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Impacts of Emerging Agricultural Practices on Groundwater Quality in Kahe Catchment, Tanzania

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School of Material Energy Water and Environmental Science (MEWES), Department of Water Environmental Science and Engineering (WESE), The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447 Arusha, Tanzania
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Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures (WISE–Future), The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 9124 Arusha, Tanzania
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Department of Civil Engineering, Ardhi University, P.O. Box 35176 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112263
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
This paper assesses the impacts of farmers’ intensive use of agrochemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) on groundwater quality in the Kahe catchment. Samples were collected during the wet and dry seasons of the year 2018 and analyzed for the presence of agrochemicals in the water. Groundwater chemistry was dominated by magnesium-sodium-bicarbonate (Mg-Na-HCO3). The cations levels were in the trend of Mg2+ >Na+ > Ca2+ > K+, whereas anions were HCO3 > Cl > SO42− for both seasons. The NO3 had an average value of about 18.40 ± 4.04 and 7.6 ± 1.7 mg/L in the wet and dry season, respectively. Elevated levels of nitrate, sulfate, phosphate, and ammonium were found in water samples collected near the large-scale sugarcane plantation in the catchment. For both seasons, Pb, Cd, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu concentrations averaged approximately 0.08 ± 0.03, 0.11 ± 0.03, 0.16 ± 0.02, 0.11 ± 0.01, 0.46 ± 0.05, and 0.55 ± 0.02 mg/L, respectively. On the other hand, the concentrations were higher in shallow wells than in the deep boreholes. Pesticides’ residues were below the detection limit in all sampled groundwater. The findings from this study provide important information for intervention in groundwater quality management in Kahe Catchment, Tanzania. View Full-Text
Keywords: intensive irrigation; groundwater quality; heavy metals; fertilizers; pesticides; Kahe catchment intensive irrigation; groundwater quality; heavy metals; fertilizers; pesticides; Kahe catchment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lwimbo, Z.D.; Komakech, H.C.; Muzuka, A.N. Impacts of Emerging Agricultural Practices on Groundwater Quality in Kahe Catchment, Tanzania. Water 2019, 11, 2263.

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