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GIS-based framework for artificial aquifer recharge to secure sustainable strategic water reserves in Qatar arid environment peninsula

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submitted on 2024-05-07, 11:48 and posted on 2024-05-07, 11:49 authored by Yasir Elginaid Mohieldeen, Elnaiem Ali Elobaid, Rifaat Abdalla

This study proposes a large-scale artificial aquifer recharge plan to increase the strategic water reserve to cope with future emergencies. The main aim of the plan is to restore groundwater levels to those of the 1980s through artificial recharge. Desalinated water or highly treated municipal sewage effluent could be artificially recharged into the aquifer to recharge it. Potentiometric surface of aquifers and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis were used to assess change in the groundwater levels between 1980 and 2009. Zones that have experienced considerable decline in groundwater levels from their former “natural” status—when the aquifers were barely exploited, were identified. These zones are considered optimum recharge sites as they could provide ‘natural’ ground storage chosen by nature. Therefore, working with nature (not against it) by re-filling these natural spaces is the optimum approach. The artificial recharge of the main and principal upper aquifer in Qatar (Rus and Um er Radhuma) is targeted and recommended. It is estimated that up to 182.8 Million Cubic Meter (mcm) could be recharged and stored in these proposed zones, to increase the strategic water reserve of the country. This increase would sustain supplies of high quality for up to three months if consumption is maintained at the 2018 level. Moreover, this additional reserve could last for over one year, if emergency measures were put in place—in case of serious water-shortages, and disaster preparedness, for example by reducing the per capita consumption to the global average per capita consumption.

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Published in: Scientific Reports
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  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute - HBKU
  • Qatar University
  • Environmental Science Center - QU