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Article

Groundwater Quality Characterization in an Overallocated Semi-Arid Coastal Area Using an Integrated Approach: Case of the Essaouira Basin, Morocco

1
International Water Research Institute (IWRI), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Hay My Rachid, Ben Guerir 43150, Morocco
2
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
3
High Energy and Astrophysics Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
4
Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement (IRD), Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR), Centre D’études Spatiales de la Biosphère (Cesbio), 31401 Toulouse, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3202; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113202
Received: 20 October 2020 / Revised: 8 November 2020 / Accepted: 11 November 2020 / Published: 16 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
In this study, hydrogeochemical analyses were combined with geographic information system (GIS) tools to investigate salinization sources of groundwater in the downstream part of the Essaouira basin, and to analyze the spatiotemporal trends in groundwater quality. To assess groundwater suitability for drinking purposes, the quality of sampled water was compared with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Moroccan guidelines. Wilcox and US salinity laboratory (USSL) diagrams were used to evaluate groundwater suitability for irrigation. Hydrogeochemical analyses revealed that groundwater is of Na-Cl and Ca-Mg-Cl types. The analyses of the correlation between the chemical elements showed that the water–rock interaction and the reverse ion exchange are the major processes impacting groundwater degradation in the study area. The study of groundwater suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes shows that groundwater quality in the study area is permissible, but not desirable for human consumption. Additionally, groundwater is permissible for agricultural use but with high-salinity hazards. The spatial distribution of the physicochemical elements shows a general upward gradient from the north to the south and from the east to the west. The trend in groundwater quality during the last five years shows a shifting in the quality from the mixed Ca-Mg-Cl to the Na-Cl type. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal aquifer; semi-arid condition; groundwater salinization; reverse ion exchange; evaporites dissolution; hydrogeochemistry; Essaouira basin; Morocco coastal aquifer; semi-arid condition; groundwater salinization; reverse ion exchange; evaporites dissolution; hydrogeochemistry; Essaouira basin; Morocco
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ouarani, M.; Bahir, M.; Mulla, D.J.; Ouazar, D.; Chehbouni, A.; Dhiba, D.; Ouhamdouch, S.; El Mountassir, O. Groundwater Quality Characterization in an Overallocated Semi-Arid Coastal Area Using an Integrated Approach: Case of the Essaouira Basin, Morocco. Water 2020, 12, 3202. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113202

AMA Style

Ouarani M, Bahir M, Mulla DJ, Ouazar D, Chehbouni A, Dhiba D, Ouhamdouch S, El Mountassir O. Groundwater Quality Characterization in an Overallocated Semi-Arid Coastal Area Using an Integrated Approach: Case of the Essaouira Basin, Morocco. Water. 2020; 12(11):3202. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113202

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ouarani, Mohamed; Bahir, Mohammed; Mulla, David J.; Ouazar, Driss; Chehbouni, Abdelghani; Dhiba, Driss; Ouhamdouch, Salah; El Mountassir, Otman. 2020. "Groundwater Quality Characterization in an Overallocated Semi-Arid Coastal Area Using an Integrated Approach: Case of the Essaouira Basin, Morocco" Water 12, no. 11: 3202. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113202

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