Spatio-temporal distribution and chemical characterization of groundwater quality of a wastewater irrigated system: a case study uri icon

abstract

  • Wastewater irrigation is a common livelihood practice in many parts of the developing world. With the continuous irrigation supply, groundwater systems in these regions perceive adverse impacts due to inadequate infrastructure to treat the wastewater. The current study area, Musi River irrigation system, is one such case study located in the peri-urban Hyderabad of South India. The Musi River water, which is used for irrigation, is composed of untreated and secondary treated wastewater from Hyderabad city. Kachiwani Singaram micro-watershed in the peri-urban Hyderabad is practicing wastewater irrigation for the last 40 years. The current quality of (untreated) wastewater used for irrigation is expected to have adverse impacts on the local aquifers, but detailed investigations are lacking. To elucidate the groundwater quality dynamics and seasonality of the wastewater irrigation impacts on the peri-urban agricultural system, we analyzed the groundwater quality on a monthly basis for one hydrological year in the wastewater and groundwater irrigated areas, which exist next to each other. The spatio-temporal variability of groundwater quality in the watershed was analyzed with respect to wastewater irrigation and seasonality using multivariate statistical analysis, multi-way modeling and self-organizing maps. This study indicates the significance of combining various statistical techniques for detailed evaluation of the groundwater processes in a wastewater irrigated agricultural system. The results suggest that concentrations of the major ionic substances increase after the monsoon season, especially in wastewater irrigated areas. Multi-way modeling identified the major polluted groundwaters to come from the wastewater irrigated parts of the watershed. Clusters of chemical variables identified by using self-organizing maps indicate that groundwater pollution is highly impacted by mineral interactions and long-term wastewater irrigation. The study recommends regular monitoring of water resources and development of sustainable management strategies to mitigate the aquifer pollution in wastewater irrigation systems. (c) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2018