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A preliminary assessment of the geochemical factors affecting groundwater and surface water quality around the rural communities in Al-Anbar, Western Desert of Iraq

Awadh, Salih Muhammad
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.3 pp. 83
agricultural land, cadmium, cobalt, copper, groundwater, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, ions, iron, irrigation, land use, lead, nickel, pH, rivers, rural communities, saline water, sediments, springs (water), surface water, water quality, wells, wet season, Iraq
This study aims to assess the suitability of surface water and groundwater resources for irrigation and potable use by the rural communities in the Western Desert of Iraq. Sampling was conducted during the wet season (Jan 2012). Duplicate water and sediment samples were collected from the Euphrates River, connate water springs and meteoric groundwater. Water samples were analyzed for a suite of physicochemical parameters and heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Pb, Co, Cd and Ni). The H₂S content of water samples was also determined as were heavy metals levels in riverine sediments. The water in the Euphrates River is fresh (701 ppm) dominated by Ca–Na–Cl ions with elevated concentrations of PO₄, Pb and Cd (2.0, 0.023 and 0.02 ppm, respectively) due to the effects of agricultural land uses in the region. Shallow groundwater in the region is fresh to brackish due to the water–aquifer interaction that resulted in heterogeneity groundwater dominated by Cl, Ca–Mg–Cl and Ca–HCO₃. Connate water springs in the region are associated with deep circulation of groundwater. Springs are characterized by brackish to saline water type dominated by Na–Cl and typically have acidic pH values. They are not suitable for irrigation or potable use due to the high TDS (7182 ppm) and dissolved H₂S gas contents (120–865 ppm). Low concentrations of H₂S gas (4.0 ppm) were detected in the Euphrates River, while they were not detected in the meteoric groundwater. The meteoric waters from the Euphrates River and some groundwater wells are suitable for potable use, but all are suitable for irrigation with attention to the potential-Mg hazard.