Framework Analysis of Socio-Economic and Health Aspects of Nitrate Pollution from Urban Agricultural Practices: The Gaza Strip as a case Study
Al-Najar, H., Al-Dalou, F., Snounu, I., J. Al-Dadah

Increased level of nitrate up to 300 mg/l have been detected in groundwater beneath the Gaza Strip, as a result of extensive use of fertilizers. Nitrate concentrations more than 50 mg/l are very harmful to infant, fetuses, and people with health problems. The research carried out in the Beit Lahia village, where strawberry, potato and vegetables in greenhouses irrigated by groundwater wells and citrus irrigated by treated wastewater in Sheikh Ejleen area to investigate the quantities of nitrate washed out in the areas under different crop patters. Additionally the socioeconomic and health aspects of nitrate pollution in the groundwater are investigated. The irrigation of potato, strawberry and greenhouses by groundwater with added fertilizers leading to the human nitrate exposure level of 4667.4, 7618.3 and 7893.3, respectively. Due to the relatively low level of nitrate in treated effluent compared with nitrate in groundwater which was used to irrigate citrus, the human nitrate exposure level accounted for 3244.6. The greenhouses in BeitLahia in sandy soil demonstrated the highest human nitrate exposure level. It is highly recommended to consider the high nitrate content of groundwater wells for irrigation purposes to minimize the input of chemical nitrate fertilizer and to break the cycle of increasing nitrate input to the groundwater from agricultural sector.

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