Study of artificial recharge of groundwater in northern Qatar - phase II

  • Executing agency: UN/DESA Division for Sustainable Development
  • Senior advisor: Mr. Jacob Burke
  • Start date: 1 December 1998
  • Total budget: USD 49,099

Groundwater system in Qatar is heavily over exploited mainly for irrigation purposes. The result of over abstraction is a deterioration of water quality due to saline water intrusion from the coast and upcoming of more saline water from the deeper aquifers. Abstraction is currently almost more than five times the natural recharge to the aquifers. The proportion of the abstraction that exceeds replenishment has resulted in an accumulation groundwater deficit, which the DAWR calculated to 1027 MCM by 1995. Unless remedial action is taken the remaining fresh groundwater reserves of about (1500 MCM) will be exhausted, the times scale is probably in 10 to 12 years. Both agriculture and domestic water supply who relying on groundwater for supply will suffer the consequences. Following the successive results and recommendations of Artificial Recharge Study of Groundwater in Northern Qatar Project QST/91/002 which aimed to determine the feasibility of a large scale groundwater recharge scheme, it is concluded that a Pilot Artificial Recharge Scheme operation on long term basis should be conducted. It is essential that steps be taken immediately to control and then remediate this derogation before irreparable damage is done. The project will concentrate on carrying out long term recharge/reabsraction tests comparing the characteristics of different aquifers at each site - where dispersive effects are widely believed scale dependent. Such test will be combined with the development of a pilot scale well field which in turn would be regarded as the first well field in a large scale development. The site will be selected on the basis of availability of water for injection purposes and government strategy.