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Hydrogeochemical Assessment of Groundwater and Suitability Analysis for Domestic and Agricultural Utility in Southern Punjab, Pakistan

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School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences Wuhan, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan 430074, China
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Key Laboratory of Groundwater Resources and Environment, Ministry of Education, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
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College of New Energy and Environment, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
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College of Construction Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130026, China
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College of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102200, China
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School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
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Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Beijing 101408, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adriana Bruggeman
Water 2021, 13(24), 3589; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243589
Received: 3 November 2021 / Revised: 9 December 2021 / Accepted: 10 December 2021 / Published: 14 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrogeology)
Groundwater is a critical water supply for safe drinking water, agriculture, and industry worldwide. In the Khanewal district of Punjab, Pakistan, groundwater has severely deteriorated during the last few decades due to environmental changes and anthropogenic activities. Therefore, 68 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed for their main ions and trace elements to investigate the suitability of groundwater sources for drinking and agricultural purposes. Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were employed to determine the major factors influencing groundwater quality. To assess the groundwater’s appropriateness for drinking and irrigation, drinking and agricultural indices were used. The pH of the groundwater samples ranged from 6.9 to 9.2, indicating that the aquifers were slightly acidic to alkaline. The major cations were distributed as follows: Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+. Meanwhile, the anions are distributed as follows: HCO3 > SO42− > Cl > F. The main hydrochemical facies were identified as a mixed type; however, a mixed magnesium, calcium, and chloride pattern was observed. The reverse ion exchange process helps in exchanging Na+ with Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions in the groundwater system. Rock weathering processes, such as the dissolution of calcite, dolomite, and gypsum minerals, dominated the groundwater hydrochemistry. According to the Weight Arithmetic Water Quality Index (WAWQI), 50% of the water samples were unsafe for drinking. The Wilcox diagram, USSL diagram, and some other agricultural indices resulted in around 32% of the groundwater samples being unsuitable for irrigation purposes. The Khanewal’s groundwater quality was vulnerable due to geology and the influence of anthropogenic activities. For groundwater sustainability in Khanewal, management strategies and policies are required. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; hydrogeochemical processes; Water Quality Index; correlation analysis; Khanewal district groundwater; hydrogeochemical processes; Water Quality Index; correlation analysis; Khanewal district
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MDPI and ACS Style

Iqbal, J.; Su, C.; Rashid, A.; Yang, N.; Baloch, M.Y.J.; Talpur, S.A.; Ullah, Z.; Rahman, G.; Rahman, N.U.; Earjh; Sajjad, M.M. Hydrogeochemical Assessment of Groundwater and Suitability Analysis for Domestic and Agricultural Utility in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. Water 2021, 13, 3589. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243589

AMA Style

Iqbal J, Su C, Rashid A, Yang N, Baloch MYJ, Talpur SA, Ullah Z, Rahman G, Rahman NU, Earjh, Sajjad MM. Hydrogeochemical Assessment of Groundwater and Suitability Analysis for Domestic and Agricultural Utility in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. Water. 2021; 13(24):3589. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243589

Chicago/Turabian Style

Iqbal, Javed, Chunli Su, Abdur Rashid, Nan Yang, Muhammad Y.J. Baloch, Shakeel A. Talpur, Zahid Ullah, Gohar Rahman, Naveed U. Rahman, Earjh, and Meer M. Sajjad. 2021. "Hydrogeochemical Assessment of Groundwater and Suitability Analysis for Domestic and Agricultural Utility in Southern Punjab, Pakistan" Water 13, no. 24: 3589. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243589

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