Groundwater hydrogeochemical characteristics and quality suitability assessment for irrigation and drinking purposes in an agricultural region of the North China plain

Abstract

Eighty-one samples from both shallow and deep aquifers were collected and analyzed to reveal groundwater hydrogeochemical characteristics and estimate groundwater quality suitability for irrigation and drinking purposes based on groundwater quality indexes models including the sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), solute sodium percentage (%Na), magnesium hazard (MH), permeability index (PI) and health risk model. The results from groundwater quality suitability assessment indicated that shallow groundwater in the most part of the study region was suitable for irrigation regardless of EC, RSC and MH, while groundwater from the deep aquifer was suitable for irrigation purpose in nearly all parts of the study region. 24.49% and 14.29% of the deep groundwater sampling locations presented high fluoride (F) concentrations exceeded the Grade III value (1 mg/L) from Quality Standard for Groundwater of China and the maximum permissible value of 1.5 mg/L recommended by the WHO for drinking use, respectively. Non-carcinogens hazard quotient (HQ) values of NO3–N, NH4+–N, NO2–N, Fe, and Mn with the exception of F were all within the acceptable safety limit (HQ < 1). Efficient strategies and scientific decisions were suggested for groundwater resource protection and water quality improvements should be adopted for sustainable groundwater exploitation.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41877294) and the China Geological Survey (Grant No. DD20190679). This research obtained technical guidance and support from Observation and Research Station of Groundwater and Land Subsidence in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Plain. The authors would be also appreciated for valuable comments and advice given by the editors and anonymous reviewers.

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Zhao, X., Guo, H., Wang, Y. et al. Groundwater hydrogeochemical characteristics and quality suitability assessment for irrigation and drinking purposes in an agricultural region of the North China plain. Environ Earth Sci 80, 162 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-021-09432-w

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Keywords

  • Groundwater
  • Hydrogeochemical characteristics
  • Quality suitability assessment
  • Health risk assessment