Testing a Geochemical Tool to Enhance Our Ability to Ensure Water Security

A.T. Slade, B.P. Whitehead
The University of Auckland, NZ

Keywords: boron isotope, water, waste site, tracing


Chemicals that are transported in our water can be used to our advantage. Both natural and anthropogenic chemicals can be targeted to understand the way our water behaves. The use of boron isotope compositions has proved important in identifying different bodies of water.1, 2 We have taken water from a small area, 0.75 km2, of land adjacent to a major river. Leachate from this land that is a pulp and paper waste site travels unobstructed towards the river contaminating the water for downstream users. Ten sampling locations from around the waste site were collected in a temporal study analyzing boron isotope composition values with the intention of distinguishing between the different sampling locations. The results enabled the locations to be distinguished from the others. The ability to achieve this is significant because we are able to monitor if the water is being contaminated and contributing pollution to freshwater bodies and aids in the ensuring water security. 1. Barth, S., Water Resource 1998, 32, 685-690. 2. Vengosh, A.; Kloppmann, W.; Marei, A.; Livshitz, Y.; Guiterrez, A.; Banna, M.; Guerrot, C.; Pankratov, I.; Raanan, H., Water Resources Research 2005, 41, 1-19.