In the Egyptian deserts, new land reclamation projects have been recently established to meet the increasing-population growth rate and food demand. These projects mainly depend on the different groundwater aquifers. El-Farafra Oasis is one of the "1.5-million-feddan reclamation project" areas recently established in the Western Desert of Egypt where the only available water source is the world's largest fossil freshwater reservoir "the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS)". Groundwater-dependent springs, and their artificial counterpart "drilled wells", are reliable water systems throughout the world. In the present study, hydrochemical parameters were collected in 2015 from 16 different springs and wells of the El-Farafra Oasis, and analyzed using the different water quality indices. The calculated water quality index (WQI), its correlations with the water quality parameters Gibbs, Piper, US Salinity-Lab Staff and Wilcox diagrams, and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) were used to evaluate the groundwater suitability for human drinking and irrigation purposes. WQI values revealed good-to-excellent groundwater quality for human drinking. In addition, the spring and well water samples investigated showed good indices for irrigation activities. Gibbs and Piper's diagrams were presented, with most samples falling into the rock-dominance category, and belonging to hydrogeochemical facies determining the following water types: Mg(HCO3)(2) type water (37.5% of the samples), no dominant ions (mixed water-type category; Ca/MgCl2) (50% of the samples), and, finally, NaCl water type (the remaining 12.5%). The groundwater chemistry in the study area is mainly controlled by rock-water interactions, particularly the dissolution of carbonate rocks and silicate weathering. The elevated nutrient concentrations, in particular nitrates, are most likely due to agricultural activities, indicating substantial anthropogenic activities in the area studied.

Chemical Quality and Hydrogeological Settings of the El-Farafra Oasis (Western Desert of Egypt) Groundwater Resources in Relation to Human Uses

Gargini, A;Cantonati, M
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

In the Egyptian deserts, new land reclamation projects have been recently established to meet the increasing-population growth rate and food demand. These projects mainly depend on the different groundwater aquifers. El-Farafra Oasis is one of the "1.5-million-feddan reclamation project" areas recently established in the Western Desert of Egypt where the only available water source is the world's largest fossil freshwater reservoir "the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS)". Groundwater-dependent springs, and their artificial counterpart "drilled wells", are reliable water systems throughout the world. In the present study, hydrochemical parameters were collected in 2015 from 16 different springs and wells of the El-Farafra Oasis, and analyzed using the different water quality indices. The calculated water quality index (WQI), its correlations with the water quality parameters Gibbs, Piper, US Salinity-Lab Staff and Wilcox diagrams, and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) were used to evaluate the groundwater suitability for human drinking and irrigation purposes. WQI values revealed good-to-excellent groundwater quality for human drinking. In addition, the spring and well water samples investigated showed good indices for irrigation activities. Gibbs and Piper's diagrams were presented, with most samples falling into the rock-dominance category, and belonging to hydrogeochemical facies determining the following water types: Mg(HCO3)(2) type water (37.5% of the samples), no dominant ions (mixed water-type category; Ca/MgCl2) (50% of the samples), and, finally, NaCl water type (the remaining 12.5%). The groundwater chemistry in the study area is mainly controlled by rock-water interactions, particularly the dissolution of carbonate rocks and silicate weathering. The elevated nutrient concentrations, in particular nitrates, are most likely due to agricultural activities, indicating substantial anthropogenic activities in the area studied.
2022
Saber, AA; Bhat, SU; Hamid, A; Gabrieli, J; Garamoon, H; Gargini, A; Cantonati, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/903924
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