Acid Rain in Niger Delta Region: Implication on Water Resources Quality and Crisis
This research focused on the effect of acid rain on the water quality of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Three hundred water samples were collected: 100 water samples from rain, 100 from open wells and 100 from rivers. The water samples were analysed using the paired t-test and multiple correlation analysis to ascertain their level of variation and relationship. Hydrochemical analysis revealed moderately low pH values of 4.98 > 5.12 > 5.23 for rain, river and well water resources in the Niger Delta region. The anions, cations and microbiological characteristics in river and well water sources before rain events were generally greater after down pours. This indicates that the pH values of rain water resources correlated significantly (r = 0.80) with gas flaring, an activity connected with petroleum exploration activities in the Niger Delta region. The acid content in the rainwater not only lowers the quality of rainwater sources for domestic use, but also the quality of well and river water sources in the region. This has led to acute drinking water shortages in the region and has exacerbated struggles for the few existing clean water sources. The cessation of gas flaring as well as the provision of adequate potable water supply to locals is highly recommended. Additionally liming of the water resources and other methods of cleansing acidic water may be employed in the interim.
Keywords: Acid rain, well, river and water crisis