Groundwater is typically regarded as a reliable and accessible source of water use in the coastal zone of Cambodia. The hydrogeochemical evolution of groundwater in the coastal area of Sihanoukville is of concern the local people since Sihanoukville is undergoing tremendous urbanization and estimated to reach water scarcity in this region. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate groundwater flow, aquifer layers, and their interaction with the surface water in order to provide support for the estimation of water availability in this area. The boundary of this study is focused only on the coastal area, which is in the southern part of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The data input of this study was recorded for three years from 2020 – 2022. The present study has proved that the application of hydraulic head in conjunction with the isotopic composition of water under supplementary of electrical conductivity enables us to constrain the groundwater flow path, groundwater interaction between aquifers and with surface water, as well as propose the sources of groundwater pollution in the specific area of the coastal region of Sihanoukville.
The study found that the hydraulic head varies between 0.5 and 104.6 masl in which groundwater flows toward the sea. In addition, the isotopic compositions of the groundwater are in the range of -7.37 to -3.86 for δ18O, and -47.0 to -23.1 for δ2H. The study found that a few areas located quite near the shoreline with low hydraulic head are suspected to be intruded by seawater. The data obtained from this study can be used as an input for further study on the hydrogeological conceptual model of the aquifer. Additionally, it also provides geological information on the existing wells, which will contribute significantly to water resource management tools such as long-term aquifer monitoring networks. The findings of this study play a key role in groundwater quality evaluation as they provide the basic concept of groundwater flow and its interaction, which helps to judge the guilty party that affects the groundwater quality in the study area.
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