Water management during climate change using aquifer storage and recovery of stormwater in a dunefield in western Saudi Arabia

Water management during climate change using aquifer storage and recovery of stormwater in a dunefield in western Saudi Arabia

Water management during climate change using aquifer storage and recovery of stormwater in a dunefield in western Saudi Arabia
O. Lopez, G. Stenchikov and T.M. Missimer
Environ. Res. Lett., 9, 075008 (6pp), (2014)
O. Lopez, G. Stenchikov and T.M. Missimer
Climate change, Aquifer storage and recovery, Wadi hydrology, Wadi dams, Dunefields
2014
An average of less than 50 mm yr−1 of rainfall occurs in the hyperarid region of central Western Saudi Arabia. Climate change is projected to reate greater variation in rainfall accumulation with more intense rainfall and flood events and longer duration droughts. To manage climate change and variability in ephemeral stream basins, dams are being constructed across wadi channels to capture stormwater, but a large percentage of this stored water is lost to evaporation. A dam/reservoir system located in Wadi Al Murwani in Western Saudi Arabia was recently constructed and is expected to contain a maximum stored water volume of 150 million m3. A hydrologic assessment of a dunefield lying 45 km downstream was onducted to evaluate its potential use for aquifer storage and recovery of the reservoir water. A 110 m elevation difference between the base of the dam and the upper level of the dunefield occurs, allowing conveyance of the water from the reservoir to the dunefield storage site by gravity feed without pumping, making the recharge system extremely energy efficient. Aquifer storage and recovery coupled with dams would allow water management during extreme droughts and climate change and has widespread potential application in arid regions.



DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/075008