Impacts of drought phenomenon on the chemical quality of groundwater resources in the central part of Iran—application of GIS technique

  • Ali Fallahati
  • Hamed Soleimani
  • Mahmood AlimohammadiEmail author
  • Emad Dehghanifard
  • Masoomeh Askari
  • Fatemeh Eslami
  • Leila Karami


In the recent decades, global warming has caused water shortages all over the world. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of drought caused by climate change on the chemical quality of groundwater in Saveh County, Markazi province, Iran. The physicochemical parameters of 29 wells were analyzed by the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) during the drought period 2004–2015. Wilcox and Schoeller diagrams were applied to evaluate the water quality of wells for irrigation and drinking purposes, respectively. Schoeller diagram was consulted to show the relative concentrations of anions and cations typically expressed in milliequivalents per liter. Also, the Wilcox diagram was consulted to determine the suitability of water for agriculture purposes. Finally, the geographic information system was applied to the zoning of the groundwater quality parameters. According to the results, almost 90% of wells were in the category of “very salty and harmful for agriculture uses” in the last year of the study period (2015). The Schoeller diagram suggests that the water quality of 72.5, 10.4, 65.5, 100, 44.9, and 69% of wells were inappropriate and exceeded the Iranian National Standard level, in terms of TDS, TH, Na+، Mg2+, Cl, and SO42− in 2015, respectively. A decrease in yearly average precipitation during the studied period has not only caused overuse of groundwater as the primary water resources but also led to a significant decline in its chemical quality.


Drought Chemical quality Schoeller and Wilcox diagram Climate change Irrigation GIS Saveh 



The authors are grateful to the Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Saveh University of Medical Sciences, Saveh, Iran for their help in conducting this work.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Fallahati
    • 1
  • Hamed Soleimani
    • 2
  • Mahmood Alimohammadi
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Emad Dehghanifard
    • 4
  • Masoomeh Askari
    • 2
  • Fatemeh Eslami
    • 5
  • Leila Karami
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Social Determinants of Health Research CenterSaveh University of Medical SciencesSavehIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Center for Water Quality Research (CWQR), Institute for Environmental Research (IER)Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of HealthAlborz University of Medical SciencesKarajIran
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of HealthJiroft University of Medical SciencesJiroftIran

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