Evaluating Quality Variation of Groundwater Resources in Marand Plain Using Unsupervised Combination Approach (GQI and GWQI Index)

Document Type : Research Article


1 University of Tabriz

2 Earth Sciences Department, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tabriz

3 Assistant Professor of Natural Faculty, University of Tabriz

4 University of Tehran


Marand aquifer is one of the large plains with extensive agricultural and industrial activities and it is categorized in critical aquifer class. One of the problems of groundwater decline is groundwater quality changes that affect how they are used and managed. Therefore, in this study, using 46 water samples from wells, qanats and springs in June 2014 and June 2017 and analyzing the parameters of main, secondary and rare ions to calculate the GQI and GWQI groundwater quality indices. According to the output maps of these two indicators, which show the difference in determining the quality of drinking water in the region, it was not possible to choose one of these two indicators to determine the drinking water capacity of the region. The two indicators used, in order to achieve a single map, the method of unsupervised combination was introduced and used. The results indicate that a higher CI than the results of the two indicators. The results showed that Marand plain is in the middle and acceptable classes in terms of GWQI and GQI index. The highest and lowest GWQI and GQI indices were observed in the south and northwest of the plain, respectively. Comparison of drinking water quality index maps of the study area in 2014 and 2017 shows that in 2017 the area of plain, indicates a decrease in water quality over the last 5 years.


