Normally, groundwater levels in this monsoon region are higher than the rivers, so water flows from aquifers into adjacent waterways. A few years ago, however, scientists began noticing that large-scale groundwater pumping around cities like Hanoi was lowering the groundwater level, so much so that the flow had reversed in some areas and river water was making its way into the aquifers instead.

The scientists have since tested the water and riverbed along the Red River near Hanoi and discovered dangerously high concentrations of dissolved arsenic, far higher than expected, but they also found clear patterns of contamination that may be able to help farmers and communities locate lower-risk sites for wells.

Read more at Science Daily

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