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Water Resources Developt UAE

Water Resources Developt UAE


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Under the Patronage of his Excellency

D r. H a d e f B i n J o u a n A l D h a h i r i

The Vice Chancellor of UAE University

w AT E R s U M M I T







univerSit y


T h e m e “ C h a l l e n g e s f o r WaT e r s u s Ta i n a b i l i T y ”

Mercure Grand Hotel, Jebel Hafeet al ain, united arab eMirates

28 MarcH 2007

Conference Materials Designed by Hamdi Kandil, UAE University

Water resources Develpment, conservation anD mamagement
Organizing Commitee
Mohsen Sherif, Chair Walid ElShorgaby
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department College of Engineering, UAE University Civil and Environmental Engineering Department College of Engineering, UAE University

Samir Abu-Eishah Ahmed Murad Fares Howari Yasser Basah

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department College of Engineering, UAE University Geology Department, College of Science, UAE University Geology Department, College of Science, UAE University Financial Officer, College of Engineering, UAE University

Sponsered by

College of Graduate Studies, United Arab Emirates University Schlumberger Water Services

Saied El Sharaaw

Administration Assistant, College of Graduate Studies

Mahfoze bin Taresh

Public Relation, UAE University

Conference Materials Designed by Hamdi Kandil, UAE University


life is dependent, one way or the other, on water. in the united arab emirates, like in the other gulf Cooperation Council (gCC) Countries, water is regarded as the limiting factor for sustainable development. Surface water resources are limited, scarce and infrequent and thus can’t support the water demands in the various sectors. The sources of water in the gCC countries are limited to three main sources including groundwater, desalination water, and treated wastewater. These sources, however, encounter various limitations including the limited availability of the groundwater, the high costs for construction and maintenance of desalination plants and the low quality of the treated wastewater.

Water is the source of life, without it no life could exist on the earth. in fact, every aspect of our

The uncontrolled increase in the water use by various competing consumers has led to current shortage of water. insufficient water in the right place at the right time with the right quality requires, more than ever before, the efficient development, conservation, management and utilization of the limited water resources. rainfall and surface water resources don’t contribute significantly to the water budget. groundwater resources are, on the other hand, limited and in most cases nonrenewable. However, groundwater represents the only perennial natural resource of water supply. The efficient management of the limited water resources in arid environments is of major concern for many authorities, organizations, and researchers in the field of water development, management, conservation and utilization. management plans should consider not only the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the water resources but also the sustainability of these resources. The proposed Water Summit is intended to be a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas relating to all aspects of water resources development, management and conservation particularly in arid regions. Such a summit will highlight major issues related to water resources management in uae and other gCC countries and provide sustainable solutions.


Motivation and Theme
great deal of scientific and applied research is needed if sound management policies are to be implemented to address problems related to the quantity and quality of water resources in uae and the gCC countries. The problem of water shortage in the region has already reached an alarming level. Proper actions should be implemented to sustain and preserve the limited available water recourses in the region. like any other system, the management of a water resource system means making decisions aimed at achieving the system’s goals, without violating specific technical and non-technical constrains that are imposed on it. in a groundwater system, for example, management decision may be related to rates and locations of pumping and artificial recharge, to changes in water quality, and to the means for restoration of groundwater resources both quantitatively and qualitatively. in the view of the importance of the water in uae and other gCC countries, the uaeu graduate Studies has decided to organize and host a one-day Water Summit under the Theme “Challenges for Water Sustainability”.



of the Water Summit

the ultimate objective of this event is to define strategies
to ensure the sustainability of water resources The specific objectives of the conference include: 1. review of the current status of water resources in the uae and gCC countries. 2. discuss the recent developments in science and technology to ensure the efficient management of water resources under arid and semi-arid conditions. 3. innovative water harvesting techniques and artificial recharge. 4. define integrated schemes for water management in arid environments. 5. develop public awareness, among the people of uae and other gCC countries, on the importance of water conservation and protection. 6. exchange the ideas and integrate the knowledge among the participants. 7. encourage governmental and private sectors to sponsor graduate students in the field of Water resources.



evolved from its role and prime responsibility to respond to the national needs, the uae university has established the Water resources
master Program (WrmP). The program commenced in September 1999 as an interdisciplinary graduate program. Three colleges effectively contribute in the program, namely, College of engineering, College of Science, and College of food Science. The strategy of the uaeu is based on the continuous improvement of its programs to meet the challenges and contribute effectively to the advancement of knowledge and technology at the national and international levels. The university, while focusing on the development and needs of the uae community, aims at occupying a central place among well-known international academic institutions. The Water resources master Programs is believed to contribute significantly towards the achievement of the sustainable water resources management in the country.