[1]. Shanmugam Packialakshmi, Ambujam N.K. A Hydrochemical and Geological Investigation on the Mambakkam Mini Watershed, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu. J.Environmental Monitoring and Assessment May. 2012; 184(5):3293-306.
[2]. Adepelumi, A., B.D.Ako, T.R.Ajayi, O. Afolabi, and E.J. Omotoso. Delineation of saltwater intrusion into the freshwater aquifer of Lekki Peninsula, Lagos, Nigeria, Environ. Geol.2009; 56,5. 927–933.
[3]. Mosaferi, M., Shakerkhatibi, M., Dastgiri, S., Asghari Jafar-abadi, M., Khataee, A., & Sheykholeslami, S. Natural arsenic pollution and hydrochemistry of drinking water of an urban part of Iran. Avicenna Journal of Environmental Health Engineering. 2014; 1(1):164–173.
[4]. Singh, EJ. Gupta, A. and Singh, NR. Groundwater quality in Imphal West district, Manipur,India, with multivariate statistical analysis of data. Environmental Science and Pollution Research Int. 2013; 20:2421-2434.
[5]. Amangabara G T, Ejenma E. Groundwater quality assessment of Yenagoa and environs Bayelsa State, Nigeria between 2010 and 2011. 2012; 2(2):20–29.
[6]. Freeze R A, Cherry J A. Groundwater. Prentice-Hall Inc New Jersey.1979.
[7]. Lobato, TC., Hauser-Davis, R.A., Oliveira, T.F., Silveira, A.M., Silva, H.A.N, Tavares, M.R.M. Construction of a novel water quality index and quality indicator for reservoir water quality evaluation: a case study in the amazon region. J Hydrol. 2015; 522(6)74-83.
[8]. Giordani G, Zaldívar JM, Viaroli P. Simple tools for assessing water quality and trophic status in transitional water ecosystems. Ecol Indic. 2009; 9(9):82-91.
[9]. Fernández-Cavia, J., Rovira, C., Díaz-Luque, P., Cavaller, V. Water quality index (WQI) for official tourist destination websites. Proposal for an assessment system. Tourism Manage Prospect. 2014; 9:5-13.
[10]. Terrado, M., Barceló, D., Tauler, R., Borrell, E., De Campos, S., Barceló, D. Surface-water-quality indices for the analysis of data generated by automated sampling networks. Trends Anal Chem, 2010; 29:40-52.
[11]. Hurley T., Sadiq, R., Mazumder, A. Adaptation and evaluation of the Canadian council of ministers of the environment water quality index (CCME WQI) for use as an effective tool to characterize drinking source water quality. Water Res. 2012; 46(35):44-52.
[12]. Tziritis, E., Panagopoulos, A., Arampatzis, G. Development of an operational index of water quality (PoS) as a versatile tool to assist groundwater resources management and strategic planning. J Hydrol. 2014; 517:339-50.
[13]. Yidana, S.M., Banoeng-Yakubo, B., Akabzaa, T.M. Analysis of groundwater quality using multivariate and spatial analyses in the Keta basin, Ghana. J Afr Earth Sci, 2010; 58:220-34.
[14]. Simoes, F. S., Moreira, A. B., Bisinoti, M. C., S. Gimenez, M. N. and Yabe, M. J. S. Water Quality Index as a Simple Indicator of Aquaculture Effects on Aquatic Bodies. Ecological Indicators. 2008; 8(5): 476- 484.
[15]. Horton, R.K. An index number system for rating water quality. Water Pollution Control Federation. 1965; 37(3):300–305.
[16]. Latha, S., and Rao, N. Assessment and Spatial Distribution of Quality of Groundwater in Zone II and III, Greater Visakhapatnam, India Using Water Quality Index (WQI) and GIS. International Journal of Environmental Science, 2010; 1(2):198-212.
[17]. Sharma, N.D., and Patel, J.N. Evaluation of groundwater quality index of the urban segments of Surat City, India. International Journal of Geology, 2010; 1(4):1-4.
[18]. WHO (World Health Organization). Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, Second addendum, Vol. 1, Recommendations, -3rd ed., ISBN 9789241547604. 2008; 1-515.
[19]. Babiker, I. S., Mohamed, M. A. A., Hiyama, T. Assessing groundwater quality using GIS, Water Resources Management. 2007; 21,699–715.
[20]. Bordalo, A. A., W. Nilsumranchit, and K. ChalermwatWater Quality and Uses of the Bangpakongriver (Eastern Thailand): Water Res. 2001; 15(35): 3642- 3635.
[21]. Mishra, P.C. and R.K. Patel. Study of the Pollution Load in the Drinkingwater of Rairangpur, a Small Tribal Dominatedtown of North Orissa. Indian J. Environment and Ecoplanning. 2001; 5(2):293-298.
[22]. Reza, R., and Sing, G. Assessment of groundwater quality status by using water quality index method in Orissa, India. World Applied Sciences Journal. 2010; 9(12):1392-1397.
[23]. Machiwal , D. and Jha., M.K. Identifying sources of groundwater contamination in a hard-rock aquifer system using multivariate statistical analyses and GIS-based geostatistical modeling techniques.Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies,,Part A. 2015; 1131-1143.
[24]. Stigter T.Y., Ribeiro L., Carvalho Dill A. M. M. Application of a groundwater quality index as an assessment and communication tool in agro-environmental policies-Two Portuguese case studies", Journal of Hydrology. 2006; 578-591.
