GIS-based assessment of groundwater quality for drinking and irrigation purposes in central Iraq

Zaid F. Makki, Ali Adel Zuhaira*, Sama M. Al-Jubouri, Rwayda Kh. S. Al Hamd, Lee S. Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In many parts of the world, groundwater is considered to be a key source of fresh water for both the domestic and non-domestic sectors. Where groundwater extraction is implemented, systems to monitor water quality must ensure a safe and sustainable supply. Over the years, Iraq has suffered from surface water quality and supply problems, necessitating groundwater extraction in many regions. This study investigates groundwater quality in a region of central Iraq around Babylon city, covering an area of 5119 km2. The data gathered for this study included maps, well locations and water quality data and was sourced from the relevant governmental departments. A base map of the focussed region was initially prepared following data collection. The analysed water quality parameters were used as an attribute database to produce thematic maps using a geographical information system (GIS) environment. In this paper, the water quality index (WQI) and the irrigation water quality index (IWQI) were calculated for different groundwater samples using various parameters including the Electrical Conductivity (EC), Cl, HCO3, Na+ and pH. Moreover, the groundwater suitability for irrigation purposes has been assessed using indices such as Kelly’s ratio (KR), sodium absorption ratio (SAR), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), soluble sodium percentage (SSP) and permeability index (PI). Water quality index maps have been developed using the GIS environment. The obtained results reveal that the groundwater in the study location requires specific treatments to be usable.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107
Number of pages27
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number2
Early online date2 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021

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