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Open AccessArticle

Identification of the Hydrogeochemical Processes and Assessment of Groundwater Quality, Using Multivariate Statistical Approaches and Water Quality Index in a Wastewater Irrigated Region

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CONACYT-Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, A. C. División de Geociencias Aplicadas, Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Col. Lomas 4ta Sección, San Luis Potosí, CP 78216 San Luis Potosí, Mexico
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Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, A. C. División de Geociencias Aplicadas, Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Col. Lomas 4ta Sección, San Luis Potosí, CP 78216 San Luis Potosí, Mexico
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CONACYT-Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados, S. C. (CIMAV), Calle CIMAV 110, Ejido Arroyo Seco, Col. 15 de mayo (Tapias), Durango, CP 34147 Durango, Mexico
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Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, A. C. División de Materiales Avanzados, Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Col. Lomas 4ta Sección, San Luis Potosí, CP 78216 San Luis Potosí, Mexico
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CONACYT-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geofísica, Ciudad Universitaria, 04150 Coyoacán, Cd. Mx., Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081702
Received: 7 June 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
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Abstract

Groundwater quality and availability are essential for human consumption and social and economic activities in arid and semiarid regions. Many developing countries use wastewater for irrigation, which has in most cases led to groundwater pollution. The Mezquital Valley, a semiarid region in central Mexico, is the largest agricultural irrigation region in the world, and it has relied on wastewater from Mexico City for over 100 years. Limited research has been conducted on the impact of irrigation practices on groundwater quality on the Mezquital Valley. In this study, 31 drinking water wells were sampled. Groundwater quality was determined using the water quality index (WQI) for drinking purposes. The hydrogeochemical process and the spatial variability of groundwater quality were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and K-means clustering multivariate geostatistical tools. This study highlights the value of combining various approaches, such as multivariate geostatistical methods and WQI, for the identification of hydrogeochemical processes in the evolution of groundwater in a wastewater irrigated region. The PCA results revealed that salinization and pollution (wastewater irrigation and fertilizers) followed by geogenic sources (dissolution of carbonates) have a significant effect on groundwater quality. Groundwater quality evolution was grouped into cluster 1 and cluster 2, which were classified as unsuitable (low quality) and suitable (acceptable quality) for drinking purposes, respectively. Cluster 1 is located in wastewater irrigated zones, urban areas, and the surroundings of the Tula River. Cluster 2 locations are found in recharge zones, rural settlements, and seasonal agricultural fields. The results of this study strongly suggest that water management strategies that include a groundwater monitoring plan, as well as research-based wastewater irrigation regulations, in the Mezquital Valley are warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater pollution; K-means clustering; Mezquital Valley; principal component analysis (PCA); wastewater irrigation; water quality index groundwater pollution; K-means clustering; Mezquital Valley; principal component analysis (PCA); wastewater irrigation; water quality index
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Marín Celestino, A.E.; Ramos Leal, J.A.; Martínez Cruz, D.A.; Tuxpan Vargas, J.; De Lara Bashulto, J.; Morán Ramírez, J. Identification of the Hydrogeochemical Processes and Assessment of Groundwater Quality, Using Multivariate Statistical Approaches and Water Quality Index in a Wastewater Irrigated Region. Water 2019, 11, 1702.

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