Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2020, 297, 106969
Water pollution is a global challenge, undermining economic growth as well as the physical and environmental health of billions of people. With the exception of polar caps, the world's largest freshwater reserve is found underground, but human activities such as agricultural, livestock, urban or industrial can affect its quality.
The aim of this work was to carry out a study on the chemical quality of groundwater in the region of A Limia (NW Spain) and to evaluate its possible degradation by anthropogenic influence. Water samples were taken from 76 private wells and 26 natural sources in the region. The presence and levels of anions were analyzed by ion chromatography, whereas trace metals were measured by an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). More than half of the wells analyzed and three natural sources showed nitrate contamination and some samples exceeded the limit allowed by legislation for other elements and compounds. It could be inferred that this surface aquifer contamination could be attributed to intensive agriculture and livestock farming.