Assessment of shallow groundwater quality in the Guelma-Bouchegouf irrigated perimeter (North-eastern Algeria)

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Research Paper 01/05/2018
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Assessment of shallow groundwater quality in the Guelma-Bouchegouf irrigated perimeter (North-eastern Algeria)

Mounira Touati, Moussa Benhamza, Laroussi Beloulou
J. Bio. Env. Sci.12( 5), 250-257, May 2018.
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Extending about 80km from East to West, the irrigated Guelma-Bouchegouf perimeter is located in the North-east of Algeria. It has been promoted since 1996 as an irrigable area of ​​9250 hectares (ha). It spans over both banks of the Seybouse Wadi and is subdivided into five independent units. It contains a shallow water table aquifer that is vulnerable to pollution from anthropogenic sources. In order to assess groundwater quality, physicochemical and organic analyzes were carried out during the low flow period (October 2017) at fourteen shallow wells within the Guelma-Bouchegouf irrigation area. Chemical analyzes results show that the study area is dominated by chloride-calcium, sulphate-calcium and chloride-sulphate-calcium water types. The overall mineralization is controlled by several phenomena such as soil leaching and evaporation process during high and low flow periods, respectively, acid hydrolysis of underlying rocks and human activities in the area. From a quality point of view, groundwater is moderately to highly contaminated by major elements (Mg2+, Na+, Ca2+, Cl, SO42-), nitrogen compounds (NO3, NO2, NH4+) and phosphates (PO43-) due mainly to the presence of salt rich evaporitic formations, on one hand, and intensive agricultural activities, on the other. It is expected that results of this work will help decision makers to take proper actions to protect soil and groundwater quality in the study area.


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