Using geoinformatics to estimate nitrate leaching to groundwater in the Azraq basin in Jordan due to human activities
Baban, SMJ, Foster, I & Al-Adamat, R 2006, 'Using geoinformatics to estimate nitrate leaching to groundwater in the Azraq basin in Jordan due to human activities', in BW Webb, R Hirata, E Kruse & J Vrba (eds), Sustainability of groundwater resources and its indicators: proceedings of symposium S3, 7th IAHS Scientific Assembly, Foz do lgacu, Brazil, April 3-9, 2005, IAHS, vol. 302, pp. 147-157.
During the 20th century, the Bedu’s environment was fragmented to form parts of Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. This process has restricted their nomadic way of life. In Jordan, the Bedu were encouraged to settle in newly built towns on the edge of the desert and to exercise irrigated agriculture. Groundwater contamination has recently been recognized as a problem in Jordan. This paper attempts to estimate nitrate leaching to groundwater in part of the Azraq Basin using Geoinformatics. Data were gathered from fieldwork, secondary sources and remote sensing. GIS was used to estimate nitrate leaching to groundwater from cesspools and agriculture. Estimated leaching from cesspools ranged from approx. 800 to 1990 kg / year (approx. 0.3 to 0.7 kg per household per year). The estimated loss from agricultural land was from approx. 222 600 to 358 800 kg / year. In Jordan, water resources are scarce and are being degraded, while the demand for water use is increasing. This study indicates the urgent need to manage the expansion of agriculture in the region.