Hydrochemical dynamics of water quality for irrigation use and introducing a new water quality index incorporating multivariate statistics

Abstract

Anthropogenic contamination, including the adaptation of sophisticated agricultural methodologies, has rendered a steep decline in the water and soil quality across the globe. This, in turn, has adversely affected the crop productivity. Hence, to utilize water from a source, a review assessment regarding the water suitability is essential. The present study proposes a new irrigation-based water quality index (IWQI), integrating statistics; hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA), to specific water use. Twenty-three sampling locations were chosen for analyses of 13 water quality parameters from October 2017 to February 2019 from Deepor Beel, Assam, to determine the efficacy of the proposed water quality index. HCA divided the 23 locations into 3 clusters, after which, PCA for each independent cluster provided component scores. These component scores were then used to estimate weights for each parameter for all the 23 locations. The IWQI categorized all the sampling locations as “Very Good”, thereby rendering them fit for irrigation. This was validated through the use of various irrigation parameters, such as sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), Kelly’s ratio (KR), soluble sodium percentage (SSP), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), permeability index (PI), and magnesium adsorption ratio (MgR). USSL and Wilcox plots were also considered for the correlation. IWQI was observed to provide an excellent association with all the parameters. Thus, the study would prove fruitful in establishing long-term and extensive management plans to the conservation of natural water resources.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions which helped improve the quality of the manuscript significantly.

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SD: conceptualization, methodology, investigation, data curation, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. ASK: conceptualization, methodology, investigation, writing—review and editing.

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Correspondence to Siddhant Dash.

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Dash, S., Kalamdhad, A.S. Hydrochemical dynamics of water quality for irrigation use and introducing a new water quality index incorporating multivariate statistics. Environ Earth Sci 80, 73 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-020-09360-1

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Keywords

  • Water quality index
  • Irrigation water use
  • Multivariate statistical methods
  • Sustainable management
  • Water resources