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Title: Natural discharge : a key to sustainable utilization of fossil groundwater.

Abstract

Rising demands for fresh water supplies in arid lands are leading to excessive exploitation and unsustainable mining of non-renewable fossil groundwater. Using the Nubian Aquifer of Saharan Africa as a test site, we demonstrate an integrated approach to identify areas of discharge that could have gone undetected, and to model extraction that is sustained by natural discharge. Using isotopic and geochemical analyses along with field and remote sensing data we show that discharge of the Nubian Aquifer is occurring on a larger scale, primarily through deep-seated fault systems, and that ascending groundwater discharges into relatively thick alluvial aquifers proximal to the fault complex that defines the River Nile and the Gulf of Suez. We develop a hydrologic model to assess the discharge and to constrain sustainable extraction in the Asyuti area along the River Nile and to demonstrate a replicable model for similar reservoirs. A two-dimensional groundwater flow model was constructed and calibrated against head data from 19 wells. Results point to a significant contribution to the Asyuti groundwater system from rising Nubian groundwater (3.19 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr: 75% of incoming flow) and a modest contribution (1.08 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr: 25% of incoming flow) from surfacemore » runoff. Approximately 2.5 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr of groundwater could be used in a sustainable manner in Asyuti. Assuming geologic settings and discharge rates similar to those at Asyuti, we estimate that 70 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr of groundwater may be available for sustainable development in similar settings around the River Nile and the Gulf of Suez.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); Univ. of Cairo
OSTI Identifier:
915734
Report Number(s):
ANL/EVS/JA-59617
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-1694; JHYDA7; TRN: US200816%%185
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: J. Hydrol.; Journal Volume: 335; Journal Issue: 1-2 ; 2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AFRICA; AQUIFERS; ARID LANDS; FLOW MODELS; FRESH WATER; GULF OF SUEZ; MINING; REMOTE SENSING; RIVERS; RUNOFF; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Citation Formats

Sultan, M., Yan, E., Sturchio, N., Wagdy, A., Abdel Gelil, K., Becker, R., Manocha, N., Milewski, A., Environmental Science Division, Western Michigan Univ., Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Cairo Univ., and Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigagion. Natural discharge : a key to sustainable utilization of fossil groundwater.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.10.034.
Sultan, M., Yan, E., Sturchio, N., Wagdy, A., Abdel Gelil, K., Becker, R., Manocha, N., Milewski, A., Environmental Science Division, Western Michigan Univ., Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Cairo Univ., & Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigagion. Natural discharge : a key to sustainable utilization of fossil groundwater.. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.10.034.
Sultan, M., Yan, E., Sturchio, N., Wagdy, A., Abdel Gelil, K., Becker, R., Manocha, N., Milewski, A., Environmental Science Division, Western Michigan Univ., Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Cairo Univ., and Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigagion. Mon . "Natural discharge : a key to sustainable utilization of fossil groundwater.". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.10.034.
@article{osti_915734,
title = {Natural discharge : a key to sustainable utilization of fossil groundwater.},
author = {Sultan, M. and Yan, E. and Sturchio, N. and Wagdy, A. and Abdel Gelil, K. and Becker, R. and Manocha, N. and Milewski, A. and Environmental Science Division and Western Michigan Univ. and Univ. of Illinois at Chicago and Cairo Univ. and Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigagion},
abstractNote = {Rising demands for fresh water supplies in arid lands are leading to excessive exploitation and unsustainable mining of non-renewable fossil groundwater. Using the Nubian Aquifer of Saharan Africa as a test site, we demonstrate an integrated approach to identify areas of discharge that could have gone undetected, and to model extraction that is sustained by natural discharge. Using isotopic and geochemical analyses along with field and remote sensing data we show that discharge of the Nubian Aquifer is occurring on a larger scale, primarily through deep-seated fault systems, and that ascending groundwater discharges into relatively thick alluvial aquifers proximal to the fault complex that defines the River Nile and the Gulf of Suez. We develop a hydrologic model to assess the discharge and to constrain sustainable extraction in the Asyuti area along the River Nile and to demonstrate a replicable model for similar reservoirs. A two-dimensional groundwater flow model was constructed and calibrated against head data from 19 wells. Results point to a significant contribution to the Asyuti groundwater system from rising Nubian groundwater (3.19 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr: 75% of incoming flow) and a modest contribution (1.08 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr: 25% of incoming flow) from surface runoff. Approximately 2.5 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr of groundwater could be used in a sustainable manner in Asyuti. Assuming geologic settings and discharge rates similar to those at Asyuti, we estimate that 70 x 10{sup 7} m{sup 3}/yr of groundwater may be available for sustainable development in similar settings around the River Nile and the Gulf of Suez.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.10.034},
journal = {J. Hydrol.},
number = 1-2 ; 2007,
volume = 335,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
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