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Detailed Studies of Groundwater Resources in the Rub’ Al Khali Desert (Arabie Saoudite)

Arabie Saoudite

Titre : Detailed Studies of Groundwater Resources in the Rub’ Al Khali Desert (Arabie Saoudite)

Pays : Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Lead executing agency : Ministry of Water and Electricity

Commissioned by : Ministry of Water and Electricity

Financier : Ministry of Water and Electricity

Overall term : 2010 to 2013

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. Meeting the demand for water here has become a major challenge that calls for urgent management of the water resources.
The Saudi Ministry of Water and Electricity is carrying out studies of the Kingdom’s aquifers in order to assess the existing water resources. As part of this undertaking, a joint venture between GTZ International Services and Dornier Consulting (DCo) is conducting the Rub’ Al Khali Groundwater Study.
The Rub’ Al Khali (or “Empty Quarter”) is located in south-eastern Saudi Arabia . It is the largest sand desert on earth. The study area is situated in south eastern Saudi Arabia and covers approximately 600,000 square kilometres, 1.7 times the area of Germany.

The study covers the investigation of several calcareous and sandstone aquifers which are hydraulically connected.
The main objectives of the study
1. Assessment of the groundwater budget. Here the main purpose is to establish what inflows and outflows exist in the aquifer system.
2. Assessment of the groundwater reserves. This looks at the question of how much groundwater is – or remains – available.
3. Management of the groundwater resources : How can we make best use of the groundwater resource ? Is sustainable groundwater management possible ?
To answer these questions, the Rub’ Al Khali project involves extensive field work. For its various studies, it uses the latest approaches, such as : water point inventory, review and rehabilitation of the monitoring network, surface geophysics, geophysical borehole logging, pumping tests, drilling campaign, groundwater quality study, isotopes study, water demand studies (agricultural, domestic, industrial), remote sensing analysis, and hydrological, geological, and groundwater modelling.
The scientific work is particularly effective as the research is being carried out collectively by the Saudi Ministry of Water & Electricity, GTZ IS, Technische Universität Darmstadt, and the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig.

Présentation (GIZ))

Page publiée le 28 février 2011, mise à jour le 30 mars 2017