This is a preview and has not been published.

An evaluation of waste and well water quality for agriculture production around Erbil city, Iraq


  • Abdulqader M. Youni Department of Health and Environmental Science, College of Sciences, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Iraq
  • Dlshad A. Darwesh Department of Health and Environmental Science, College of Sciences, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Iraq.



Agriculture land; Trace elements; Irrigation wastewater and well water; Water quality indices


Erbil city is located in the northern Iraq with a population of over one million people. Due to water crises farmers usually use wastewater and well water for the agricultural production. In this study six stations were designed to sample waste water and three from well water to define waste water and ground water characteristics. In this study, Residual Na+ Carbonate, Mg++ hazard, salinity hazard, Kelley index, %sodium, total hardness, permeability index, potential salinity, sodium adsorption ratio, and Irrigation Water Quality Index (IWQI) were determined. The order of average cation concentrations in water was Mg2+> Ca2+ > Na+ > K+. While the proportion of main anions in water were HCO3 >SO4 > Cl. The highest concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+ and Na+ were found in well water, while the highest concentration of K+ was found in wastewater. The maximum concentration of HCO3 and Cl recorded in well water, while the highest concentration SO4 recorded in wastewater. Moreover, the order of trace elements was Pb > Al > Fe > Cd > As > Mn >Cr > Ag > Ni. Keeping in mind metal concentration set by  US EPA and FAO (1999) and (1994) guidelines the levels of Pb, Al, Fe, Mn, Cr, Ag and Ni in the waste and well water were within the admissible limitations  for irrigation schemes. Moreover, limitations of As and Cd were beyond permissible limitation need to be reduced.  The IWQI ranged from 88.92 to 95.09 in the waste water samples. Overall assessment reveals that cultivated agriculture plants were secured from toxic compounds.


Download data is not yet available.


Bhuyan M, Bakar M, Sharif A, Hasan M, Islam M. Water quality assessment using water quality indicators and multivariate analyses of the old Brahmaputra River. Pollut. 2018; 4: 481–93.

El-Chaghaby G, Rashad S, Abdul Moneem M. Seasonal variation and correlation between the physical, chemical and microbiological parameters of Nile water in selected area in Egypt (Case study): Physical, chemical and microbiological parameters of Nile water. Baghdad Sci J. 2020; 17(4): 1160-1168.

Bano I, Arshad M. Climatic changes impact on water availability. Perspectives on water usage for biofuels production: Springer; 2018. p. 39-54.

Tariq F. Trace elements concentration in vegetables irrigated with municipal wastewater and their human daily intake in Erbil city. Environ. Nanotechnol. Monit. Manag.. 2021; 16: 100475.

Canter LW. River water quality monitoring. CRC Press.‏ 2018. 165pp.

Ighalo JO, Adeniyi AG, Marques G. Artificial intelligence for surface water quality monitoring and assessment: a systematic literature analysis. Model. Earth Syst Environ. 2021; 7(2): 669-81.

Saravanan A, Kumar PS, Jeevanantham S, Karishma S, Tajsabreen B, Yaashikaa P, et al. Effective water/wastewater treatment methodologies for toxic pollutants removal: Processes and applications towards sustainable development. Chemosphere. 2021; 280: 130595.

Qarani S. Variation of Erbil municipal wastewater characteristics throughout 26 years (1994-2020) with possible treatments and reusing: A review. IOP Conf Ser Mater Sci Eng. 2020.

El-Amier YA, Elsayed A, El-Esawi MA, Noureldeen A, Darwish H, Fakhry H. Optimizing the biosorption behavior of Ludwigia stolonifera in the removal of lead and chromium metal ions from synthetic wastewater. Sustainability. 2021; 13(11): 6390.

El-Amier YA, Bonanomi G, Al-Rowaily SL, Abd-Elgawad AM. Ecological risk assessment of trace elements along three main drains in Nile Delta and potential phytoremediation by macrophyte plants. Plants. 2020; 9(7).

Zaman M, Shahid SA, Heng L. Guideline for salinity assessment, mitigation and adaptation using nuclear and related techniques: Springer Nature; 2018: 164

Horton RK. An index number system for rating water quality. J Water Pollut Control Fed. 1965;37(3):300-6.

Das Kangabam R, Bhoominathan SD, Kanagaraj S, Govindaraju M. Development of a water quality index (WQI) for the Loktak Lake in India. Appl Water Sci. 2017; 7(6): 2907-18.

Shil S, Singh UK, Mehta P. Water quality assessment of a tropical river using water quality index (WQI), multivariate statistical techniques and GIS. Appl Water Sci. 2019: 9(7): 1-21

Greenberg A E. Standard methods for the examination of the examination of water and wastewater. Am Public Health Association. 1998.

