Assessment of water quality index for the groundwater in the upper Cheliff plain, Algeria

Abstract

Assessment of groundwater suitability for drinking and agricultural purposes was carried out in the plain of upper Cheliff. The study area covers an area of 375 km2 and lies in a semiarid climate. Groundwater is the major source for domestic and agricultural activity in this area. Groundwater samples were collected from 19 wells during dry and wet periods in 2012, and they were analyzed for major cations and anions and compared with drinking and irrigation specification standards. The concentration of the majority of chemical constituents exceeds the standards of WHO as a result of various sources of pollution. It indicates the dominance of groundwater types: Ca-Mg-Cl, and Ca-Mg-HCO3. Suitability of groundwater for drinking was evaluated based on the water quality index; it shows more than 60% of samples have very poor quality for dry and wet periods, which means water is severely contaminated and unsuitable for drinking purpose. In terms of the irrigation usage, generally groundwater is suitable for both periods in the major part of the plain. The Mineralization processes in this area is determined by the lithology of the aquifer (exchange water-rock), by anthropogenic factors (discharges of urban sewage, use of fertilizers) and also by evaporation (semi-arid climate).

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Correspondence to Abdelkader Bouderbala.

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Bouderbala, A. Assessment of water quality index for the groundwater in the upper Cheliff plain, Algeria. J Geol Soc India 90, 347–356 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-017-0723-7

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