Spatial distribution of Groundwater quality assessment using Water Quality Index and GIS techniques in Thanjavur Taluk, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India

  • Shankar K Department of Applied Geology, School of Applied Natural Science, Adama Science and Technology University, Ethiopia
  • Elangovan G Department of Civil Engineering, University College of Engineering, Thirukkuvalai Campus, India
  • Balamurugan P Department of Construction Architecture and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
  • Saravanan R Department of Civil Engineering, Kings College of Engineering, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: Groundwater, Spatial analysis, IDW, WQI, Irrigation Indices, Thanjavur Taluk


Assessment of groundwater quality is of utmost importance to ensure sustainable use of water. Since the availability of water, irrespective of quantity and quality, varies from area to area in Thanjavur taluk. The present paper attempts to determine the spatial distribution of groundwater quality parameters and identify locations with the best quality for drinking and irrigation in the study area using GIS and WQI. Using IDW interpolation methods with ArcGIS 10.8, the spatial distribution maps of physical parameters, anions, cations, WQI, and irrigations indices have been generated. Piper pilot shows that Ca-Mg-Cl (mixed), Na-Cl, Ca-Cl, and Ca–Mg–HCO3 water types are found in the study area. Using a water quality index with a rating scale, 42.85%, 28.57%, and 14.3% of groundwater samples are fit, good, and very poor for drinking purposes, respectively. The obtained results of higher SAR, RSC, Na% show that 75% of groundwater samples are perfectly fit for irrigation purposes due to the long residence time of water, dissolution of minerals from lithological composition, and the addition of chemical fertilizers.  The results of groundwater quality analysis have been used to suggest models for assessing water quality. The present study ascertained that the area's groundwater must be treated prior to consumption and protected from the perils of contamination.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


W.F. Humphreys, Hydrogeology and groundwater ecology: Does each inform the other? Hydrogeology Journal, 17(1) (2009) 5–21.

C. Steube, S. Richter, & C. Griebler, First attempts towards an integrative concept for the ecological assessment of groundwater ecosystems, Hydrogeology Journal, 17(1) (2009) 23–35.

S. Foster, (1998) Groundwater: Assessing vulnerability and promoting protection of a threatened resource. In Proceedings of the 8th Stockholm water symposium (pp. 79–90), 10–13 August, Sweden.

M. Haji, S. Karuppannan, D. Qin, H. Shube, N.S. Kawo, Potential human health risks due to groundwater fluoride contamination: A case study using multi-techniques approaches (GWQI, FPI, GIS, HHRA) in Bilate River Basin of Southern Main Ethiopian Rift, Ethiopia, Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 80 (2021) 277–293.

R.P. Schwarzenbach, T. Egli, T.B. Hofstetter, U.V. Gunten, and B. Wehrli, Global Water Pollution and Human Healthm Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 35 (2010) 109-136.

S.K. Jain, Sustainable Water Management in India Considering likely Climate and Other Changes, Current Sciences, 102 (2012) 177-188.

M. Haji, D. Qin, Y. Guo, L. Li, D. Wang, S. Karuppannan, H. Shube, Origin and geochemical evolution of groundwater in the Abaya Chamo basin of the Main Ethiopian Rift: application of multitracer approaches, Hydrogeology Journal, 29 (2021) 1219–1238.

M. Saeedi, O. Abessi, F. Sharifi, H. Meraji, Development of groundwater quality index, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 163 (2010) 327–335.

T. Alemayehu, The impact of uncontrolled waste disposal on surface water quality in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, SINET Ethiopian Journal of Science, 24(1) (2001) 93–104.

N. Regassa, R.D. Sundaraa, B.B. Seboka, Challenges and opportunities in municipal solid waste management: the case of Addis Ababa city, central Ethiopia, Journal of Human Ecology, 33(3) (2011) 179–190.

P. Balamurugan , P.S. Kumar, K. Shankar, Dataset on the suitability of groundwater for drinking and irrigation purposes in the Sarabanga River region, Tamil Nadu, India, Data in brief, 29 (2020) 105255,

B. Panneerselvam, K. Muniraj, C. Pande, N. Ravichandran, M. Thomas, S. Karuppannan, Geochemical evaluation and human health risk assessment of nitrate‑contaminated groundwater in an industrial area of South India, Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2021)

R. Ravi, S. Aravindan, K. Shankar, & P. Balamurugan, Suitability of groundwater quality for irrigation in and around the main Gadilam river basin on the east coast of southern India, Archives of Agriculture and Environmental Science, 5(4) (2020) 554-562.

P. Li, Groundwater Quality in Western China: Challenges and Paths Forward for Groundwater Quality Research in Western China, Expo Health 8(3)(2016) 305-310.

