Sources of nitrates in groundwater of the coastal plain of Israel Evolution of ideas

D. Ronen, Y. Kanfi, M. Magaritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A critical review of the studies conducted on the problem of nitrate pollution of the Coastal Plain aquifer of Israel is presented. The quantitative nitrogen balance of the aquifer is analyzed based on the reconstructed average nitrate trends in groundwater. This balance indicates that most of the nitrates found today in the aquifer reached the water table in the period 1930-1960. We suggest that the mineralization of the organic matter in the soil and unsaturated zone was the main source of nitrate pollution. The steep rise in the average nitrate concentration of groundwater over the last 50 years was the inevitable result of the agricultural development of the area. If no large transient nitrate reservoir exists in the unsaturated and water table zones, it is expected that the average nitrate content of groundwater will decrease with time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1503
Number of pages5
JournalWater Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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