Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 10, pp 6223–6239 | Cite as

Trend analysis in water quality of Al-Wehda Dam, north of Jordan

  • Ahmed A. Al-Taani


Temporal status and trends in water quality of Al-Wehda Dam, Jordan, from 2006 to 2012 indicate that the dam is subject to a combination of impacts from rainstorm and agricultural runoffs. It also revealed that mineral dissolution, sediment load, rainfall events, evaporation, and water-level fluctuation are the major contributors to variations in water quality. The water chemistry of the impounded Al-Wehda Reservoir showed that Na, Ca, Mg, HCO3, and Cl are the principal ions, reflecting the dominance of carbonate weathering, with some contribution of silicates. The pH values showed a cyclic pattern with highest values observed in the spring seasons. Total dissolved solids (TDS), Ca, Mg, and HCO3 are primarily related to leaching and evaporation, with elevated levels that occurred in the rainy winter months. In contrast, seasonal patterns in Na, K, Cl, and NH4–N contents showed decreased values in winter. Peaks in NO3–N observed in winter are strongly associated with agricultural runoff. Fluctuations in chlorophyll-a level were coincided with low ratio of total nitrogen (TN) to total phosphorus (TP). Seasonal variations in organic matter content were also apparent, with peaks that generally occurred in spring through early fall corresponding with high algal growth. On an annual basis, the vast majority of water quality data have generally declined, particularly, in 2011. However, it is not clear whether these decreases are related to change in management practices within the Yarmouk basin, or protective measures have been implemented. Comparison of in-lake and post-dam water quality from 2009 to 2011 showed variation in concentrations, where Ca, HCO3, NO3–N, Mg, and TDS showed relatively greater post-dam values than in-lake water, whereas pH, Na, Cl, K, COD, BOD5, and chlorophyll-a were consistently lower in post-dam water. This comparison emphasizes the importance of self-purification capacity of Al-Wehda Dam in reducing some contaminants.


Al-Wehda Dam Water quality Temporal variation Jordan 



The author gratefully acknowledges use of the services and facilities at Yarmouk University, Jordan and data provided by Jordan Valley Authority.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNESCO Chair for Desert Studies and Desertification ControlYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan

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