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01.09.2012 | Ausgabe 3/2012

Environmental Management 3/2012

A Gis-Based Assessment of Groundwater Suitability for Irrigation Purposes in Flat Areas of the Wet Pampa Plain, Argentina

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Management > Ausgabe 3/2012
Autoren:
Asunción Romanelli, María Lourdes Lima, Orlando Mauricio Quiroz Londoño, Daniel Emilio Martínez, Héctor Enrique Massone

Abstract

The Pampa in Argentina is a large plain with a quite obvious dependence on agriculture, water availability and its quality. It is a sensitive environment due to weather changes and slope variations. Supplementary irrigation is a useful practice for compensating the production in the zone. However, potential negative impacts of this type of irrigation in salinization and sodification of soils are evident. Most conventional methodologies for assessing water irrigation quality have difficulties in their application in the region because they do not adjust to the defined assumptions for them. Consequently, a new GIS-based methodology integrating multiparametric data was proposed for evaluating and delineating groundwater suitability zones for irrigation purposes in flat areas. Hydrogeological surveys including water level measurements, groundwater samples for chemical analysis and electrical conductivity (EC) measurements were performed. The combination of EC, sodium adsorption ratio, residual sodium carbonate, slopes and hydraulic gradient parameters generated an irrigation water index (IWI). With the integration of the IWI 1 to 3 classes (categories of suitable waters for irrigation) and the aquifer thickness the restricted irrigation water index (RIWI) was obtained. The IWI′s index application showed that 61.3 % of the area has “Very high” to “Moderate” potential for irrigation, while the 31.4 % of it has unsuitable waters. Approximately, 46 % of the tested area has high suitability for irrigation and moderate groundwater availability. This proposed methodology has advantages over traditional methods because it allows for better discrimination in homogeneous areas.

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