Fluctuations in Nitrate Concentrations Utilized as an Assessment of Agricultural Contamination to an Aquifer of a Semiarid Climatic Region
Aquifer water has become contaminated in regions that have been developed for agriculture. Nitrate contamination has been shown to be permeable to the aquifer and harmful to human health. An assessment of agricultural practices and their roles in contamination of aquifers has been undertaken with difficulty in the past. Nitrate concentrations have been utilized in this study-to demonstrate their applicability to examining agriculture practices which contaminate aquifer water. Areas treated with nitrogenous fertilizers and subsequently irrigated were found to contain aquifer fluctuations in nitrate content directly in proportion to irrigation seasons. Agricultural industries with high animal densities per land area, and high water consumption for maintenance, were found to have high, but non-fluctuating, nitrate concentrations. Areas with high animal density per land area with low water usage for maintenance; areas with low animal density per land area; and agricultural practices for which little or no nitrogenous fertilizers were used demonstrated low aquifer nitrate concentrations regardless of water usage.