Program Objectives
the objectives of the WrmP include:
1. to educate and train national graduate students so that they become competent in relevant issues of water resources. This education should allow graduates of the m. Sc. program, who may already be working in related institutions, to provide leadership and technical assistance to their institutions on water-resource related issues. 2. to enrich and strengthen cooperation and scientific research in the field of water resources on national, regional, and international levels between relevant institutions in water resources and the university. 3. to prepare graduates of the program to pursue higher degrees at other institutions.


Modes of Study
all classes are scheduled between 5 pm and 9 pm Saturday through tuesday. The choice of evening hours is made to accommodate the mostly part-time students who come from abu dhabi or dubai & the northern emirates. if possible, scheduling of classes is organized in such a manner that students at each level would need to come to al-ain only twice a week.

the program operates as an evening program for both part-time or full-time students.

Enrollment in the Program
he WrmP commenced in September 1999. The total number of students who have been accepted in the program since its commencement is fifty one (51). twenty nine (29) have already graduated from the program in the different disciplines of water resources development, distribution, conservation and management. for more information, please contact the College of graduate Studies, uae university: tel.: 00971 3 7233132 e-mail: msherif@uaeu.ac.ae Website: www.uaeu.ac.ae/graduate



time Schedule abStraCtS



Time Schedule of the Water Summit
Mercure Grand Hotel, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, UAE
Wednesday, 28 March 2007

0800-0900 Registration and Morning Teas

Opening Session
0900-0905 0905-0915 0915-0940 0940-0950 0950-1000 Citations from the Holy Quraan Inauguration of the Water Summit, H.E. Dr. Hadef Bin Jouan Al Dhaheri Water in Arid Lands, James Fletcher The IHP Program, UNESCO, Radwan Al-Weshah Water Resources Master Program, UAEU, Mohsen Sherif

1000-1020 Tea and Refreshments Morning Session: Chair, W. ElShorbagy Co-Chair, A. Debebe

Availability and Augmentation of Water Resources
1020-1040 1040-1100 1100-1120 1120-1140 1140-1200 1200-1230 Groundwater Recharge through Dams, H.E. M. Saqr Al Asam Recent Developments in Geophysical Methods, Arnaud Levannier Alluvial Aquifer Characterization, Rolf Herrmann Cloud Seeding in UAE, Sufian Farrah Water Availability and Demands in GCC Countries, Mohsen Sherif Open Discussion: Fletcher, Al Asam, Herrmann, Levannier, Farrah, Sherif

1230-1400 Prayer Time and Lunch Afternoon Session: Chair, R. Al-Weshah Co-Chair, A. Levannier

Water Development, Management and Environmental Impacts
1400-1420 Integrated Data Management for Water Resources, Aschalew Debebe 1420-1440 Desalination Prospective and Implications with the Coastal Environment, Walid ElShorbagy 1440-1500 An Integrated Approach for Groundwater Resources Assessment, Development and Management in Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Dawoud 1500-1520 Water Policy and Management in Arid Regions, Rashael McDonnell 1520-1540 Open Discussions: Debebe, El Shorbagy, Dawoud, McDonnell 1540-1600 B r e a k 1600-1630 Closing Ceremony Fletcher,, Al Asam, Sherif


Water in Arid Lands
James E. Fletcher
Dean, Graduate Studies, UAE University

Water is an unavoidable issue. Water accumulates in the heavens in one place to fall as rain or sleet or snow or hail in another. Water that falls from the sky may remain in the soil where it meets the earth, may travel or stop on the surface of the earth, may flow or be trapped beneath the surface of the earth. Water is so strongly connected to plant and animal life that life with too little water is difficult to conceive. Academic specialties across the family of disciplines have interests in water. The dry regions of the world have sciences in common and the beginning of common water law. But too little is known about wise policy – public or private – that will insure survival and prosperity in arid lands. What we know and can come to know, what we can do and hope to do about water for arid lands must be organized on a transnational and transdisciplinary basis.


