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A GIS-based DRASTIC Model and an Adjusted DRASTIC Model (DRASTICA) for Groundwater Susceptibility Assessment along the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Route

1
Department of Civil Engineering, COMSATS University Islamabad, Wah Campus 47040, Pakistan
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
3
Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
4
Department of Transport Technology and Economics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, 1111 Budapest, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(5), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9050332
Received: 1 April 2020 / Revised: 4 May 2020 / Accepted: 17 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
Land use types and anthropogenic activities represent considerable threats to groundwater pollution. To effectively monitor the groundwater quality, it is vital to measure pollution levels before they become severe. In our research area, located in Gilgit Baltistan in northern Pakistan, groundwater supplies are diminishing due to urban sprawl. In this study, we used a GIS-based DRASTIC model (Depth to water, Recharge, Aquifer media, Soil media, Topography, Impact of the vadose zone, Hydraulic conductivity) to analyze the area’s hydrological attributes to assess the groundwater susceptibility to pollution. Considering the importance of anthropogenic activities, this research primarily utilizes an adjusted DRASTIC model called DRASTICA, which incorporates anthropogenic impact as a parameter in the model. The resulting map, which depicts vulnerability to groundwater contamination, reveals that 19% of the study area is classed as having high vulnerability, 42% has moderate vulnerability, 37% has low vulnerability, and 2% has very low vulnerability to groundwater contamination. The adopted validation process (nitrate parameter of water quality) revealed that the suggested DRASTICA model achieved better results than the established DRASTIC model in a built-up environment. We used the nitrate concentration in groundwater to verify the formulated results, and the single parameter sensitivity analysis and map removal sensitivity analysis to analyze the model sensitivity. The sensitivity analysis indicated that the groundwater vulnerability to pollution is largely influenced by anthropogenic impact and depth to the water table, thereby suggesting that anthropogenic impact must be explicitly tackled in such studies. The groundwater zones exposed to anthropogenic pollution can be better classified with the help of the proposed DRASTICA model, particularly in and around built-up environments. The responsible authorities can use this groundwater contamination data as an early warning sign, so they can take practical actions to avoid extra pressure on this vital resource. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater vulnerability; GIS; modified DRASTIC; DRASTICA; urbanized environment groundwater vulnerability; GIS; modified DRASTIC; DRASTICA; urbanized environment
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Maqsoom, A.; Aslam, B.; Khalil, U.; Ghorbanzadeh, O.; Ashraf, H.; Faisal Tufail, R.; Farooq, D.; Blaschke, T. A GIS-based DRASTIC Model and an Adjusted DRASTIC Model (DRASTICA) for Groundwater Susceptibility Assessment along the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Route. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 332.

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