A GIS mapping assessment of the suitability of the Oued Rmel aquifer for irrigation in the Zaghouan district (north-eastern Tunisia)

  • Meriem Ameur
  • Fadoua Hamzaoui-Azaza
  • Lilia Ben Cheikha
  • Toqeer Ahmed
  • Moncef Gueddari
Original Article


A total of twenty-three water samples were collected in winter 2013 to assess groundwater quality in the Oued Rmel aquifer in the Zaghouan governate in Tunisia. These samples were subject to in-field measurements of some physico-chemical parameters (temperature, pH, and salinity), and laboratory analysis of major elements. Several parameters were used to assess the quality of water destined for irrigation, including electrical conductivity (EC) and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR). As part of this work, GIS was used to study spatial distributions of SAR, EC, residual sodium carbonate, sodium percentage (%Na), Doneen’s permeability index, Kelly’s ratio, and magnesium hazard and, therefore, evaluated the water quality of Oued Rmel (good, fair, or poor) regarding irrigation. The major ions most abundantly found in the waters of Oued Rmel were in the following order: Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ and Cl > SO42− > HCO3. 56% of water samples from the Oued Rmel aquifer showed a low alkalinization risk, where SAR was lower than 10, 39% have a medium soil destabilization risks (10 < SAR < 18), and just 5% indicated high alkalinity hazards (SAR > 26). Samples of water intended for irrigation showed a medium to high sodicity and alkalinization risk. It is expected that output may help in assessing the impacts of water quality of the Oued Rmel aquifer used for irrigation.


GIS Water resources Water quality for irrigation Oued Rmel aquifer Tunisia 



The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to the Regional Direction of Agriculture and Water Resources of Zaghouan (North-eastern Tunisia) and the Resources Water Direction of Tunis (DGRE) for their valuable aid during the sampling campaigns.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meriem Ameur
    • 1
  • Fadoua Hamzaoui-Azaza
    • 1
  • Lilia Ben Cheikha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Toqeer Ahmed
    • 3
  • Moncef Gueddari
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit of Geochemistry and Environmental Geology, Faculty of Sciences of TunisUniversity of Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia
  2. 2.National Center for Nuclear Sciences and TechnologiesSidi ThabetTunisia
  3. 3.Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD)Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT)IslamabadPakistan

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