Next Article in Journal
Headwaters’ Isotopic Signature as a Tracer of Stream Origins and Climatic Anomalies: Evidence from the Italian Alps in Summer 2018
Previous Article in Journal
Combination of Ecological Engineering Procedures Applied to Morphological Stabilization of Estuarine Banks after Dredging
Open AccessArticle

Quality of Drinking Water in the Balkhash District of Kazakhstan’s Almaty Region

1
Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, 71 al-Farabi Avenue, Almaty 050040, Kazakhstan
2
Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Michigan State University, 427 North Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
3
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, 1405 South Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
4
Asia Hub, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
5
Faculty of Geography and Environmental Sciences, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, 71 al-Farabi Avenue, Almaty 050040, Kazakhstan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020392
Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 28 January 2020 / Published: 1 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination)
The thinly populated Balkhash District of Kazakhstan’s Almaty Region lies in the lower reaches of the Ili-Balkhash basin, which is shared by China and Kazakhstan. The district is arid and heavily dependent on inflows of surface water, which are threatened by the effects of upstream population growth, economic development, and climate change. The quality of drinking water from centralized water systems and tube wells in nine villages of the district was analyzed, and the organoleptic properties of water from these sources was also assessed by an expert and via surveys of local residents. Although most samples met governmental standards for the absence of chemical impurities, high concentrations of mineralization, chlorides, boron, iron, and/or uranium were present in some well water samples. Levels of these pollutants were as much as 4-fold higher than governmental maxima and as much as 16-fold higher than concentrations reported previously in surface water. All centralized water samples met standards for absence of microbial contamination, but total microbial counts in some well water samples exceeded standards. Organoleptic standards were met by all the water from five villages, but centralized water from one village and well water from four villages failed to meet standards based on expert judgment. Residents were, for the most part, more satisfied with centralized rather than well water, but there was no obvious relationship between the failure of water to meet standards and the locations or populations of the settlements. This is the first comprehensive assessment of groundwater used for drinking in the lower Ili-Balkhash basin, and although it relies on a limited number of samples, it nevertheless provides evidence of potentially serious groundwater contamination in the Balkhash District. It is thus imperative that additional and more detailed studies be undertaken. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; rural Kazakhstan; Ili-Balkhash basin; organoleptic analysis of groundwater; risk identification and assessment water quality; rural Kazakhstan; Ili-Balkhash basin; organoleptic analysis of groundwater; risk identification and assessment
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Nurtazin, S.; Pueppke, S.; Ospan, T.; Mukhitdinov, A.; Elebessov, T. Quality of Drinking Water in the Balkhash District of Kazakhstan’s Almaty Region. Water 2020, 12, 392.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop