Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mahmoudi
The sustainable development of any region depends on the availability of water resources. In arid and semi-arid regions, the shortage in freshwater resources constitutes the major constraint against the expansion in agricultural and industrial activities. Therefore, every possible effort should be made to assess, develop and sustain the limited freshwater water resource in such regions.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is located in an arid region, where the climate is harsh and the renewable freshwater resources are very limited. Despite the severe shortage in water resources, water is misused and sometimes wasted. The per capita daily consumption in the UAE is estimated at 700 l/d which is among the highest consumptions in the world including those countries with excess water resources. On the other hand, the country has experienced a rapid development over the last three decades. Vast areas have been cultivated and green belts have been created around cities and along the highways. Many new industries were established in the different Emirates. As a result, the water demands to meet the rapid development in the different sectors have increased considerably during the same period. This increase in demand was partially covered by the expansion in the development of desalination water. Nevertheless, the groundwater resources have been overexploited for agricultural purpose. Many private farms were developed and hundreds of pumping wells were constructed. Records indicate that groundwater resources are currently under the risk of possible depletion not only because of the excessive pumping but also due to the limited recharge from rainfall.
This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the groundwater resources in some selected areas in Al Ain. The study area included Al Hayer, Gummed, Nahil and part of Al Khadar. Previous reports, information and data were critically reviewed and discussed. The hydrogeological setting and main hydrogeological parameters for the study area were reviewed. Available records for the groundwater levels were analyzed and contour maps were developed for the equipotential lines depth to groundwater and drawdown in the different years. These maps were compared to provide a better understanding for the groundwater system and the flow pattern in the study area. As compared to the records of 1991, the maximum drawdown in the groundwater levels was about 17 m at the central part of the study area. On the other hand, contour maps were developed to assess the change in the water quality over the last two decades. It is concluded that the change in the groundwater quality is limited and it can be used for unrestricted irrigation purposes.
A two-dimensional finite-element model (SUTRA) was employed to simulate the groundwater condition is the study domain. Argus-One was used as pre-processor and post-processor for SUTRA. The model was calibrated for the groundwater measurements of the year 2001 and was then used to predict the groundwater levels for the year 2010 assuming the same pumping rates. The expected decline in the groundwater levels within the study domain varied between 5 m near the boundaries and 9.5 m at the central part. Due to the limited availability of data, the results of the model should be regarded as qualitative rather than quantitative. Finally, recommendations were proposed to protect and sustain the groundwater resources.
Al Shahi, Fatma Abdullatif, "Assessment of Groundwater Resources in Selected Areas of Al Ain in the U.A.E." (2002). Theses. 96.