Assessing groundwater hydrochemistry of Malwa Punjab, India

  • Chetan P. S. Ahada
  • Surindra Suthar
Original Paper


This study investigates the groundwater hydrochemistry (pH, EC, TDS, TH, SO42−, PO43−, NO3, Na2+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, F and Cl) of intensively cultivated belt of Malwa Punjab, India. The groundwater was collected from 76 representative sites and analysed for different parameters. Results suggested that in the majority of locations, the TH, TDS, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and Cl were within the limit as decided by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for drinking purposes. The proportion of SO42− and PO43− was SO42− > PO43− mg/L in the majority of sampling locations. The Na+ was recorded in a high range 26.05 to 735.5 mg/L indicating Na-rich groundwater in this area. Fluoride ranged 1.59 to 5.07 mg/L in this region, higher than the than permissible range (1.5 mg/L). The NO3 was prominent anthropogenic mineral in groundwater. The suitability of groundwater for drinking and irrigation purposes was also calculated. The water quality index (WQI) suggests that about 80.3% sites have low quality water, unsuitable for drinking purposes. The suitability of groundwater for irrigation purposes was evaluated using SAR and LSI value, which revealed that in the majority of areas, the groundwater is unfit for surface irrigations. This study revealed that overall groundwater of Malwa Punjab is not suitable for drinking as well as agricultural purposes due to excess of some natural and anthropogenic chemicals. The long-term uses of such water could pose serious soil and human health issues in this regions.


Groundwater pollution Agricultural contaminants Health impacts Run-off Water quality 



S. Suthar is highly thankful to DST, Govt. of India, New Delhi, for providing financial assistance (No. SR/FTP/ES-28/2012) under Fast Track Young Scientist Scheme. Authors also acknowledge the facility provided by Doon University to conduct this research program.

Supplementary material

12517_2017_3355_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 26 kb)


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment & Natural ResourcesDoon UniversityDehradunIndia

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