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Sustainable management of the Salalah coastal aquifer in Oman using an integrated approach
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Most of the coastal areas around the globe depend on coastal aquifers vulnerable to salt water intrusion. The Salalah plain in southern Oman is underlain by a shallow limestone aquifer extending north up to the foot of the Jabal AlQara which reach a height of about 1000 m. A major part of the recharge to the aquifer is through fog condensation on the forest on the upper slopes of the mountain. Increasing population and water use for agriculture has caused limited salt-water intrusion. There is an urgent need for management of the aquifer to avoid further intrusion. A numerical flow model was developed for the Salalah coastal aquifer using both the MODFLOW and the MT3DMS computer codes to study the present water flow and future water turnover, the latter under different scenarios. The fog collecting forest is under threat due to the browsing of herds of camels. Recharge of treated wastewater is a management measure already in operation. Other management options considered, are restrictions on the use of water in irrigation and improvements in irrigation practices. Still another measure is reforestation of Jabal AlQara.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2007. , xii, 22 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2007:1031
Keyword [en]
groundwater, cosatal aquifer, salt water instrusion, fog, modelling
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4384ISBN: 978-91-7178-645-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4384DiVA: diva2:12072
Public defence
2007-05-29, V1, KTH, Teknikringen 76, Stockholm, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100817Available from: 2007-05-20 Created: 2007-05-20 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Seawater intrusion in the Salalah plain aquifer, Oman
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seawater intrusion in the Salalah plain aquifer, Oman
2007 (English)In: Environmental Geology, ISSN 0943-0105, E-ISSN 1432-0495, Vol. 53, no 3, 575-587 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Salalah is situated on a fresh water aquifer that is replenished during the annual monsoon season. The aquifer is the only source of water in Salalah city. The rainfall and mist precipitation in the Jabal AlQara recharges the plain with significant renewable fresh groundwater that has allowed agricultural and industrial development to occur. In Salalah city where groundwater has been used extensively since the early 1980s for agricultural, industrial and municipal purposes, the groundwater has been withdrawn from the aquifer more rapidly than it can be replenished by natural recharge. The heavy withdrawal of large quantities of the groundwater from the aquifer has led to the intrusion of seawater. Agricultural activities utilize over 70% of the groundwater. For the study of the saltwater intrusion, the area has been divided into four strips, A, B, C and D, on the basis of land-use in the area. Water samples were collected from 18 water wells. Chemical analysis of major ions and pollution parameters in the groundwater was carried out and compared to the previous observed values. The electrical conductivity and chloride concentrations were highest in the agricultural and residential strips and Garziz grass farm. Before 1992 the aquifer was in a steady state, but presently (2005) the groundwater quality in most of the agricultural and residential strips does not meet drinking water standards. In addition, model simulations were developed with the computer code MODFLOW and MT3DMS for solute transport to determine the movement of the freshwater/saltwater interface. The study proposes the protection of the groundwater in Salalah plain aquifer from further encroachment by artificial recharge with reclaimed water, preferably along the Salalah coastal agricultural strip. This scheme can also be applied to other regions with similar conditions.

Keyword
Oman; Over-pumping; Reclaimed water and artificial recharge; Saltwater intrusion; Septic tanks; Aquifers; Concentration (process); Groundwater resources; Rain; Septic tanks; Water treatment; Over-pumping; Reclaimed water and artificial recharge; Saltwater intrusion; Seawater; agricultural land; aquifer; coastal zone; drinking water; freshwater environment; groundwater pollution; human activity; ion; monsoon; precipitation (climatology); rainfall; saline intrusion; seawater; simulation;
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7146 (URN)10.1007/s00254-007-0673-2 (DOI)000250464700011 ()2-s2.0-35649028885 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818. Även publicerad i Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol. 15, 2007, s. 1-14.Available from: 2007-05-20 Created: 2007-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Groundwater resources assessment of the Salalah coastal plain
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Groundwater resources assessment of the Salalah coastal plain
(English)In: Hydrogeology Journal, ISSN 1431-2174, E-ISSN 1435-0157Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7147 (URN)
Note

QC 20100818

Available from: 2007-05-20 Created: 2007-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Impact of the Al-Qara mountain fogwater forest on groundwater recharge in the Salalah coastal aquifer, Sultanate of Oman
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impact of the Al-Qara mountain fogwater forest on groundwater recharge in the Salalah coastal aquifer, Sultanate of Oman
2007 (English)In: Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology, ISSN 1642-3593, Vol. 7, no 1, 37-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study demonstrates the link between the experimental work in Jabal AlQara fogwater forest on horizontal precipitation and groundwater recharge to the Salalah coastal plain aquifer. The future impact of the forest continuous deterioration on the aquifer WAS investigated by simulation modeling. The results of the fieldwork show that measured horizontal precipitations (interaction between trees and fogwater) are considerably higher than measured vertical precipitations (rainfall) during the wet monsoon season. Simulation modeling of the impact of reduction in groundwater recharge originating from the mountain indicated that the reduction of the tree cover would result in a significant impact on the aquifer sustainability. It is recommended that recent government efforts to maintain the fogwater forest by reducing the population of camels and trees planting be continued and strengthened.