V. Wagh, D. Panaskar, M.L. Aamalawar, Y.P. Lolage, S. Mukate, and A. Narshimma, Hydrochemical characterisation and groundwater suitability for drinking and irrigation uses in semiarid region of Nashik, Maharashtra, India, Hydrospatial Analysis, 2(1) (2018) 43-60.

A. Narsimha, S. Rajitha, Spatial distribution and seasonal variation in fluoride enrichment in groundwater and its associated human health risk assessment in Telangana State, South India, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 24(8) (2018) 2119-2132.

N. Subba Rao, B. Sunitha, N. Adimalla, M. Chaudhary, Quality criteria for groundwater use from a rural part of Wanaparthy District, Telangana State, India, through ionic spatial distribution (ISD), entropy water quality 637 index (EWQI) and principal component analysis (PCA). Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 1-21 (2019).

T. Subramani, L. Elango, and S.R. Damodarasamy, Groundwater quality and its suitability for drinking and agricultural use in Chithar River Basin, Tamil Nadu, India, Environmental Geology, 47 (2005) 1099–1110.

S. Aravindan, M. Manivel, S. Rajendran, K. Bhuvaneshwari, Shankar, Groundwater Investigations in the hard rock region of gadilam river basin, Tamil Nadu, Journal of Eco-chronicle, 3(1) (2008) 21-30.

P. Gupta, M. Vishwakarma, P. M. Rawtani, Assessment of water quality parameters of Kerwa Dam for drinking suitability, International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Sciences 1(2) (2009) 53–55

S. Aravindan, K. Shankar. Ground Water Quality Maps of Paravanar River Sub Basin, Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, India, Journal of Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 39(4) (2011) 565–581,

S. Aravindan, K. Shankar, Groundwater Quality in Paravanar River Sub-Basin, Cuddalore District, Tamilnadu, Indaia, Gondwana Geological Magazine, 26(2) (2011) 139 - 146.

K. Shankar, S. Aravindan, S. Rajendran, GIS based groundwater quality mapping in Paravanar River Sub-Basin, Tamil Nadu, India, International Journal of Geomatics and Geosciences, 1(3) (2010) 282–296.

K. Shankar, S. Aravindan, and S. Rajendran, Spatial distribution of groundwater quality in Paravanar river sub basin, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu. International Journal of Geomatics and Geosciences, 1(4) (2011) 914-931.

K. Shankar, S. Aravindan, S. Rajendran, Hydrogeochemistry of the Paravanar River Sub-Basin, Cuddalore District, Tamilnadu, India. E-Journal of Chemistry, 8(2) (2011) 835-845.

T.G.A. Jacintha, K.S. Rawat, A. Mishra, S.K. Singh, Hydrogeochemical characterization of groundwater of Penninsular Indian region using multivariate statistical techniques, Applied Water Sciences, 7 (2017) 3001–3013.

K.S. Rawat, S.K. Singh, Water quality indices and GIS-based evaluation of a decadal groundwater quality, Geology, Ecology, and Landscapes, 2(4) (2018) 240-255. 508.2018.1452462

M.T. Kavitha, R. Divahar, T. Meenambal, K. Shankar, R. VijaySingh, Tamirat Dessalegn Haile, Chimdi Gadafa, Dataset on the assessment of water quality of surface water in Kalingarayan Canal for heavy metal pollution, Tamil Nadu, Data in Brief 22 (2019) 878–884.

M.T. Kavitha, K. Shankar, R. Divahar, T. Meenambal, R. Saravanan, Impact of industrial wastewater disposal on surface water bodies in Kalingarayan canal, Erode district, Tamil Nadu, India, Archives of Agriculture and Environmental Science 4(4) (2019) 379-387.

N. Adimalla, A.K. Taloor, Hydrogeochemical investigation of groundwater quality in the hard rock terrain of South India using Geographic Information System (GIS) and groundwater quality index (GWQI) techniques, Groundwater for Sustainable Development, 10 (2020) 100288.

S. Aravindan, K. Shankar. B. Poovalinga Ganesh. K. Dharani Rajan, Groundwater Geochemical mapping of in the hard rock area of Gadilam River basin, using GIS technique, Tamil Nadu, Indian Journal of Applied Geochemistry, 12(2) (2010) 209-216.

S. Venkateswaran, S. Karuppannan, K. Shankar, Groundwater Quality in Pambar Sub-Basin, Tamil Nadu, India Using GIS, International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, 3(10) (2012) 82- 787.

S. Duraisamy, V. Govindhaswamy, K. Duraisamy, S. Krishinaraj, A. Balasubramanian, & S. Thirumalaisamy, Hydrogeochemical characterization and evaluation of groundwater quality in Kangayam taluk, Tirupur district, Tamil Nadu, India, using GIS techniques, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 41 (2019) 851–873.

