Seawater Intrusion Assessment and Mitigation in the Coastal Aquifer of Wadi Ham
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) typifies an arid environment with limited freshwater resources and harsh climatic conditions. Rainfall is scarce, random and can be regarded as an integral element of the water resources at UAE. Groundwater resources, although non-renewable, contribute by more than 50 % of the total water demand in the country. Due to the excessive pumping of groundwater to meet the agriculture demands, groundwater levels have declined in the coastal aquifer of Wadi Ham and the quality of the water has deteriorated due to the seawater intrusion problem.
In this study, MODFLOW and MT3D are employed to simulate the groundwater flow and assess the seawater intrusion problem in Wadi Ham and possible mitigation measures. The flow model was calibrated and validated through comparisons with two independent sets of data collected over periods of 5 and 11 years, respectively. The results of the transport model were calibrated against available groundwater concentrations at some locations. The developed model is then used to study the effects of pumping and artificial recharge on seawater intrusion. Results indicated that reducing the pumping from Khalba well field will retard the seawater intrusion in the southeastern part of the aquifer. Applying artificial recharge through a surface basin of 100 × 100 m at a rate of 1 m/day will cause equi-concentration contour line 10,000 mg/l to retreat about 1.25 km towards the coast within a period of 12 years.
KeywordsGroundwater Level Groundwater Recharge United Arab Emirate Seawater Intrusion Observation Well
- Bear J (1979) Hydraulics of groundwater. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Diersch HJ (2006) FEFLOW manual. WASY GmbH, Berlin. 190 pp. www.wasy.de
- Economics and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) (1997) Mathematical of the Wadi Ham aquifer, Fujierah coastal plain, UAE. Advisory services to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, DubaiGoogle Scholar
- Electrowatt Engineering Services Ltd (1981) Wadi Ham Dam and groundwater recharge facilities, vol I, Design. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, DubaiGoogle Scholar
- Entec Europe Limited (ENTEC) (1996) Survey on groundwater recharge and flow in Wadi Ham, vol 1. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, DubaiGoogle Scholar
- Halcrow, Sir Williams and Partners Consulting Engineers (1969) Water resources of trucial states. Internal report. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, DubaiGoogle Scholar
- IWACO (1986) Ground water study. Drilling of deep water wells at various locations in the UAE. Internal report, Ministry of Environment & Water, DubaiGoogle Scholar
- Langevin CD, Thorne DT, Dausman AM, Sukop MC, Guo W (2007) SEAWAT version 4: a computer program for simulation of multi-species solute and heat transport. U.S. Geological Survey techniques and methods book, vol. 6, chap. A22, 39. USGS, RestonGoogle Scholar
- Sherif MM, Kacimov A, Akram SF, Shetty AV (2006b) Artificial recharge of groundwater: field experiment. JCCP-UAEU symposium on sustainable environment and water resources in GCC Countries, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 28–30 January 2006Google Scholar
- Voss CI, Provost AM (2002) SUTRA, a model for saturated-unsaturated variable density ground-water flow with energy or solute transport. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02–4231, 250 pGoogle Scholar
- Voss CI, Simmons CT, Robinson NI (2010) Three-dimensional benchmark for variable-density flow and transport simulation: matching semi-analytic modes for steady unstable convection in an inclined porous box. Hydrol J 18:5–23Google Scholar