Kochi: A study has found that sea level in Kochi coastal line is increasing by 1.8 mm every year. The report of the study staged by a team of researchers of Jawaharlal Nehru University has been published in the ‘Journal of Climate Change’. The study also pointed out that the quality of water in the water resources is affected as sea water keeps invading more land.

The research was mainly on the impact of sea level rise on the quality of groundwater. For this, the team studied the tide gauge dated between 1971-2007 and the satellite visuals between 2002-2012. About 30 km area on Kochi coast, which is about 80 percent of the total coastal area of the district, has been affected with soil erosion.

In the years between 1990 and 2016, about 45 percent of the Kerala coast was affected by soil erosion due to sea tides, wind, construction works and mining. The water samples were collected from the wells in 27 places from South Vypin to Muvattupuzha. More salinity was found in the water samples collected from Chellanam. The water collected from Edavanakkad and Pallippuram also were alkaline.

The problem is more intense in the low-lying areas. However, the water in most of the coastal areas is suitable for drinking. The study proposes that the construction works and extraction of groundwater should be controlled. The research was conducted under the leadership of Dr. S. Sreekesh.

Dr. C. P. Priju, scientist in the Groundwater Division of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) at Kunnamangalam, said that the well recharging in coastal areas should be increased. He has conducted many studies on water in coastal areas. There are more number of borewells in Alappuzha than in Kochi.

He put forward suggestions like reducing the number of borewells, rain harvesting and protection of water bodies as solution to the issue. However, he said that he cannot comment on the study which found that the sea level rises by 1.8 mm every year, before studying it thoroughly. He also expressed doubt over this.