UNESCO-IHP Role in Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Arab World
Radwan Al-Weshah
Regional Hydrologist, UNESCO Cairo Regional Office

The International Hydrological Program of the UNESCO (IHP) is a vehicle through which Member States can upgrade their knowledge of the water cycle and thereby increase their capacity to better manage and develop their water resources. It aims at the improvement of the scientific and technological basis for the development of methods for the rational management of water resources. It is clear that the IHP plays a significant role in this effort and contributes to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG). MDG have pointed out the need for sound science to underwrite policy. Consequently, one priority for the IHP programme continues to be that of supporting scientific research aimed at solving significant global issues and filling some of the existing gaps in knowledge and policy. Taking direction from the strategic evolution of the previous phases of IHP, in which societal aspects of hydrology have assumed a greater importance over time, the gap assessment also has highlighted the need to widen IHP’s future scope in several specific areas, such as socio-economics, health, groundwater, governance and ecohydrology. IHP will have “continuity with change” by expanding past experience into new research fields while also exploring new frontiers for sound, science-based solutions to reducing negative impacts from global changes. UNESCO Cairo Regional Office (UCO) is implementing efficiently the themes of the IHP relevant to the Arab Region priorities. It is taking the lead in groundwater protection and dryland hydrology through several concentration areas of groundwater protection and integrated water resources management in drylands. UCO is a co-founder of the global G-Wadi network. A new concept of the ecohydrology of dry lands is an emerging topic to ensure linkage between hydrology and environment in the arid region. Most recently, UCO has launched the Arab Network on Water use Ethics, focusing on issues related to water interactions with society, culture, and other stakeholders. Our strategy is to consolidate efforts of various national, regional and international agencies in these areas to address these themes. Human resources development and capacity building has been a prime objective of UCO activities. UCO is actively following the UNESCO approach of result based management in all its activities.


Groundwater Recharge through Dams in UAE
H.E. Mohamed S. Al Asam
Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Water

Enhanced groundwater recharge represents a feasible solution to avoid the depletion of aquifers in United Arab Emirates. Due to the excessive pumping of groundwater resources, associated with the lack of rainfall and natural recharge, groundwater levels and quality in many aquifers have declined. The Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) has taken major actions to promote the sustainability of the precious groundwater resources. A total of about 115 dams of different sizes have already been constructed along the main drainage basins for surface water harvesting and artificial recharge of groundwater. Due to the topography, most of the dams are located in the northern Emirates. Rainfall events may generate considerable surface water runoff in the main Wadis. This surface water is intercepted to enhance the groundwater recharge. A large number of monitoring wells have been installed within the vicinity of recharge dams to assess their efficiency. Groundwater levels are measured monthly. The constructed dams have significantly enhanced the groundwater recharge.


Recent Developments in Geophysical Methods
Arnaud Levannier
Hydrogeologist, Schlumberger Water Services

Groundwater sustainability has become a growing issue in many places all over world because of increased usage and/or water quality degradation. With the resource decreasing, the need for active management of aquifers increases, using for instance “Aquifer Storage and Recovery” (ASR) or seawater intrusion remediation technologies. Effective management requires accurate understanding, robust characterization and decision making. As part of its characterization-modeling workflow, Schlumberger Water Services utilizes advanced geophysical techniques to constrain the geological structure of targeted aquifer systems and determine their hydrodynamic properties. Based on actual project results, we present here the advantages of key geophysical techniques with emphasis on downhole wireline logging.


Alluvial Aquifer Characterization
Rolf Herrmann
Senior Hydrogeologist, Schlumberger Water Services

The extensive surficial aquifer in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE, consists of a thick heterogeneous alluvial aquifer. Geophysical logging techniques have been carried out to obtain high resolution information of the aquifer properties. This information is used to develop a detailed hydrogeological model with high vertical resolution to represent a realistic model of the complex heterogeneous setting of the aquifer. Geostatistical modeling was applied to generate a facies model and subsequently populate the numerical model with hydraulic properties.


