Natural and Anthropogenic Influence in Water Quality: The Case of Linares City, NE Mexico


The aim of this research paper was to identify whether the water quality had been influenced either by the natural environment or by anthropogenic activities or both in the municipality of Linares, the second largest city of the State of Nuevo Leon, NE Mexico. The superficial water (Pablillo River) and the groundwater quality (from a fractured and a porous aquifers hydraulically interconnected) were determined by comparing their chemical composition with maximum permissible limits for water consumption and irrigation use. A hydrogeochemical modeling was performed to identify the distribution of aqueous species responsible for the presence of some dissolved or precipitated mineral species, as well as an identification of geochemical factors responsible of superficial and groundwater quality. A canonical correspondence analysis was allowed to determine if the natural environment and/or anthropogenic activities were responsible for water quality. The parameters analysed in both aquifers, as well as in the Pablillo River, were total solids, suspended solids, nitrate, and chloride; barium and mercury were present in both aquifers. As a natural influence, the predominant mineral species are as following: under-saturated anhydrite (porous aquifer), over-saturated aragonite, calcite, dolomite, and gypsum (both aquifers and Pablillo River), barite and whiterite (only in fractured aquifer). The geochemical factors responsible for natural contamination were rock dominance (fractured aquifer), and evaporation dominance (porous aquifer, Pablillo River). On the other hand, anthropogenic activities such as changes in soil use and the presence of point (old municipal landfill, pig farms, barite deposit), and diffuse (agricultural areas, septic tanks and latrines) pollution sources had influence in the presence of contaminants such as total and fecal coliforms, nitrates, chlorides, mercury and barium. Several control and remediation strategies should be taken into account to prevent this pollution in the future.

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L. Lizárraga-Mendiola, J. Návar, A. Blanco-Piñón, M. González-Sandoval and H. De-León-Gómez, "Natural and Anthropogenic Influence in Water Quality: The Case of Linares City, NE Mexico," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 11, 2013, pp. 1066-1075. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.511112.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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