Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Walid Eishorbagy.

Second Advisor

Charitha Bandula Pattiaratchi.

Third Advisor

Rachid Chebbi,


A multi-layered hydrodynamic model is developed for the coastal area of Ruwais, an industrial petroleum compound located about 230 Km west of Abu Dhabi City that has a medium size desalination plant. The simulation is carried out using Delft3D model, which considers a curvilinear grid model with sigma layers in the vertical direction, and incorporates the transport of salt and temperature interactively with water dynamics. The study investigates the impact of the of brine and warm cooling water released from the desalination plant as well as other nearby industrial facilities using three-dimensional advection-dispersion surface formulation. The model output is used to determine suitable locations and configurations for water intakes as well as outlets to maintain the temperature and salinity of the water introduced to the plant at optimum acceptable levels, so that maximum efficiency and minimum operation cost are achieved.

A number of optional scenarios are considered to fully assess the problem. This includes extreme desalination operation scenarios in the summer and winter, possible maximum release of warm water by other industrial facilities, and scenarios of future expansion of the plant production. Three alternatives are investigated including shifting intake to new offshore locations, moving the outfall away from intake area, and having the outfall discharge its effluent to deeper zone. Cost analysis is carried out for two scenarios to evaluate the impact operation cost in terms of chemical and energy cost. The first alternative that involves shifting the intake location about one kilometer offshore is found the be best option as it achieved the maximum reduction of chemical and energy costs for all tested scenarios when compared with the existing configurations. A 2.5% of the total annual cost; that is equivalent to 1,193,000 USD, is saved considering major expansion to the existing industrial facilities; that is 10 times the present existing effluent levels.