Cloud Seeding in UAE
Sufian K. Farrah
Department of Atmospheric Studies Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Increasing demands for water requires enhancing the sources, storage, and recycling of freshwater. In addition, there is ample evidence that human activities in United Arab Emirates, such as the emission of industrial air pollution, can alter atmospheric processes on scales ranging from local precipitation patterns to global climate. Based on the above considerations the government of the UAE, through the Department of Atmospheric Studies (DAS) in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, initiated a program to assess the development and application of the cloud seeding technology. A preliminary assessment identified some key areas of study required for assessing the efficacy and potential benefits of rainfall enhancement via hygroscopic seeding, and understands the impact of rainfall on groundwater resources. The UAE through DAS implemented a program to introduce cloud seeding technology in cooperation with the National Center of the Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the USA, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and the United States space agency NASA. This technique is based on an enhancement of the coalescence process in the clouds as a means to increase rainfall. The fewer cloud droplets grow to larger sizes and are often able to start growing by collision and coalescence with other cloud droplets within 15 minutes initiating the rain process earlier within a typical cumulus cloud lifetime of 30 minutes A significant part of the study involved building a meteorological infrastructure and field work –Aircraft measurements of trace gases that are important for aerosol formation and existing aerosols that participate in cloud processes were an essential component to the program based on the numerous cloud investigations, seeding trials, and radar depictions, we conclude that are sufficiently convective with warm cloud bases and identifiable updrafts to effectively seed with hygroscopic flares. Radar data gathered during the summer seasons revealed a high occurrence of convective rainy storms over the Mountains. However, the UAE project goes beyond established top standards. It also addresses the role of the weather active aerosol, the cloud condensation nuclei or CC\n, which ultimately determine the evolution of the clouds and the precipitation they contain UAE achievements provided immeasurable benefits not only for science but also to many countries of the world.


Water Availability and Demands in GCC Countries
Mohsen Sherif
Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering UAE University

One of the critical problems that hinder the sustainable development in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is the lack of renewable water resources. Rainfall in the Arabian Peninsula is scarce and infrequent. Over exploitation of fossil groundwater resources, mostly to meet the irrigation demands and create greenery lands, has already affected the aquifer’s productivity both quantitatively and qualitatively. A portion of the freshwater demands in the GCC countries is covered by desalinated water. However, the expansion in the construction of desalination plants may not be economically feasible and environmentally friendly. The paper investigates the water availability and assesses the water demands in the GCC countries. It emphasizes the need for the integrated management of water resources and application of relevant conservation techniques in various water consumption sectors. Recycling of water and artificial recharge of groundwater by surface water and treated wastewater should be considered at a larger scale.


Integrated Data Management for Water Resources
Aschalew (Chalew) Debebe
Project Manager, Schlumberger Water Services

Various departments of environmental organizations spend a considerable amount of time and resources on gathering data on the environment they are mandated to monitor and/or regulate. Often the data that is gathered is of divers nature and seldom are there coordination among these departments. As such, inefficient use of data that is collected at high cost is a common place in such organization. Another challenge that is commonly encountered even within the same department is the excessive amount of time spent on massaging data to fit into the various applications that are used to analyze, interpret, visualize and report the data. Integrated data management (IDM) is a new approach to simplifying data management and improving productivity by linking all relevant applications for data handling to a centralized data storage and management system. The IDM approach promotes optimal use of data by all relevant applications and all legitimate users in an organization with minimal effort spent on data preparation. In IDM, data is generally stored in a central repository where security provisions are easier to achieve, data redundancy is avoided and access is controllable.


