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United Arab Emirates University (2019)

SELECTION OF BEST SITES FOR AQUIFER STORAGE AND RECOVERY IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ABU DHABI EMIRATE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Abdou Khalil, Karim Ali Mahfouz

Titre : SELECTION OF BEST SITES FOR AQUIFER STORAGE AND RECOVERY IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ABU DHABI EMIRATE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Auteur : Abdou Khalil, Karim Ali Mahfouz

Université de soutenance : United Arab Emirates University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2019

Résumé
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi relied on groundwater as the main source of fresh water for several decades in the past. This resulted in the deterioration of the non-renewable groundwater aquifers ; and thus, desalination plants have become the major source of freshwater supply in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Diminishing natural groundwater is a serious threat to freshwater security in arid regions. Because UAE has the world’s highest per capita water consumption rate, more than 70 desalination plants have been built in the last two decades. A major concern, therefore, is the vulnerability of these desalination plants to pollution and emergency conditions. In emergency conditions, the maximum amount of stored water in reservoirs and distribution systems will be enough for only 48 hours. Currently, the production of these plants exceeds national water demand and the surplus is used to recharge groundwater in specific locations. While production of desalination plants is constant, demand is continuously increasing and soon will exceed production, and then new plants will be needed. This would require investments of billions of Dirhams ; not to mention the effect of these plants on the environment. In other words, the construction of new desalination plants cannot continue forever. The main aim of this thesis will be on increasing strategic water reserves in the Eastern District of Abu Dhabi by selecting the best locations for Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR). A limiting factor in applying ASR technology is the lack of suitable sites. Finding the best locations for artificial recharge is one of the crucial design steps. ASR technology offers an opportunity to store large volumes of water for later beneficial use. The artificial aquifer recharge with water for a variety of applications has been successfully used worldwide. There is a range of methods used to recharge aquifers, including infiltration systems and injection wells. The choice of method depends on the type of aquifer, land area available, and intended uses of the recovered water. Upon completion, this study would enhance water management in the Al-Ain region to build a backup reservoir to face potential threats of shortage in freshwater supply from desalination plants. Many hydrogeological factors need to be considered during the site selection process for ASR projects. These factors will be considered to assess the hydrological feasibility includes identifications of the best geological layers to receive the injected water. This work will provide a feasibility study of implementing managed aquifer recharge projects in the Al-Ain region, to increase the groundwater storage in suitable sites in the Al-Ain region and modeling the groundwater aquifers and the feasibility to extract water from an aquifer to satisfy critical needs if a reserve had been established through the implementation of an ASR program.

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Page publiée le 15 mai 2022