The Mediterranean region is under pressure for a more sustainable use of water resources in view of the actual and future climate change. Under this pressure, the need to better assess the links between groundwater availability and quality and irrigated agriculture, is becoming urgent. Through the hydrogeologic and hydrochemical characterization of the coastal aquifers of a representative Mediterranean study area (the Campania Region in southern Italy), this study strengthened the analysis of basic components of the groundwater cycle and their temporal variability, including hydrologic, environmental and socio-economic aspects. Selected physiochemical properties of groundwater in 52 monitoring wells were considered from the Campania Environmental Protection Agency database. A total of 626 samples were collected from 2004 to 2018 to capture the water quality variability. Factor analysis and a specific groundwater quality index were also applied on 23 samples in two different timelines (2006, 2016) to capture the hydro-chemistry evolution through year. Moreover, land use and active pumping wells locations were used in the analysis. Spatial and temporal trends of base exchange indices (BEX) and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) were computed along with Pearson coefficient among different variables, like well densities and distance from the coast. The variation in the distribution of salinity between 2006 and 2016, along with highly positive and highly negative BEX and groundwater quality index values, indicate unstable conditions for the future. In the greenhouse's areas, where groundwater exploitation is elevated, an increase of salinity was recorded due to seawater intrusion. In volcanic districts water rock interaction is the main driver of groundwater salinization, while mixing processes with carbonate freshwaters diminish groundwater salinities in the alluvial plains. This study demonstrates that groundwater over pumping can have a major impact on groundwater quality used for irrigation, despite the dominant influence that local geological and morphological features exert on the area.
Natural and anthropogenic factors driving groundwater resources salinization for agriculture use in the Campania plains (Southern Italy) / Mastrocicco, M.; Gervasio, M. P.; Busico, G.; Colombani, N.. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - ELETTRONICO. - 758:(2021), p. 144033. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144033]