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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 1525–1538 | Cite as

Quality assessment of groundwater at south Al Madinah Al Munawarah area, Saudi Arabia

  • Magdy M. S. El MaghrabyEmail author
  • Ahmad Kh. O. Abu El Nasr
  • Mahmoud S. A. Hamouda
Original Article

Abstract

Groundwater is the main source of irrigation within south Al Madinah Al Munawarah region. It is also an important source of drinking water in many areas including Madinah city. The wells installed in the aquifer of the study area (south Madinah city) are not currently regulated by the local authorities although they are a key component of water supply. The aquifers in the study area range from unconfined to semi-confined and confined. The main aim of this study is to assess the groundwater in the region for drinking and agricultural uses. For this purpose, hydrochemical analyses of major, minor and trace constituents and nutrients were performed on 29 groundwater samples from the aquifer located about 20 km south of Madinah. The recharge rate of the aquifer of the study area was estimated to be 6.58 % of the annual precipitation using the chloride mass-balance method. Chloride was positively correlated with major ions, which suggests that agricultural activities have some effect on groundwater chemistry through leaching of readily soluble salts from the soil zone. Groundwater of the study area is characterized by dominance of Na over Ca. Chloride was found to be the most dominant anion and replaced by HCO3, thus reflecting geochemical evolution in the study area. The groundwater of the study area is not safe for drinking but can be safely used for salt-tolerant crops.

Keywords

Saudi Arabia Groundwater Quality assessment Drinking purposes Agriculture purposes 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Deanship of Scientific Research, Taibah University, Saudi Arabia, for funding this research, Grant Number 441/430. The authors are also grateful to farm owners and farmers for allowing their wells to be studied. The assistance we received from staff members of the Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science at Taibah University is very much appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdy M. S. El Maghraby
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Ahmad Kh. O. Abu El Nasr
    • 2
  • Mahmoud S. A. Hamouda
    • 3
  1. 1.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceTaibah UniversityAl Madinah Al MunawarahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Applied Chemistry Department, Faculty of Applied SciencesTaibah UniversityAl Madinah Al MunawarahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Applied Biology Department, Faculty of Applied SciencesTaibah UniversityAl Madinah Al MunawarahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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