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Water Quality and Public Health Monitoring of Surface Waters in the Kura-Araks River Basin of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/10484

Water Quality and Public Health Monitoring of Surface Waters in the Kura-Araks River Basin of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

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Title: Water Quality and Public Health Monitoring of Surface Waters in the Kura-Araks River Basin of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia
Author: Ewing, Amy
Subject: Water contamination
Heavy metal contamination
Chemical contamination
Abstract: The Kura-Araks (sometimes spelled Aras) River Basin is an international river basin located in the South Caucasus with five separate countries contributing area to the watershed. These countries are Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Surface water from the Kura and Araks Rivers is used for a variety of uses, including municipal, agricultural, industrial, and mining, and the waste products from each of these uses are discharged back into the rivers. Many of the resulting contaminants pose significant risks to human health, including exposure to organic pollution derived from municipal use, organochlorine pesticides and high nitrate from agriculture, chemical contamination from industry, and heavy metal contaminants from mining. The lack of existing data, and further limitations posed by the political situation and lack of regional economic stability make it necessary to involve international organizations in programs aimed at defining water quality baseline conditions. Although there are many water quality monitoring projects either existing or planned and international organization involvement in the basin is quite high, none of the current programs are approaching the problem of pollution in the Kura-Araks Basin from a public health perspective. A monitoring approach that targets those contaminants that pose the greatest risk to human health is proposed. Those contaminants are: nitrate, E. coli, 8 metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, nickel, and mercury), 10 organochlorine pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, endrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene, and lindane), and PCBs, with laboratory costs expected to run $3,850.00 per sampling event. A community-based microbiological water quality monitoring program is also proposed. The annual cost of this program is $5,000.00 for monthly analyses by 100 communities, as well as an additional $55,000.00 the first year for the purchase of necessary equipment. Finally, a watershed planning committee including representatives from all 5 of the countries contributing area to the watershed, the international donor community, and other organizations involved with current water resource programs in the basin is proposed. This committee would be charged with keeping straight the progress, goals, coordination, and evolution of existing programs, as well as the need for additional programs in the basin.
Date: 2010-04-29
Series: Publication (University of New Mexico. Water Resources Program) ; no. WRP-8
Description: "July 2003."
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/10484


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