Evaluation of Spatio-Temporal Changes in Water Quality in the Middle Section of Shatt Al-Arab River, Southern Iraq
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university of Basrah / college of science / Ecology department (PO Box 49)
Mohammad Salim Moyel   

university of Basrah / college of science / Ecology department (PO Box 49)
J. Ecol. Eng. 2023; 24(4):297–311
Shatt al-Arab river is the main water source in Basrah province, subjected to significant environmental and hydrological changes that have led to the complete degradation of its ecosystem, particularly the middle section. Nineteen water quality variables were selected to assess Spatio-temporal changes in the middle section. Eight variables were chosen with the most significant impact on Shatt al-Arab river water quality in calculating the water quality index (WQI). These variables were measured every month from December 2020 to November 2021at five observation stations (Abu-Flous, Mhela, Baradeyea and Maqal) located on the main river and one on the Karmat Ali canal, which connects the Shatt al-Arab river with east Hammar marsh. The study was divided into two seasons of the year, the wet season (December 2020 - May 2021) and the dry season (July2021-November 2021), in the calculation of the WQI and its annual calculation. The results of the current study show a deterioration in the values of most water quality variables, particularly those related to dissolved salts and organic and bacterial pollution. Water quality was also classified as poor on the WQI scale at all stations for the duration of the study. The results of the WQI indicated the deterioration in the quality of the water middle section, particularly during dry season. The degradation of the waters of the middle section of the Shatt al-Arab river is due to two main factors: increase salinity and organic pollution. In general, the Shatt al-Arab river and the middle section, in particular, need comprehensive management, including a clear and expeditious plan to identify and address the degradation of the river's environment, which has a great importance to all residents of Basrah province.