Develop a useful management tool for water resources allocation in the Saq aquifer in Al-Qassim Region, Saudi Arabia

Al-Salamah, Ibrahim
Major Professor
Tom Al Austin
Committee Member
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Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

The main aquifer, which supplies most wells in the Al-Qassim region of Saudi Arabia, is the Saq aquifer. The objectives of current study were: (1) to develop hydraulic properties of Saq aquifer by analyzing pumping test data, (2) to evaluate the impact of groundwater withdrawals from wells on future groundwater levels of Saq aquifer under different groundwater pumping scenarios using numerical techniques (MODFLOW), and (3) to evaluate the appropriate groundwater pumping scenario that can be adapted;A quasi-three-dimensional simulation model was developed using the groundwater flow model MODFLOW (McDonald and Harbaugh, 1988). Four management plans were considered using different discharge rates for a planning period of 51 years (1999--2050) through the existing wells. The first management plan assumes that the present tend of increase in the water extraction rates continue until the end of year 2050. The second management plan was based on the assumption that the rate of increase in water extraction will be reduced by 50% of the first management plan. The third management plan allows that the rate of increase in water extraction will be increased by 50% of the first management plan. The fourth management plan is the combination of the second and third management plans;The results show that the water level in the central area where the observation well #10 is located will be reduced to 435 m at the end of the year of 2050 by implementing the first management plan. The water level at the observation well in 2050 will be 475 m and the net drawdown will be reduced to 40 m by implementing the second management plan. By implementing the third management plan, the water level of the observation well #10 will be reduced from 515 in 1999 to as low as 395 m in 2050. By implementing the fourth management plan, the water level will be 463 m at the end of 2050 and the resulting change in the hydraulic head (drawdown) will be 52 m;From the above it seems that it is very important to implementing the fourth management plan for the Al-Qassim, area. Groundwater withdrawal from existing wells in future should be maintained at the present level, if not reduced. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)