Spatio-Temporal Trends in Groundwater Concentration of Arsenic Across Texas, 1990-2019

Authors: Dayani Davilla*, University of North Texas, Tiwari Chetan, University of North Texas, Joseph Oppong, University of North Texas, Paul Hudak, University of North Texas
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Environmental Science
Keywords: arsenic, risk maps, spatio-temporal patterns of arsenic in Texas
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 8
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Exposure to Arsenic (As) is known to be associated with several adverse health outcomes, including skin and internal cancers. Geological processes and anthropogenic activities are known to influence As concentrations in groundwater and can lead to geographical differences in risk of exposure. In Texas, groundwater is the major source of water consumption and contains high As concentrations. While previous research has identified spatial and temporal trends in As concentrations in Texas, their focus is limited to relatively small geographic regions and/or short time periods. This paper uses a geostatistical model and well data from the Texas Water Development Board’s groundwater quality database to identify historical and emerging areas of concern with regards to As in groundwater. Areas of historical high values are defined as those that are consistently in the top one-third of As concentration between 1990 to 2019. Emerging areas of concern are defined as those that show persistent increases in As concentrations over 5-year increments starting from 2010. The results show several areas of concern, especially in the Panhandle and Gulf Coastal regions, where As concentrations exceed the 10 ug/L levels that studies show may contribute to an elevated risk of several diseases. Such maps of existing and emerging risks of exposure will help guide public health intervention efforts for diseases that are commonly associated with As.

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