Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr.Mohamed Mostafa Mohamed

Second Advisor

Warren w. Wood

Third Advisor

Mohsen Sherif

Abstract

Khatt springs area has been chosen in 1979 to be a major recreational site in Ras Al Khaimah. The outflow water from these springs has been used to irrigate the surrounding farms. In the period 1999-2004, there was a severe drought which affected the flow and water temperature from the spring as the flow decreased to almost one tenth of its average value and temperature decreased from 40 to 33 C. This work is an attempt to develop a GIS-based groundwater flow model for the Khatt springs area with the following main objectives: 1) Characterize the general hydrogeological setting of Khatt spring area; 2) Simulate groundwater flow in Khatt springs area using MODFLOW; and 3) Study several extraction scenarios to achieve best future management option.

The developed model was calibrated under steady state using observed groundwater heads of 1969. The available water table data in the period 1970-1986 was used for model calibration under transient conditions. Different values of recharge were simulated and found that a recharge value of 20% of the precipitation gives the optimum fit between observed and simulated hydraulic heads. Then, available data from 1986 to 2005 was used in model verifications. Except in the mountainous area in the eastern part of the study area, there was a reasonable match between the simulated and observed groundwater head contours of 2005.

Seven extraction scenarios were suggested to investigate the feasible groundwater management option until 2035. Results indicate that it is not feasible to increase the present extraction rate by any percent nor to keep it constant. In fact decreasing the present extraction rate is necessary to solve the present severe groundwater depletion problem. The application of scenario five was found to be the optimal groundwater management option by decreasing the present extraction rate by 25%. The obtained results meet the development ambition and proposed economic plan.

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