Methodological contribution to evaluate the contamination hazard of groundwater
Contribuição metodológica à estimativa do perigo de contaminação das águas subterrâneas
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Due to increase in the number of contaminated areas, which compromise the groundwater quality and constitute risks to human health, it is essential to establish instruments for land use planning and management, aiming at the groundwater protection against pollution. For this reason, the aim of this work was to develop and apply, experimentally, a methodological proposal to assess the contamination hazard of groundwater. Therefore, natural vulnerability to contamination and land use and cover factors were selected, weighted and integrated, with support of Multicriteria Evaluation (MCE) and geoprocessing techniques operated in GIS environment. Located in the Rio Claro municipality, São Paulo State, Brazil, the Rio Claro aquifer was chosen to apply this new evaluation model. As result, 72% of the study area was classified as high contamination hazard, where activities with significant contamination potential predominate, such as industrial urban areas and sugar cane and citrus crops, which together represent 65% of total surface. Due to robust result, conceptual simplicity and practical use, the proposed evaluation system may perform an important role in defining priority areas for groundwater protection.