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A critical appraisal of the status and hydrogeochemical characteristics of freshwater springs in Kashmir Valley
  • Sami Ullah Bhat,
  • Shahid Ahmad Dar,
  • Aadil Hamid
Sami Ullah Bhat
University ofKashmir

Corresponding Author:samiullahbhat11@gmail.com

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Shahid Ahmad Dar
University of Kashmir
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Aadil Hamid
University of Kashmir
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With growing water scarcity, jeopardized by climate change, and population growth, springs are likely to play an important role in meeting the domestic water demand in future. In the Kashmir valley, springs play an important role in meeting drinking water demand via both an organized and unorganized supply chain. This paper examines the water quality of Kashmir Valley springs during the last 11 years in relation to their geographical location, regional hydrogeological conditions, anthropogenic activities and climate change. We analyzed data for 258 springs using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Water Quality Index (WQI) techniques from the whole Kashmir Valley. WQI ranged from 23 (excellent water) to 537 (water unsuitable for drinking). The WQI indicated that 39.5% of the springs had excellent waters, 47.7% had good water, 5% had poor water, 1.6% had very poor water, and 6.2% of the samples had water unsuitable for drinking purposes. Coliform bacteria in some of the sampled springs provided evidence of organic (mainly human) pollution of shallow aquifers. Principal component analysis (PCA) yielded four principal components explaining a cumulative variance of 31%, 49%, 59%, and 67% respectively. The chemical relationships in Piper diagram identified Ca–Mg–HCO3 as the most predominant water type, whereas a Gibbs diagrams revealed that the spring water of the study region was mainly controlled by rock weathering dominance. Our findings therefore suggest that springs have the potential to offer viable solution to the rising demand and therefore merit an attention for their protection and management.
06 Apr 2022Published in Scientific Reports volume 12 issue 1. 10.1038/s41598-022-09906-2