Doneen, L.D. Notes on Water Quality in Agriculture; Department of Water Science and Engineering, University of California: Oakland, CA, USA, 1964. [Google Scholar]

Richards LA. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. Soil Sci. 1954; 78(2):154.

Roy S, Akhtaruzzaman M, Nath B. Spatio-seasonal variations of salinity and associated chemical properties in the middle section of Karnaphuli river water, Chittagong, Bangladesh using laboratory analysis and GIS technique. Int J Environ Sci Dev. 2020: 11(8): 372–82.

Ravikumar P, Somashekar R, Angami M. Hydrochemistry and evaluation of groundwater suitability for irrigation and drinking purposes in the Markandeya River basin, Belgaum District, Karnataka State, India. Environ Monit Assess. 2011; 173(1), 459-87.

Paliwal KV. Effect of fertilizers and manure on the growth and chemical composition of maize irrigated with different quality waters. Indian J Agron. 1971; 16: 316–21.

Pivić R, Maksimović J, Dinić Z, Jaramaz D, Majstorović H, Vidojević D, et al. Hydrochemical Assessment of Water Used for Agricultural Soil Irrigation in the Water Area of the Three Morava Rivers in the Republic of Serbia. Agronomy. 2022; 12(5): 1177.

Kelly W. Permissible composition and concentration of irrigated waters. Proceedings of the ASCF66. 1940; 607.

Durfor CN, Becker E. Public Water Supplies of the 100 Largest Cities in the United States. Boston, MA, USA: US Government Printing Office; Circular 1962.

Wilcox L. Classification and Use of Irrigation Waters. circular. 1955; 969 Washington, DC, USA.

Eaton FM. Significance of carbonates in irrigation waters. Soil science. 1950; 69(2): 123–34.

Meireles A, Andrade EM, Chaves L, Frischkorn H, Crisostomo LA. A new proposal of the classification of irrigation water. Cienc Agron. 2010; 3(41): 349–57.

Ayers RS, Westcot DW. Water Quality for Agriculture; FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper. Rome, Italy; 1985. Water quality for agriculture (

Bernardo, S. Manual of Irrigation. (4th ed), Vicosa: UFV;1995, 488p.

Holanda J S, Amorim, J A. Management and control salinity and irrigated agriculture water: Congresso Brasileiro de Engenharia setting, Campina Grande. 1997; 26: 137–69.

Bouderbala A, Gharbi BY. Hydrogeochemical characterization and groundwater quality assessment in the intensive agricultural zone of the Upper Cheliff plain, Algeria. Environ. Earth Sci.. 2017; 76(21): 1-17.

WHO. Guidelines For Drinking Water Quality, addendum 4th ed.;World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland,. 2017. Guidelines for drinking-water quality, 4th edition, incorporating the 1st addendum (

Zhang W, Ma L, Abuduwaili J, Ge Y, Issanova G, Saparov G. Hydrochemical characteristics and irrigation suitability of surface water in the Syr Darya River, Kazakhstan. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2019; 191(9): 1-17.

FAO. Water Quality for Agriculture. Irrigation and Drainage; Food and Agriculture Organization: Rome, Italy, 1994. Water quality for agriculture (

Todd D, Mays L. Groundwater Hydrology, 3rd ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 2005.

Tiwari AK, Ghione R, De Maio M, Lavy M. Evaluation of hydrogeochemical processes and groundwater quality for suitability of drinking and irrigation purposes: a case study in the Aosta Valley region, Italy. Arab J Geosci.. 2017; 10(12): 1-18.

Barik R, Pattanayak SK. Assessment of groundwater quality for irrigation of green spaces in the Rourkela city of Odisha, India. Groundw Sustain Dev. 2019; 8: 428–38.

Hussien BM. Determination of Lateral Hydraulic Connection of the Regional Aquifers in the Western Desert-Iraq using Hydrochemical and Hydrogeological data. Iraqi J Sci. 2018: 534-51.

Piper AM. A graphic procedure in the geochemical interpretation of water‐analyses. Eos, Trans Am Geophys Union. 1944; 25(6): 914-28.

Khanoranga, Khalid S. An assessment of groundwater quality for irrigation and drinking purposes around brick kilns in three districts of Balochistan province, Pakistan, through water quality index and multivariate statistical approaches. J Geochem Explor. 2019; 197: 14–26.

Hwang JY, Park S, Kim M-s, Jo H-J, Lee G-m, Shin IK, et al. Applications of hydrochemical models for the assessment of groundwater. Environ Nat Resour Res. 2017; 20(3): 156-73.

Shaji E, Santosh M, Sarath KV, Prakash P, Deepchand V, Divya BV. Arsenic contamination of groundwater: A global synopsis with focus on the Indian Peninsula. Geosci Front. 2021; 12(3): 101079.

