Assessment of Water Quality of the River Nile for Irrigation Use at Shambat, Khartoum State, Sudan

Nagla Kamal Eldeen Elkhalifa, Mukhtar Ahmed Mustafa


The study was undertaken at Khartoum between latitudes 15o 8'
and 16o 39'N and longitudes 31o 36' and 34o 25'E, in the semi-desert
climatic zone. Water samples were bailed out, in the same day of each
month during March 2008-February 2009, from the River Nile, Blue Nile
and White Nile while standing on Shambat, Mak-Nimer and Al-Fetaihab
bridges, respectively. Electrical conductivity and sodium adsorption ratio
of the irrigation water were used as indirect indicator of salinity and direct
indicator of the sodicity hazards, respectively. The United States Salinity
Laboratory classification system showed that 8% of the Blue Nile water
samples belonged to the low salinity-low sodicity (C1-S1) class, 92%
belonged to medium salinity-low sodicity (C2-S1) class. Sixty seven
percent of the White Nile water samples belonged to C1-S1 and 33%
belonged to C2-S1 class. Fifty eight percent of the River Nile water
samples belonged to C1-S1 class and 42% belonged to C2-S1 class. Ca-
Mg was the dominant cation class and Cl=HCO3 was the dominant anion
class. All water samples from the River Nile and its two tributaries gave
low direct sodium hazard for the twelve months. The residual sodium
carbonate values for all water samples in all months were negative
indicating absence of carbonate hazard, which is an indirect sodium
hazard. The Langelier saturation index values for 83% of all the water
samples of the River Nile and its two tributaries were also negative
indicating dissolution of carbonate. Identical empirical relationships
between the total salt concentration and electrical conductivity were generated. All studied hazard indicators showed that the River Nile and its
two tributaries have good quality water.


River Nile; water quality; irrigation

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