D.K. Verma, G.S. Bhunia, P.K. Shit, & A.K. Tiwari, Assessment of groundwater quality of the Central Gangetic Plain Area of India using Geospatial and WQI Techniques, Journal of the Geological Society of India, 92(6) (2018) 743–752.

N.S. Kawo, S. Karuppannan, Groundwater quality assessment using water quality index and GIS technique in Modjo River Basin, central Ethiopia, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 147 (2018) 300–311.

P.P. Adhikary, C.J. Dash, H. Chandrasekharan, T.B.S. Rajput, S.K. Dubey, Evaluation of groundwater quality for irrigation and drinking using GIS and geostatistics in a peri-urban area of Delhi, India, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 5 (2012) 1423–1434.

G. Kangaraj, L. Elango, Hydrogeochemical processes and impact of tanning industries on groundwater quality in Ambur, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, India, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23 (2016) 24364–24383.

A.K. Sarfo, S. Karuppannan, Application of Geospatial Technologies in the COVID-19 Fight of Ghana, Transactions of Indian National Academy of Engineering 5 (2020) 193-204.

PA. Burrough, RA. McDonnell, (1998) Principles of Geographical Information Systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 333 pp.

TK. Boateng, F. Opoku S.O. Acquaah O. Akoto, Groundwater quality assessment using statistical approach and Water Quality Index in Ejisu- Juaben Municipality, Ghana, Environmental Earth Sciences, 75 (489) (2016).

D.C. Jhariya, T. Kumar, R. Dewangan, Dharm Pal, P.K. Dewangan, Assessment of groundwater quality index for drinking purpose in the Durg district, Chhattisgarh using Geographical Information System (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) techniques, Journal of the Geological Society of India, 89 (2017) 453.

Rabeiy Ragab El Sayed. Assessment and modeling of groundwater quality using WQI and GIS in Upper Egypt area, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25 2018)( 30808–30817

R. RamyaPriya, & L. Elango, Evaluation of geogenic and anthropogenic impacts on spatio-temporal variation in quality of surface water and groundwater along Cauvery River, India, Environmental Earth Sciences, 77(2) (2018).

K. Shankar, and N.S. Kawo, Groundwater quality assessment using geospatial techniques and WQI in North East of Adama Town, Oromia Region, Ethiopia, Hydrospatial Analysis, 3(1) (2019) 22-36.

B. Soujanya Kamble, P.R. Saxena, R.M. Kurakalva, K. Shankar, Evaluation of seasonal and temporal variations of groundwater quality around Jawaharnagar municipal solid waste dumpsite of Hyderabad city, India, SN Applied Sciences, 2 (2020) 498.

P. Sahu, and P.K. Sikdar, Hydrochemical framework of the aquifer in and around East Kolkata Wetlands, West Bengal, India, Environmental Geology, 55 (2008) 823–835.

P. Balamurugan, P.S. Kumar, K. Shankar, R. Nagavinothini, K. Vijayasurya, Non-carcinogenic risk assessment of groundwater in southern part of Salem District in Tamilnadu, India, Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society, 65(1) (2020b) 4697-4707.

R. Nagarajan, N. Rajmohan, U. Mahendran, & S. Senthamilkumar, Evaluation of groundwater quality and its suitability for drinking and agricultural use in Thanjavur city, Tamil Nadu, India, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 171(1-4) (2010) 289-308.

APHA (2012), American Public Health Association – Standard methods for the examination of water and waste water. Washington DC.

B. Panneerselvam, S.K. Paramasivam, S. Karuppannan, et al A GIS-based evaluation of hydrochemical characterisation of groundwater in hard rock region, South Tamil Nadu, India, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 13(837) (2020) 1-22.

B. Panneerselvam, S. Karuppannan, K. Muniraj, Evaluation of drinking and irrigation suitability of groundwater with special emphasizing the health risk posed by nitrate contamination using nitrate pollution index (NPI) and human health risk assessment (HHRA), Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 1–25 27(5) (2021) 1324-1348.

B. Anand, D. Karunanidhi, T. Subramani, K. Srinivasamoorthy, & M. Suresh, Long-term trend detection and spatiotemporal analysis of groundwater levels using GIS techniques in Lower Bhavani River basin, Tamil Nadu, India, Environment, Development, and Sustainability, 22 (2020) 2779–2800.

A. Gibrilla, E.K.P. Bam, D. Adomako, S. Ganyaglo, S.B. Dampare, E.K. Ahialey, and E. Tetteh, Seasonal Evaluation of raw, treated and distributed water quality from the barekese dam (river offin) in the ashanti region of Ghana, Water Quality, Exposure and Health 3(3-4) (2011) 157–174.

Ketata, M., Gueddari, M. and Bouhlila, R., 2011. Use of geographical information system and water quality index to assess groundwater quality in El Khairat deep aquifer (Enfidha, Central East Tunisia).Arabian Jour. Geosci., 5(6), 1379–1390.

