Date of Award

1-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Mohsen Sherif,

Second Advisor

Dr. Assefa Mekonnen Melesse,

Third Advisor

Prof. Ben Bennani

Abstract

The lack of freshwater resources represents a major constraint against the sustainable development in arid and semi-arid regions. Because of the scarcity and randomness nature of rainfall in arid regions, surface water resources are almost absent. Groundwater resources are always under stress and in many cases do not suffice the water demands for different sectors. Desalination plants are widely constructed to substitute for the water shortage. The UAE, including Ajman emirate, is witnessing a rapid development in the industrial, commercial, construction and agricultural fields which has led to a tremendous increase in water demands.

Proper management of the limited water resources in UAE requires a comprehensive knowledge on water resources availability and potentials. Data related to water resources are numerous and diverse and are generally not preserved in a digital form. Therefore, retrieval of data may require excessive effort and time in such a way that hinders the decision makers to take the proper actions. No effort has been made, so far, to review, assess and analyze the available data related to water resources in Ajman emirate.

Efficient and integrated management of the available water resources in Ajman require availability of huge data. Such data include, among others, water demand and water supply patterns in the emirate, distribution of water demands among various consumption sectors, geometric, hydrological and hydrogeological characteristics of the aquifer systems, groundwater levels and quality, pumping rates, location of pumping and observation wells, and others. Such diverse data and information can only be managed and analyzed through Geographical Information Systems (GIS) databases.

The thesis demonstrates the development of the GIS database of Ajman emirate. Well fields, groundwater levels and quality, geological and hydrogeological information, aquifer parameters, rainfall records, groundwater quality data, pipelines, and other related data were mapped to recent remote sensing images. The obtained GIS maps provide a good support to decision makers in the area of water resources management and sustainability in Ajman emirate.

The ultimate aim, which can be fully achieved in future studies, is to integrate the Ajman water resources GIS database into other related databases in the country. The results of the current study can serve as a model for the development of water resources databases in the other emirates.

The importance of water resources in the sustainable development in Ajman emirate and UAE cannot be over emphasized. The results of the study are expected to have a direct and significant impact on the water resources management in Ajman. These results will help professionals and researchers to conduct advanced research to assess, develop, protect and sustain the available water resources in Ajman. The GIS database will provide the needed support for decision making process. The developed GIS database of water resources in Ajman might be regarded as a model to GIS databases in the other emirates. Water resources databases in the different emirates can then be integrated to develop a national database.

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