Groundwater quality and suitability for irrigated agriculture in Bengal delta plain: A review

Md Golam Mostafa


Groundwater is the single largest source of irrigation water supply.  This review collected secondary data of hydro geochemical parameters and irrigation water quality indexes of groundwater from selected 11 Districts of Bangladesh for assessing the suitability of irrigation water. Several irrigation water quality indices, including soluble sodium percentage (SSP), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), magnesium adsorption ratio (MAR), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), Kelly’s ratio (KR), permeability index (PI), salinity hazard (SH), and irrigation water quality (IWQ) index evaluated the water quality for irrigation purpose. This study revealed that groundwater is mainly Ca-HCO3 type. Based on IWQ index, it observed that 25.5% of water samples are adequately suitable water type, whereas 33.5% of samples exhibited low suitability type, and the rest of the 41% are medium suitability for irrigation purposes. Besides, the analysis results showed that except for the coastal water, groundwater of the country is suitable for irrigation uses, and soil permeability is good enough. The values of SAR, SSP, RSBC, and MRI indicated that 31-64% of water samples are very good in position, whereas 5-20% is very poor or rejected for the uses of irrigation purposes. The results of TDS, EC, and TH showed good enough as 88-93% of water samples are falling in fair to excellent quality, and only 7-12% is poor or rejected for irrigation uses. The coastal water contains excess Na+ and Cl-, which makes the salinity hazard (SH) and unfit for irrigation uses. However, it expects that the study helps to give visions for improved management of the groundwater resources for agricultural purposes in Bangladesh.


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