Style

Addison, Marc J.; Rivett, Michael O.; Phiri, Peaches; Mleta, Prince; Mblame, Emma; Wanangwa, Gift; Kalin, Robert M. 2020. "Predicting Groundwater Vulnerability to Geogenic Fluoride Risk: A Screening Method for Malawi and an Opportunity for National Policy Redefinition" Water 12, no. 11: 3123. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113123

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