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قسم علوم الأرض

Ali A. Obeed Al-Azawi1             Ayser Mohammed Al-Shamma'a2

1 General Commission of Groundwater E-mail:

2 University of Baghdad, College of Science, Dept. of Earth Science E-mail:




Introduction: This paper contributes by examining historical patterns of water use in a regional aquifer as well as reviewing measures to promote quality groundwater use for irrigation in the Salhubia Basin, Iraq.

In south Iraq, semiarid and arid regions with low precipitation and high potential of evapotranspiration are abundant. Rapid investment growth through last years, increased irrigation, and industrial development during the past decades have caused an increasing demand on water resources in semiarid and arid regions.


The hydrochemical of groundwater is an important factor in determining its use for different patterns such as agriculture, industry, livestock ranches and household activities. The degradation of groundwater quality is generally a natural process occurrence and other anthropogenic influences.

Al-Salhubia area is considered one of the good areas in Al-Samawa Governorate, where it depend on groundwater in possessing different economic activities such as agriculture, industry, and livestock breeding for pastoral purposes. Groundwater is regarded as the only essential source for water in the area and is available in both good quality and quantity. Water users in that region have been dependent on groundwater quality and use to meet their needs for water-related irrigation. For that reason, groundwater quality at Al-Salhubia basin is the main water source to irrigation and other uses.  Especially for the period 2007-2015, water-using investments were undertaken this region for many purposes. The most important purposes include development of cropping areas.

The suitability of groundwater for irrigation depends on the plant's ability to withstand the groundwater salinity. Therefore, the water quality plays a significant role in agriculture. There are many problems that originated during use of water for irrigation, especially; different parameters including salinity, infiltration and permeability due to other factors effect on sensitive crops, so, the groundwater that contain on high ratio from salt will effects on crop growth. As well as, the pH, TDS, sodium, and trace elements also effect on suitable water for irrigation.  Therefore, to classify water quality and to evaluate its suitability for irrigation purposes Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Sodium Content (SC), Permeability Index (PI) and Residual Sodium Carbonate (RSC) should be measured.

Objectives of the study: The aim of the present study is to fill some of the gaps not previously examined by the previous literature cited.   Bearing that in mind, our objectives are to:

Estimate the annual groundwater use for most important water using irrigation sectors in the Al Salhubia area, south Iraq.

Present a case study that estimates groundwater use and applies the principle of suitable groundwater for irrigation.