WHO (2011) World Health Organisation Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, 4rded. In: Incorporating the First and Second Addenda, 1Recommendation (Geneva).

BIS., 1991. Indian standard drinking water specifications, (IS:10500). New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards.

M. Vasanthavigar, K. Srinivasamoorthy, K. Vijayaragavan, R. Rajiv Ganthi, S. Chidambaram, P. Anandhan, R. Manivannan, S. Vasudevan, Application of water quality index for groundwater quality assessment: Thirumanimuttar sub-basin, Tamilnadu, India, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 171 (2010) 595–609,

S.M. Sadat-Noori, K. Ebrahimi, A.M. Liaghat, Groundwater quality assessment using the water quality index and GIS in Saveh-Nobaran aquifer, Iran. Environmental Earth Sciences, 71 (2014) 3827-3843.

A. Sahinci, 199. Geochemistry of natural waters (in Turkish). Izmir: Reform printing office, p 548.

A. Saleh, F. Al-Ruwaih, and M. Shehata, Hydrogeochemical processes operating within the main aquifers of Kuwait, Journal of Arid Environments, 42 (1999) 195–209.

D. Catroll, Rain water as a chemical agent of geological process—a view, USGS Water Supply, 1533 (1962) 18–20.

R.A. Freeze, and J.A. Cherry, (1979) Groundwater, Englewood cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall New Jersey, p604.

J.D. Hem, Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water, USGS water supply paper, 2254 (1985) 117-120.

K. Srinivasamoorthy, S. Chidambaram, M.V. Prasanna, M. Vasanthavigar, A. John Peter, & P. Anandhan, Identification of major sources controlling groundwater chemistry from a hard rock terrain – A case study from Mettur taluk, Salem district, Tamil Nadu, India, Journal of Earth System Sciences, 117(1) (2008) 49–58.

WHO., (2008) Guidelines for drinking-water quality [electronic resource]: incorporating 1st and 2nd addenda, Vol. 1, Recommendations, 3rd edn. WHO, Geneva, 515 p.

I. Arumugam, (1989) Evaluation of suitability of groundwater for agriculture in Salem district, Ph.D Thesis, Bharathidasan University, 195 p.

A.M. Piper, (1954) A Graphic Procedure in the Geochemical Interpretation of Water Analysis, USGS, Groundwater Notes, No.12, 63 p.

B. Muthusamy, G.D.S. Sithu, A. Ramamoorthy, K. Shankar, G. Gnanachandrasamy, C. Monica, H. Xiaozhong, Isotopic signatures, hydrochemical and multivariate statistical analysis of seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifers of Chennai and Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu, India, Marine pollution bulletin, 174 (2022) 113232.

J. Bauder, T. Brock, Irrigation water quality, soil amendment, and crop effects on sodium leaching, Arid Land Research and Management, 15 (2001) 101–113.

B. Hanson, S. Grattan, A. Fulton, (2006) Agricultural salinity and drainage. In: University of California Irrigation Program-Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 3375. University of California.

P. Li, H. Qian, J. Wu, Groundwater suitability for drinking and agricultural usage in Yinchuan Area, China, International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 1 (2011) 1241–1249.

M. Kumar, K. Kumari, A.L. Ramanathan, and R. Saxena, A comparative evaluation of groundwater suitability for irrigation and drinking purposes in two agriculture dominated districts of Punjab, India, Environmental Geology, (2007).

LA. Richards, (U.S. Salinity Laboratory) 1954. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkaline soils. U.S. Department of Agriculture Hand Book, p 60

USSL., (US Salinity Laboratory), 1954. Diagnosis and improvement of salinity and alkaline soil. USDA Hand Book no. 60, Washington.

P. Purushothman, M.S. Rao, B. Kumar, Y.S. Rawat, G. Krishan, S. Gupta, S. Marwah, A.K. Bhatia, Y.B. Kaushik, M.P. Angurala, G.P. Singh, Drinking and irrigation water quality in Jalandhar and Kapurthala Districts, Punjab, India: using hydrochemistry, International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering, 5(6) (2012) 1599–1608.

F.M. Eaton, Significance of Carbonates in Irrigation Water, Soil Science, 69 (1950) 127-128.

H.M. Raghunath, (1987) Ground water: hydrogeology, ground water survey and pumping tests, rural water supply and irrigation systems ISBN-10: 0470206985, New Age International (P) Ltd. Publishers.

L. Wilcox, (1955). Classification and uses of irrigation waters. USDA Circular No. 969, Washington, DC.

How to Cite
K, S.; G, E.; P, B.; R, S. Spatial Distribution of Groundwater Quality Assessment Using Water Quality Index and GIS Techniques in Thanjavur Taluk, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India. ijceae 2022, 4, 32-58.

Views: Abstract : 15 | PDF : 7

Plum Analytics