Effects on Drinking Water Quality Due to Irrigation in the Koga area of Merawi, Ethiopia

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper

Abstract: Water quality is an important issue in the whole world. Many countries suffer from periodic drought therefore water conservation is a major concern in these countries. By changing the natural water flow, the living conditions for many people changes. Irrigation is one of many ways to try to control the water sources and resources. One example of an irrigation project is located in Merawi in northern Ethiopia. In 2011, a 7030 hectare basin, with irrigation channels, was built. This gave the people there yearround water for their agricultural needs. There is a relationship between irrigation and groundwater levels. Irrigation causes the groundwater table to rise and that in turn makes the groundwater more exposed to chemicals from the surface. This can be a problem when groundwater is used for drinking water. In March 2013 a field study was conducted to investigate the chemical composition of the irrigation water and the drinking water in this area. Only a limited number of water samples could be taken, but field work and lab results in combination with literature have shown strong evidence that the surface water is mixing with the groundwater and may therefore affect the groundwater quality

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