‏Esposito F, Nardone A, Fasano E, Scognamiglio G, Esposito D, Agrelli D. A systematic risk characterization related to the dietary exposure of the population to potentially toxic elements through the ingestion of fruit and vegetables from a potentially contaminated area. A case study: The issue of the" Land of Fires" area in Campania region. Environ Pollut. 2018; 243: 1781–90.

Zhang L, Qin X, Tang J, Liu W, Yang H. Review of arsenic geo-chemical characteristics and its significance on arsenic pollution studiesin karst groundwater, Southwest China. Appl Geochem. 2017; 77:80–88

Ememu AJ, Nwankwoala HO. Application of Water Quality Index (Wqi) For Agricultural and Irrigatio nal Use Around Okpoko, Southeastern Nigeria. Eng. Herit J. (GWK). 2018; 2(1): 14–8.

EPA U. Screening level ecological risk assessment protocol for hazardous waste combustion facilities, appendix E: toxicity reference values. Editors. 1999. Ecological Risk Assessment | Combustion | Wastes | US EPA

Reimann C, Filzmoser P, Hron K, Kynčlová P, Garrett RG. A new method for correlation analysis of compositional (environmental) data-a worked example. Sci Total Environ. 2017; 607 :965–71.

Tanvir Rahman MA, Saadat AHM, Islam M, Al-Mansur M, Ahmed S. Groundwater characterization and selection of suitable water type for irrigation in the western region of Bangladesh. Appl Water Sci. 2017; 7(1):2 33–43.

Kayembe JM, Periyasamy S. Assessment of water quality and time accumulation of trace elements in the sediments of tropical urban rivers: case of Bumbu River and Kokolo Canal, Kinshasa City, Democratic Republic of the Congo. J African Earth Sci. 2018; 147: 536–43.

Jia Z, Li S, Liu Q, Jiang F, Hu J. Distribution and partitioning of trace elements in water and sediments of a typical estuary (Modaomen, South China): The effect of water density stratification associated with salinity. Environ Pollut. 2021; 287: 117277.

He L, Hu W, Wang X, Liu Y, Jiang Y, Meng Y, et al. Analysis of heavy metal contamination of agricultural soils and related effect on population health-A case study for East River basin in China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020; 17(6): 1996.

Kaiser HF. The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educ Psychol Meas. 1960; 20(1): 141–51.

Manzoor J, Sharma M, Wani KA. Trace elements in vegetables and their impact on the nutrient quality of vegetables: A review. J Plant Nutr. 2018; 41(13): 1744–63.

Kilunga PI, Sivalingam P, Laffite A. Accumulation of toxic metals and organic micro-pollutants in sediments from tropical urban rivers, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chemosphere. 2017; 179: 37–48.

Deng Y, Wang M, Tian T, Lin S, Xu P, Zhou L, et al. The effect of hexavalent chromium on the incidence and mortality of human cancers: A meta-analysis based on published epidemiological cohort studies. Front Oncol. 2019; 9:24.

Loomis D, Guha N, Hall AL, Straif K. Identifying occupational carcinogens: an update from the IARC Monographs. J. Occup Environ Med. 2018; 75(8): 593–03.

Xu P, Feng W, Qian H, Zhang Q. Hydrogeochemical characterization and irrigation quality assessment of shallow groundwater in the Central-Western Guanzhong Basin, China. International J Environ Public Health 2019; 16(9): 1492.

Tahmasebi P, Mahmudy-Gharaie MH, Ghassemzadeh F, Karimi Karouyeh A. Assessment of groundwater suitability for irrigation in a gold mine surrounding area, NE Iran. Environ Earth Sci . 2018;77(22).1-12

Malakar A, Snow DD, Ray C. Irrigation water quality—A contemporary perspective. Water (Basel). 2019;11(7):1482.

De las Heras J, Mañas P. Reclaimed wastewater to irrigate Olive groves and vineyards: Effects on soil properties. Agronomy (Basel) [Internet]. 2020; 10(5): 649.

Xie F, Cai HJ, Zhao CX, Wang ZS, Wang J, Xu JT. Chemical Properties of the Groundwater in Jing Huiqu Irrigation District and Their Response to Irrigation Using Water from Different Sources. J Irrig Drain. 2017; 36: 77–82.

Li R, Chen N, Zhang X, Zeng L, Wang X, Tang S, et al. Quantitative analysis of agricultural drought propagation process in the Yangtze River Basin by using cross wavelet analysis and spatial autocorrelation. J Agric Meteorol. 2020; 280: 107809.

Shekha YA, Ali LA-Q, Toma JJ. Assessment of water quality and trophic status of Duhok Lake Dam. Baghdad Sci J. 2017; 14(2): 335-42.