[25]. Joodavi, A., Zare, M. Introduction of GQI index to evaluate groundwater quality for drinking water purposes.Twenty-seventh Conference of Earth Sciences and Thirteenth Conference of the Geological Society of Iran. 2010 Feb 20; 4-22 [Persian]
[26]. Rahmani, Gh., Chitsazan, M., Zarehsefat, M and Kalantari., N. Evaluation of groundwater quality of Izeh Pion plain in terms of drinking water using GQI index, 4th Iranian Water Resources Management Conference, AmirKabir University of Technology. 2011. [Persian]
[27]. Soleimani, S., Mahmoudi Qaraei, M. H., Qasemzadeh, F., Sayareh, A. Investigation of qualitative changes in water resources west of the Red Mountain using GQI quality index in GIS environment. Journal of Earth Sciences. Fall 2013; 23(89):175-182. [Persian]
[28]. Saeedi M., Abessi O., Sharifi F., Meraji H. Development of groundwater quality index. Environ Monit Assess. 2010;163:327-335.
[29]. Mir Arabi, A., Jamali, M., Mahmoudi Sivand, S. and Godrat, M. Zoning of drinking water quality through quality index in GIS environment, National Conference on Water with Clean Water Approach, Shahid Beheshti University - Shahid Abbaspour Technical and Engineering Campus. 2010. [Persian]
[30]. Khosravi, H. Heydari, A. Nasabpour, S. Study of temporal and spatial changes of groundwater quality in Yazd-Ardakan plain using GQI index, Journal of Geographical Information (Sepehr), Winter 2020; 26(104). [Persian]
[31]. Shahidi, A., and Khadempour, F. Investigation of groundwater quality status of forest plain of Khorasan Razavi province using GWQI and AWQI indices and its zoning with GIS. Hydrogeomorphology. 2021; 6(22):1-20. [Persian]
[32]. East Azerbaijan Regional Water Company Report on the status of groundwater resources, including wells, springs and aqueducts Study areas.2021. [Persian]
[33]. Nabavi, M. H. An introduction to the geology of Iran. Geological Publications of the country. 1977. [Persian]
[34]. Geological Survey of Iran. Map of Tabriz-Poldasht with Scale 1: 250,000. 1994. [Persian]
[35]. East Azerbaijan Regional Water Company. Report on the prohibition of exploitation of groundwater resources in Marand study area, publication number 2161. 2021. [Persian]
[36]. Rice, E.W., Baird R.B., Eaton, A.D. Stndard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 23RD Edition. American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation ISBN: 9780875532875. 2017.
[37]. ISIRI. Water- The preservation and handling of water samples- Code of practice, ISIRI number 9886. available: http://www.isiri.org/. 2009.
[38]. Bouyoucos G. J. Hydrometer method improved for making particle size analysis of soils, Agron. 1962; 56, 464-465.
[39]. Condon, M.R., Traver, R.G., Fergusson, W.B. and Chadderton, R.A. Parameter Estimation for a Groundwater Model. Water Resource Bulletin.1993; (29):36-4.
[40]. EPA. Standard Operating Procedure for
Groundwater Sampling. New England: The Office of Environmental Measurement and Evaluation.2003.
[41]. DES. Nitrate and Nitrite: Health Information Summary; Environmental Fact Sheet. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. ARD-EHP-16. 2006.
[42]. Hammer, M.J. Water and Wastewater Technology. Prentice-Hall International Inc., 2nd ed., New Jersey.1986.
[43]. Hiyama,T. Evalution of groundwater vulnerability(and susta inability),20th UNESCO. IHP DOL 10.107/S 11269-006-9059-6. 2010.
[44]. Dashti Barmaki, M., Rezaei, M., Saberi Nasr, A. Evaluation of Groundwater Quality Index (GQI) in Lenjanat aquifer using GIS, Journal of Engineering Geology. Summer 2014; 8(2):21-38. [Persian]
[45]. Babai, Y., Alavi Moghaddam, M., Qasemzadeh, F., Arbabzvar, M.H. Arsenic contamination of ground- water in the Kashmar Koohsorkh. Environmental Science and Technology. 2007; 10(3):31-5. [Persian].
[46]. Housseini, D., M. Coulibaly and Rodriguez, J. Development of performance indicators for amall Quebec drinking water utilities. Environmental Management. 2004; 73(3):243-255.
[47]. Goher, ME., Hassan, AM., Abdel-Moniem, AH., El-sayed, SM. Evaluation of surface water quality and heavy metal indices of Ismailia canal, Nile River, Egypt. Egypt J Aqua Res. 2014; 40(2):25-33.
[48]. Chander Kumar, S., Satyanarayan, Sh., Saumitra, M., Rina, k. Application of GWQI to assess effect of land use change on groundwater quality in lower Shiwaliks of Punjab: remote Sensing and GIS based approach. Water Resource management. 2011; (25): 1881-98.
[49]. Fijani, E., Nadiri, A. A., Moghaddam, A. A., Tsai, F. T. C., Dixon, B. Optimization of DRASTIC method by supervised committee machine artificial intelligence to assess groundwater vulnerability for Maragheh–Bonab plain aquifer, Iran. Journal of Hydrology.2013; 503, 89-100.
Volume 8, Issue 4
April 2022
Pages 1061-1080
  • Receive Date: 10 May 2021
  • Revise Date: 31 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 31 January 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 February 2022