Assessing Water Quality of Kufranja Dam (Jordan) for Drinking and Irrigation: Application of the Water Quality Index
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Water, Energy and Environment Center, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
Publication date: 2021-10-01
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Mahmoud Abualhaija   

Water, Energy and Environment Center, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942 Jordan
J. Ecol. Eng. 2021; 22(9):159-175
The current study was undertaken to assess the physicochemical quality of the Kufranja dam (KD) surface water in northern Jordan during the summer and winter seasons (2019). The samples were analyzed for temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, major cations, major anions, and heavy metals. Most of the physicochemical parameters exhibited a similar spatial distribution, where the maximum concentrations were observed at the dam’s entrance, while the minimum concentrations were recorded at the dam’s end. This indicates that the factors affecting their occurrence and distribution are the same, including natural discharges from the surrounding catchment areas, weathering products, agricultural activities, and wastewater effluents that enter the dam via Wadi Kufranja. All the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals in KD water lie below the maximum permissible levels of the Jordanian and international standards for drinking and irrigation, except for EC values that are above WHO standards for drinking. The application of the water quality index (WQI) depicts that the KD water is chemically unsuitable for use in drinking and needs proper treatment before use. The irrigation indices (SAR, Na%, and MH) indicate that the KD water is chemically suitable for irrigation, whereas EC results and USSL diagram showed that the dam’s water is suitable for irrigation and belongs to the categories of good to permissible for irrigation. Therefore, KD water is suitable for irrigation of most soils (except soils with low salt tolerance). Crops with good salt tolerance are recommended and a special treatment of salinity might be required.
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