Southern Bangladesh’s irrigation and drinking water is threatened by saline intrusion. This study aimed to establish an irrigation water quality index (IWQI) using a geostatistical model and multivariate indices in Gopalganj district, south-central Bangladesh. Groundwater samples were taken randomly (different depths) in two seasons (wet-monsoon and dry-monsoon). Hydrochemical analysis revealed groundwater in this area was neutral to slightly alkaline and dominating cations were Na+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ along with major anions Cl− and HCO3 −. Principal component analysis and Gibbs plot helped explain possible geochemical processes in the aquifer. The irrigation water evaluation indices showed: electrical conductivity (EC) >750 µS/cm, moderate to extreme saline; sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), excellent to doubtful; total hardness (TH), moderate to very hard; residual sodium bicarbonate, safe to marginal; Kelly’s ratio >1; soluble sodium percentage (SSP), fair to poor; magnesium adsorption ratio, harmful for soil; and IWQI, moderate to suitable. In addition, the best fitted semivariogram for IWQI, EC, SAR, SSP, and TH confirmed that most parameters had strong spatial dependence and others had moderate to weak spatial dependence. This variation might be due to the different origin/sources of major contributing ions along with the influence of variable river flow and small anthropogenic contributions. Furthermore, the spatial distribution maps for IWQI, EC, SSP, and TH during both seasons confirmed the influence of salinity from the sea; low-flow in the major river system was the driving factor of overall groundwater quality in the study area. These findings may contribute to management of irrigation and/or drinking water in regions with similar groundwater problems.
Chinese Journal of Geochemistry – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 6, 2017
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