Water Resources Management

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 2755–2780 | Cite as

A Cost-Effective Method to Control Seawater Intrusion in Coastal Aquifers

  • Hany F. Abd-Elhamid
  • Akbar A. JavadiEmail author


Intrusion of seawater into coastal aquifers is considered one of the most important processes that degrade water-quality by raising the salinity to levels exceeding acceptable drinking standards. Therefore saltwater intrusion should be prevented or at least controlled to protect groundwater resources. This paper presents a cost-effective method to control seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers. This methodology ADR (Abstraction, Desalination and Recharge) includes; abstraction of saline water and recharge to the aquifer after desalination. A coupled transient density-dependent finite element model is developed for simulation of fluid flow and solute transport and used to simulate seawater intrusion. The simulation model has been integrated with an optimization model to examine three scenarios to control seawater intrusion including; abstraction, recharge and a combination system, ADR. The main objectives of the models are to determine the optimal depths, locations and abstraction/recharge rates for the wells to minimize the total costs for construction and operation as well as salt concentrations in the aquifer. A comparison between the combined system (ADR) and the individual abstraction or recharge system is made in terms of total cost and total salt concentration in the aquifer and the amount of repulsion of seawater achieved. The results show that the proposed ADR system performs significantly better than using abstraction or recharge wells alone as it gives the least cost and least salt concentration in the aquifer. ADR is considered an effective tool to control seawater intrusion and can be applied in areas where there is a risk of seawater intrusion.


Seawater intrusion Control Finite element Genetic algorithm Simulation–optimization ADR 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computational Geomechanics Group, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical SciencesUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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