Keyword
Camels browsing; Dhofar Mountains; Fogwater forest; Horizontal precipitation; Oman; coastal aquifer; fog; forest; groundwater flow; hydrological response; precipitation (climatology); recharge; simulation; sustainability
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7148 (URN)2-s2.0-35748963824 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2007-05-20 Created: 2007-05-20 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
4. Predictive simulation of flow and solute transport for managing the Salalah coastal aquifer, Oman
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Predictive simulation of flow and solute transport for managing the Salalah coastal aquifer, Oman
2009 (English)In: Water resources management, ISSN 0920-4741, E-ISSN 1573-1650, Vol. 23, no 14, 2941-2963 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A three-dimensional numerical model for flow and solute transport was used for the management of the Salalah aquifer. The model calibration procedures consisted of calibrating the aquifer system hydraulic parameters by history matching under steady and transient conditions. The history of input and output of the aquifer were reconstructed in a transient calibration from 1993 to 2005. Predictive simulation of the aquifer was carried out under transient conditions to predict the future demand of groundwater supply for the next 15 years. A baseline scenario was worked out to obtain the piezometric surface and salinity distribution for the "business as usual" conditions of the aquifer. The "business as usual" scenario was predicted and simulated for the period 2006 until 2020. The effectiveness of seven management options was proposed and assessed for comparison with the "business as usual" conditions. The established simulation model was used to predict the distribution of the piezometric surface, salinity distribution, and mass balance under the proposed scenarios for the prediction period 2006-2020. The scenarios were: (1) relocate Garziz and MAF farms far from the freshwater zone, (2) suspend the abstraction of grass production for 4 months a year, (3) changes in agricultural and irrigation system patterns, (4) establish a desalination plant, (5) combined scenario (1 + 4), (6) combined scenario (1 + 3), and (7) combining all scenarios (1 + 2 + 3 + 4). The result of the simulation shows that the best effective option in terms of aquifer groundwater levels is the fifth proposed scenario and the sixth proposed scenario is the best effective option in terms of aquifer groundwater salinity situation during the next 15 years. This project suggested the application of scenario 6 as it is environmentally sound in terms of sustainable management. A prediction has been made which shows that further actions have to be taken within the next two decades to ensure continuity of the municipal water supply. The management scenarios are examined in the case of the Salalah coastal aquifer using groundwater simulation, which can also be applied to other regions with similar conditions. The established model is considered a reasonable representation of the physical conditions of the Salalah plain aquifer, and can be used as a tool by the water and environmental authorities in the management of the groundwater in the region.

Keyword
Groundwater flow model; MODFLOW; MT3DMS; Salalah coastal aquifer; Salinity intrusion; Aquifers; Calibration; Competition; Computer graphics; Desalination; Flow simulation; Groundwater flow; Hydrogeology; Municipal engineering; Salinity measurement; Simulators; Solute transport; Water filtration; Water supply; Groundwater resources; coastal aquifer; groundwater flow; mass balance; numerical model; saline intrusion; salinity; solute transport
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7149 (URN)10.1007/s11269-009-9417-2 (DOI)000270898700006 ()2-s2.0-70350338738 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818. Uppdaterad från Submitted till Published 20100818.Available from: 2007-05-20 Created: 2007-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. The effectiveness of artificial recharge in combating seawater intrusion on the Salalah Coastal Aquifer, Oman
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effectiveness of artificial recharge in combating seawater intrusion on the Salalah Coastal Aquifer, Oman
2008 (English)In: Environmental Geology, ISSN 0943-0105, E-ISSN 1432-0495, Vol. 55, no 1, 191-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Salalah central sewage treatment plant has been designed to treat 20,000 m(3)/day at the first stage and two further stages to double the initial capacity. The plant currently (2005) treats more than 15,000 m(3)/day effluents to a tertiary level, and after chlorination phase, the effluents are recharged into tube wells in a line parallel to the coast. The process aims to help stabilize the seawater interface and a part to be recovered from hand-dug wells/boreholes further inland and downstream. A three-dimensional flow and solute advection transport model was developed to assess the effectiveness of the proposed recharge scheme and to track the solute transport with respect to the design system. The advection transport model predicted that in 2020 the maximum pathlines of the injection fluids would reach the abstraction wells that are located 600 m, southward of the injection bores in about 1-year travel time in the case of the no-management interference and more than that southward under management interference. The developed flow predicted the wedge of the saline intrusion in 2019 is tracked up to 2.7 and 3.4 km from the shoreline with the injection and without the injection, respectively under constant underflow. The injection scheme is effective in pushing back the saline zone front by 700 m. This study argues that the treated wastewater would help to increase the water levels at the vicinity of the injection line and to reduce the influence of saline inflows from the coast. The reclaimed sewage recharge scheme is examined in the case of the Salalah coastal aquifer using groundwater simulation, which can also be applied to other regions with similar conditions.

Keyword
Artificial recharge; Injection bores; Salalah coastal aquifer; Treated municipal sewage and salinity; Chemical modification; Groundwater geochemistry; Sewage; Sewage treatment plants; Coastal aquifers; sea water intrusion; artificial recharge; borehole; chlorination; coastal aquifer; effluent; hydrological modeling; recharge; saline intrusion; shoreline; solute transport; waste treatment
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7150 (URN)10.1007/s00254-007-0975-4 (DOI)000256473900019 ()2-s2.0-44949253978 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818. Uppdaterad från Accepted till Published 20100818.Available from: 2007-05-20 Created: 2007-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • nn-NO
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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