Saudi Arabia is an arid and the largest country in the middle east with a total land area of 2.253x106 km2. Recent urban and rural expansion has shown manifold increases in water use in various sectors. Water resources are limited and non-renewable coupled with unpredicted scanty rainfall. In order to meet the rising water needs, evaluation of water quality is important for allocation to various uses. A total of 101 well water samples were collected from Al-Ahsa Oasis. Water samples were analyzed for total salt concentration, pH, Ca, Mg, Na, K, HCO3, Cl, SO4, NO3, F and B contents. Soil Salinity Development (SSD), adjusted sodium adsorption ratio (adj.SAR), adjusted sodium adsorption ratio (adj. RNa) and Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) were calculated. The EC of groundwater ranged between 1.23 and 5.05 dS m-1. Sodium was the most abundant cation followed by Ca, Mg and K in descending order. Chloride was the most abundant anion followed by SO4 and HCO3 in groundwater of Al-Ahsa Oasis. A significant correlation was found between Na and Cl (R2 = 0.936). Thermodynamics calculation revealed that an appreciable amount of Ca and Mg is associated with Cl and SO4 ions. The SAR and ESP values are within the permissible limits according to Ayers and Westcot, 1985. The NO3 concentration is within safe limits for drinking purpose according to WHO (1998) standards. The Saturation Indices (SI) indicated that groundwater is under-saturated (negative SI) with respect to certain minerals (for example: calcite, dolomite, gypsum, anhydrite, halite, pyrite, fluorite and aragonite) and oversaturated (positive SI) with respect to some other minerals (For example: Goethite, Siderite and hematite). The negative saturation index (SI) reveals that most of minerals are in un-saturated state and will dissolve more Ca and Mg into the soil solution after irrigation. A good relationship exists between Cl and other ions (Na, Ca and Mg) as well as between SO4 and Ca and Mg ion of groundwater. The salinity and sodicity hazards of groundwater of Al-Ahsa Oasis were classified as C3S1 and C4S2 i.e., high salinity with medium sodicity problems. The predicted soil salinity suggested application of 15-20% leaching requirements to keep soil salinity within permissible limits. Cultivation of slight to moderate salt and sodium tolerant crops is recommended for optimal agricultural production and efficient water use.
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