Quality criteria for groundwater use from a rural part of Wanaparthy District, Telangana State, India, through ionic spatial distribution (ISD), entropy water quality index (EWQI) and principal component analysis (PCA)

  • N. Subba RaoEmail author
  • B. Sunitha
  • N. Adimalla
  • M. Chaudhary
Original Paper


The present study region comprises granite and granite gneisses aquifer system constituted by Precambrian rocks. Groundwater is the primary source for drinking and other domestic purposes. Many developing regions in the world suffer from lack of safe drinking water. A rural part of Wanaparthy District in Telangana State, India, is one of them. For this reason, the groundwater samples collected from the study region were analyzed for pH, TDS, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, HCO3, Cl, SO42−, NO3 and F and evaluated groundwater quality criteria, using ionic spatial distribution (ISD), entropy water quality index (EWQI) and principal component analysis (PCA). The ISD maps show that some locations are not suitable for drinking purpose due to exceeding concentrations of TDS, Mg2+, Na+, K+, HCO3, Cl, NO3and F, compared to those with national drinking water quality standards. According to the EWQI, about 3%, 47%, 43% and 7% of the total area come under the excellent, good, medium and extremely poor water quality types for drinking purpose, respectively. Chadha’s diagram classified the area as carbonate hardness (63%), non-carbonate alkali (17%), carbonates alkali (13%) and non-carbonate hardness (7%) zones. The binary diagrams (Na+ + K+ vs TC, Na+ vs Ca2+ and HCO3 vs TC) indicate that the quality of groundwater is controlled by influences of water–rock interactions, mineral weathering and dissolution, ion exchange and evaporation as well as the impact of anthropogenic sources. The PCA transferred the chemical variables into three principal components accounts for about 81% of the total variance. The high positive loadings of PC1 (Cl, TDS, SO42−, Na+, NO 3 , Mg2+ and HCO3) stand for processes of silicate weathering and dissolution, ion exchange and evaporation, and the influence of domestic waste waters, irrigation return flows and chemical fertilizers on the groundwater system, the PC2 (F and pH) signifies the alkaline nature of groundwater, which causes fluorosis, and the PC3 (K+) is a result of potassium fertilizers. The study helps to take remediate measures at a specific site and hence suggests the treatment of water before its drinking and also the recharge of the aquifer artificially to improve the groundwater quality.


Groundwater quality Ionic spatial distribution Entropy water quality index Hydrogeochemical processes Principal component analysis 



The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers and the editor in chief for their valuable suggestions and useful comments to improve the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Subba Rao
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. Sunitha
    • 2
  • N. Adimalla
    • 3
  • M. Chaudhary
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeologyAndhra UniversityVisakhapatnamIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringJNT UniversityHyderabadIndia
  3. 3.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringChang′an UniversityXi’anChina
  4. 4.Department of GeologyML Sukhadia UniversityUdaipurIndia

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