Groundwater constitutes an important part of the available water resources in arid areas. Knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative status of groundwater is a key aspect in optimal groundwater management. The purpose of this study was to provide technical information on the groundwater in the sand aquifer of two neighboring areas in the United Arab Emirates to support stakeholders working towards sustainable groundwater development. The chemical characteristics of the groundwater have been used to identify the processes controlling groundwater chemistry and assess the suitability of the groundwater for agricultural purposes. Despite tapping into the same aquifer, considerable differences in groundwater quality were found between the two study areas. The area with a shallower water table showed clear indications of irrigation return flow deteriorating the groundwater quality. Using standard agricultural indices, the groundwater at both study areas is classified as unfit for agricultural purposes. However, considering that groundwater is the only available water source for irrigation, it will continue to be used for agriculture. This indicates the need for improved irrigation management and the development of new strategies for sustainable groundwater development in arid areas in the context of food security.
|Publication status||Published - Sept 1 2019|
- Arid areas
- Irrigation return flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Earth-Surface Processes