Future groundwater conditions under long-term water stresses in an arid urban area
- Cite this article as:
- Abderrahman, W.A. & Rasheeduddin, M. Water Resour Manage (1994) 8: 245. doi:10.1007/BF00872400
- 110 Downloads
The urban area of Greater Dhahran has an extremely arid climate where the average annual rainfail is less than 71 mm. The Umm Er Radhuma (UER) aquifer in that area is the main source of domestic and landscape irrigation demands. Groudwater use has increased drastically during the last 15 years due to extensive developments in the area. Numerical simulation techiques and hydrogeochemical investigations were carried out to assess the effects of increasing pumping rates on the piezometric surface in the UER aquifer and to predict the future levels and quality of water under different pumping scenarios. A groundwater flow model was developed and calibrated for the area. The increase in the water extraction rate between 1967 and 1990 has resulted in a decline in the piezometric surface by about 4 m in the Dhahran area. The results of simulation investigations indicated that if the present trend of the groundwater withdrawal rate continues, the water level is expected to drop by an additional 2 and by the end of the year 2000, by an additional 6 m by the end of 2010. If the present increasing rate in groundwater withdrawal is reduced by 50%, the additional drawdown will also be reduced to about 1 and 2.5 m by the end of years 2000 and 2010, respectively. The average total dissolved solids (TDS) has increased from 2750 to 3545 mg/l between 1967 and 1990 and will continue to rise to 3922 and 4361 by the end of years 2000 and 2010, respectively. These original findings are important because they postulates the negative impacts of increasing groundwater pumping from an aquifer in an arid urban area on future groundwater levels and quality. Therefore, effective groundwater management and conservation schemes should be adopted to maintain the long-term productivity and quality of aquifers in the area.