Aim and objectives

The aim of the 1st “Arsenic in the Pampean Plain” meeting is to provide an update on the presence of arsenic in the region and the mitigation alternatives for the potable water suppliers in Buenos Aires Province. The meeting is comprised of a workshop (from the 4th to 6th of November) and a short course (from the 6th to the 8th of November), which is free of charge for people subscribing prior to the event.

The workshop is titled “Natural occurrence of arsenic and current state of the potable water supply systems in Buenos Aires Province”. This will provide an opportunity for debate between local and international experts, in a multidisciplinary approach oriented towards members of water management, health, and environmental organizations, as well as, the general public.

The first day of the workshop will be focused on arsenic hydrochemistry and toxicology Prof. Dave Polya), as well as its occurrence in Argentina, with emphasis on the Buenos Aires province. In addition, the problem will be approached from a context of epidemiology and existing regulations. The natural occurrence of arsenic in Pampean soils and sediments will be reviewed, as well as the bioaccumulation in agricultural systems, and the possibilities to identify sectors in the Pampeano aquifer with low arsenic content in groundwater.

On the second day, the sessions will present a review of the remediation techniques available globally, as well as their application in water supply systems in small and medium-sized towns in Argentina. Water-related institutions representatives will display the current state of the existing available infrastructure and improvement projects of drinking water supply systems according to their permit (municipality, cooperative or private company). In addition, water safety plans implemented in other countries and the management models currently used in Argentina for ensuring a safe water supply will be presented.

Finally, the third day session will conclude with the design of a collaboration plan between participating institutions, including the IHLLA and the UoM.

On the afternoon of the third day, a course titled «Environment and health: quantifying the environmental hazards of arsenic, human exposure, and health risk models» dictated by Prof. Polya (UoM) will commence (duration of the short course until the 9th of November). This course is oriented to people interested in assessing the health risks arising from groundwater arsenic and in the mitigation plans derived from it.