Desalination Prospective and Implications with the Coastal Environment
Walid Elshorbagy
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, UAE University

The fast growing developments in the Gulf countries, accompanied with major scarcity of conventional water resources, puts desalination in the leading front of primary supplies of potable water for these countries. This is particularly true in coastal communities overlooking the Arabian Gulf where the elevated levels of salinity in the groundwater aquifers impair its usage for most potable purposes. The extreme deficit between the future demands in the Gulf countries and the available water resources will likely be met by constructing tens of new desalination plants. Most of these plants will mostly be of the thermal and coastal types of plants and expected to discharge their concentrated brine into the Arabian Gulf. Demands of electricity and coastal power plants are expected to increase markedly as well. The disposed brine along with thermal discharges from the power plants and other industrial facilities can potentially and adversely affect the Gulf environment. The physical impacts associated with increased temperature and salinity of the intake seawater can potentially lower the recovery ratio of the desalination plants and eventually increase the amounts of withdrawn seawater as well as the amounts of rejected thermal discharges. Such impacts will also affect the coastal water quality and consequently the marine life. This presentation addresses the future water demands of the Gulf countries and the corresponding increase in desalination capacities. Environmental impacts of growing desalination and coastal effluents on the Gulf environment are also discussed including physical, ecological and chemical impacts. Finally, recommendations to consider the adverse implications of such impacts are made. Keywords: Desalination, Arabian Gulf, thermal, coastal, environmental, physical, ecological, chemical, impacts


An Integrated Approach for Groundwater Resources Assessment, Development and Management in Abu Dhabi
Mohamed A. Dawoud
Water Resources Department, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Groundwater resources are the main issue in all development activities in Abu Dhabi Emirate. The availability of groundwater resources in term of quantity and quality is not the only problem but the sustainable and integrated management of these resources is also very important. Management means, groundwater assessment, exploration development, planning, conservation, estimation of demand and developing a long and short term strategies. Nowadays the groundwater management becomes more complicated issue. The current annual groundwater abstraction is about twenty six times larger than its annually renewable natural water resources. So, there is an urgent need for implementation of programmes and projects to improve water management and rationalize water use in all sectors. Groundwater, despite its heavy utilization over the last 30 years, still provides 81% of water used. A total of 253,000 Mm³ occurs as a reserve, but only 7% is fresh. Recharge to the aquifers in the Emirate is estimated at only 130 Million cubic meters (MCM) annually, which is only 4% of the total current annual water use. The remaining sources of water are desalinated seawater (15%) and treated effluent (4%). Given declining water levels, and a general deterioration in groundwater quality, the protection and conservation of fresh groundwater is of vital importance. Currently, 3.2 billion cubic meters of water is consumed annually in the domestic, industrial, commercial, agricultural, forestry and amenity sectors. In the framework of Water Resources Department efforts for developing an integrated system for managing the groundwater resources in Abu Dhabi Emirate, It was found that many authorities are responsible about the management of the water resources. Also, it was found that there is no good cooperation between these authorities and projects. This leads to increase the cost in the field of water resources projects and studies, duplicate the efforts and the discrepancy in water production and consumption information. This paper will analyze the major groundwater assessment, development and management issues including the followings: Groundwater exploration and assessment, Institutional reform, Groundwater use: policy, planning and regulations, Groundwater data and information management, and Strategic emergency water resources reserve through aquifer recharge.


Water Policy and Management in Arid Regions
Rachael McDonnell
Senior Research Scientist Oxford Centre for Water Research, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK

The paper will consider the special conditions for policy makers of managing water resources in arid zones. It will look a number of examples of how water resource policy, water quality policy, and frameworks for managing hydrological extremes have been implemented in arid areas across the world. The paper will then discuss how transferable these various ideas are for the Gulf States; with specific reference to United Arab Emirates, and what are the challenges to be met.


Schlumberger Water Services (SWS) provides comprehensive water resource management services, specializing in groundwater and surface water assessment, development, and management. Schlumberger Water Services combined and adapted its most powerful tools and techniques developed over the years into an integrated water management service that gives the water manager the most sophisticated underground management capabilities. These services range from data collection to management and operation of ground water supply. Schlumberger Water Services can offer most detailed understanding of the geologic structure of the aquifer and the most advanced simulations of ground water and surface water management alternatives. Schlumberger makes possible the complete integration of data management and interpretation, modeling and simulation, and resource decision making to provide for the most efficient use of groundwater and surface water resources.

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