Groundwater quality assessment for sustainable drinking and irrigation

Esmaeil Asadi, Mohammad Isazadeh, Saeed Samadianfard, Mohammad Firuz Ramli, Amir Mosavi, Narjes Nabipour, Shahaboddin Shamshirband, Eva Hajnal, Kwok Wing Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Identification and management of the groundwater quality are of utmost importance for maintaining freshwater resources in arid and semi-arid areas, which is essential for sustainable development. Based on the quality of the groundwater in various areas, local policymakers and water resource managers can allocate the usage of resources for either drinking or agricultural purposes. This research aims to identify suitable areas of water pumping for drinking and agricultural harvest in the Tabriz aquifer, located in East Azerbaijan province, northwest Iran. A groundwater compatibility study was conducted by analyzing Electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), Chloride (Cl), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Sulfate (SO4), Total hardness (TH), Bicarbonate (HCO3), pH, carbonate (CO3), the and Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) obtained from 39 wells in the time period from 2003 to 2014. TheWater Quality Index (WQI) and irrigation water quality (IWQ) index are respectively utilized due to their high importance in identifying the quality of water resources for irrigation and drinking purposes. The WQI index zoning for drinking classified water as excellent, good, or poor. The study concludes that most drinking water harvested for urban and rural areas is 'excellent water' or 'good water'. The IWQ index average for the study area is reported to be in the range of 25.9 to 34.55. The results further revealed that about 37 percent (296 km2) of groundwater has high compatibility, and 63 percent of the study area (495 km2) has average compatibility for agricultural purposes. The trend of IWQ and WQI indexes demonstrates that groundwater quality has been declining over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Climate change
  • Earth system models
  • Groundwater quality
  • Hydroinformatics
  • Hydrologic cycle
  • Hydrology
  • Irrigation water quality (IWQ)
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable water harvesting
  • Water quality index (WQI)
  • Water resource management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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