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Groundwater quality and vulnerability assessment in west Luxor Governorate, Egypt

AuthorsA. A. Salman , Mercedes Arauzo, A. A. Elnazer
KeywordsGroundwater vulnerability Nitrate Heavy metals Hydrogeological factors Land use Egypt
Issue Date2019
CitationGroundwater for Sustainable Development, 8 (2019), 271-280
AbstractGroundwater is the main source of water for different purposes in the desert areas of Egypt. The agricultural and different human activities in line with hydrological characteristics have influenced the quality of this water resource. The main aim of this work was the determination of groundwater quality and vulnerability to pollution in west Luxor Governorate, Egypt. For completion of this work, 50 boreholes were sampled during October 2014 and groundwater samples were analyzed chemically. Hydrological, topographic, lithological, climatic conditions and land use data, which considered key factors for pollutants transport, were also collected for building groundwater vulnerability maps. The results revealed high levels of groundwater pollution with NO3¯, Cd and Pb, as well as increased levels of total dissolved solids. The map of intrinsic groundwater vulnerability (based on the IV index; Arauzo 2017) showed medium and high levels of vulnerability associated with natural factors in 62% and 38% of the area, respectively. The map of specific groundwater vulnerability (based on the LU-IV procedure; Arauzo 2017) indicated that 52% of the area showed high to extreme levels of vulnerability to nitrate pollution from nonpoint sources. From this, it was concluded that the study area can be considered as Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) and, therefore, specific measures (including optimization of water and N-fertilizers applications) must be taken in order to restore water quality.
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