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Open AccessArticle

Hydrogeochemical Characterization and Suitability Assessment of Groundwater: A Case Study in Central Sindh, Pakistan

1
School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
2
College of Environmental Science & Engineering, Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541000, China
3
Department of Dermatology, University of Health Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050886
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health Risks)
Groundwater is the most important water resource, on which depends human geo-economic development and survival. Recent environmental changes and anthropogenic activities render groundwater severely vulnerable. Groundwater in Central Sindh, Pakistan, is facing a similar situation. Hydrogeochemical characteristics of the groundwater in the said region were investigated by analyzing 59 groundwater samples via agricultural and drinking indices, using various statistical methods and graphical approaches to identify factors affecting groundwater. Major reactions occurring in the groundwater system were quantified by hydrogeochemical modeling. A statistical summary reveals the abundance of cations is Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+, while the abundance of anions is HCO3 > Cl > SO42. Groundwater chemistry is mainly of rock dominance. Correlation analysis and graphical relationships between ions reveal that ion exchange and rock weathering such as the dissolution of halite, albite, and dissolution of carbonate minerals are important rock–water interactions, governing the evolution of groundwater chemistry. Hydrochemical facies are predominantly of mixed CaMgCl and Na-Cl type, with few samples of Ca-HCO3 type, which constitutes fresh recharged water. Based on the Water Quality Index (WQI), 28.82% samples were found to be unsuitable for drinking. A United States Salinity Laboratory (USSL) diagram, Wilcox diagram, and other agricultural indices indicate that majority of the groundwater samples fall within the acceptable range for irrigation purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater pollution; water quality; hydrogeochemical modeling; Water Quality Index; central Sindh; Rohri Canal Command groundwater pollution; water quality; hydrogeochemical modeling; Water Quality Index; central Sindh; Rohri Canal Command
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Talib, M.A.; Tang, Z.; Shahab, A.; Siddique, J.; Faheem, M.; Fatima, M. Hydrogeochemical Characterization and Suitability Assessment of Groundwater: A Case Study in Central Sindh, Pakistan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 886.

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