Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 2707–2728 | Cite as

Evaluation of multiple water quality indices for drinking and irrigation purposes for the Karoon river, Iran

  • Milad Mirzaei AminiyanEmail author
  • Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson
  • Farzad Mirzaei Aminiyan
Original Paper


The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the water quality of the Karoon river, which is a main river in Iran country. For this purpose, hydrochemical analyses of a database that maintained by the Water Resources Authority of Khuzestan Province, Iran’s Ministry of Energy, were carried out. These data were compared with the maximum permissible limit values recommended by World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization water standards for drinking and agricultural purposes, respectively. Also in this regard, multiple indices of water quality were utilized. However, not all indices gave similar rankings for water quality. According to the USSL diagram and Kelly ratio, Karoon’s water quality is not suitable for irrigation purposes due to high salinity and moderate alkalinity. However, the results of the magnesium hazard analysis suggested that water quality for irrigation is acceptable. A Piper diagram illustrated that the most dominant water types during the 15 years of the study were Na–Cl and Na–SO4. The mineral saturation index also indicated that Na–Cl is the dominant water type. The water quality for drinking purpose was evaluated using a Schoeller diagram and water quality index (WQI). According to the computed WQI ranging from 111.9 to 194.0, the Karoon’s water in the Khuzestan plain can be categorized as “poor water” for drinking purposes. Based on hydrochemical characteristics, years 2000–2007 and 2008–2014 were categorized into two clusters illustrating a decline in water quality between the two time periods.


Karoon river Surface water Water quality index Hydrochemical analysis Iran 



The authors wish to thank Khuzestan Water and Power Authority for providing the water quality parameters monitoring data for the Karoon river. And also thanks to Mr. Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi for his useful comments and revision from Arizona University, USA. We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, and there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service, and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10653_2018_135_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milad Mirzaei Aminiyan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson
    • 2
  • Farzad Mirzaei Aminiyan
    • 3
  1. 1.Soil Science Department, College of AgricultureBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran
  2. 2.Department of Soil and Crop SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, Engineering FacultyVali-e-Asr Rafsanjan UniversityRafsanjanIran

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