Question: Does the ash from the volcanoes affect the water resources ?

  1. Hi Ana Maria,

    Even though it’s not really my expertise, i will try to give you an answer, and my answer is: yes and no, but especially no.

    I will explain: Maybe you know that when a volcano erupts, it spits out many material that comes from deep in the earth. This material can either flow out as lava, or through the air as ash. This material is full with all kinds of minerals made op of chemical elements. Most of it very normal ones, that will form sand or clay later, like silicon or potassium or aluminium, but probably also some heavy minerals come out, like lead or mercury. If you have these latter kind of elements in big amounts, which you do sometimes find in rocks, even though it is not so common, then water that flows over these kind of rocks can get polluted and you can not drink it anymore, or you have to clean it very thoroughly. However, with a volcanic eruption the ash will get spread out over such a great area (many times thousands of kilometers!) that only a very thin layer of ash gets deposited everywhere, and from this layer only a tiny amount actually consists of minerals that are bad for you. If this comes into a huge body of water, you can imagine the concentration in the water is very low. So yes, it does affect the water resources, but in such a tiny amount that it is negligible and you don’t have to worry about it (unless, maybe, your water resource is right next to the volcano and lots of ash or even lava comes in, but I reckon you did not mean that).

    I hope this answered your question. If you have another one, please feel free to ask!