You are on page 1of 58

GROUNDWATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN SAUDI ARABIA

Walid A. Abderrahman Professor, Water Resources Management President, Saudi Water Association

Special Presentation at Water Conservation Workshop Khober, Saudi Arabia December, 2006

CONTENTS INTRODUCTION WATER RESOURCES


ARABIA

IN SAUDI

WATER SUPPLY SOURCES IN SAUDI ARABIA IMPACTS OF INTENSIVE USE OF GROUNDWATER AND ADOPTED MEASURES ADDITIONAL MANAGEMENT ACTIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCES CONCLUSIONS

WATER RESOURCES IN SAUDI ARABIA

The extension of the outcrop areas of principle and secondary aquifers in agricultural regions i Saudi Arabia

Available Water resources in Saudi Arabia in 2003-2004(MCM)

Surface water Groundwater resources

5,000-8,000 (2,230 available for use) 2,269,000 (84,000 renewable groundwater in shallow aquifers) 3,958 (1,196 to shallow aquifers and 2,762 to deep aquifers in the Arabian Shelf) 1,050 240

Groundwater recharge Desalination Treated wastewater

Average Water Share

The total volumes of available renewable water resources from surface water and groundwater recharge are about 6,188 MCM. The average water share from renewable resources is about 281 cubic meters per person in 2005. According to the scarcity index the country is under extreme water shortages. But, when the non-renewable groundwater resources are considered, the situation of the available water resources will be different.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND WATER USE IN THE KINGDOM

60 Population 50 Population (million) 40 30 20 10 0 1970 1980 1990 Year 2000 2020 2025 Urban Population

Population Growth in Saudi Arabia

GROWTH IN WATER DEMANDS

Growth in Industrial, Domestic, and Agricultural, water demands in the Kingdom


25000
22,833 21,361 20,474 20,083 19,271 19,271 19,271 19,271 22,451

23,271

23,761

20000 Water Demand MCM

18,776

15000
9,972

10000
6,238 6,018

9,470

5000
1,508 20 200 56 446 190 1,800 290 2,300 450 2,700 480

3,400

3,740

600

750

0 1970 1980 1990 2000 Year 2003 2010 2020 2025

Industrial Water Demands Agicultuue Water Demand

Domestic Water Demand Total Water Demand

WATER SUPPLY SOURCES IN SAUDI ARABIA

Water Supply in Saudi Arabia (MCM)

Water source

1980

1990

1992

2000

2003

Treated wastewater effluents Desalination Surface water & recharge to deep and shallow aquifers (renewable water) Groundwater nonrenewable Total

110 200

110 540

110 540

240 1050

240 1050

6000

6000

6000

6000

6000

3,662 (36.7%) 9,972

13,824 (67.5%) 20,474

17,628 (75.7%) 23,278

14,071 (65.9%) 21,361

15,543 (68%) 22,833

Water Supply in Saudi Arabia (MCM)


100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1980 1990 1992 2000 2005

200

540

540

1050

1050

3,662 110 13,824 16,628 14,071 15,543

6,000

110 6,000

110 6,000

240 6,000

240 6,000

Surface water and recharge

Treated wastewater

Groundwater(nonrenewable)

Desalination

Groundwater Supplies in Saudi Arabia

30000 Water Cons. ( MCM) 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0

Water renewable

Fossil water

16930 18525 15876 15563 15563 16783 16738 16458 15240 12981 15643 15178 15648 14591 13776 9440 11801 9349 9230 6728 5853 15563 44385181 3720

19 88

19 86

20 01

19 80

19 82

19 84

19 90

19 92

Year

19 94

19 96

19 99

20 03

20 05

Accumulative Groundwater Consumption in Saudi Arabia

Groundwater extraction (MCM/a)

18000 16000 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0

estimated cumulative use of nonrenewable groundwater reserve (MCM groundwater extraction total groundwater extraction

extraction of nonbl estimated renewable


82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 99 01 03 20

80

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

20

202,000

20000 87,000

Case Studies

EASTERNPROVINCE PROVINCE EASTERN

EASTERNPROVINCE PROVINCE EASTERN

EASTERNPROVINCE PROVINCE EASTERN

The Eastern Province has a very low annual precipitation (about 63 mm) and groundwater resources from local aquifers are the main water supply source for about 90% of the total demands in the province

Population Growth in Eastern Province

4,000,000 3,500,000 3,000,000 2,500,000 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000 0 1980 1990 Year 2005

Population

Growth in Water Use in Eastern Province

Domestic & Ind.


2000 1750 1500 1250 1000 750 500 250 0 1980 Water Consumption (MCM)

Agricultural

Total

1990
Year

2005

AquiferSystem Systemin inEastern EasternSaudi SaudiArabia Arabia Aquifer

Present Water Abstractions from Dammam Aquifer in Greater Dammam Area (MCM)
Domestic
350 300 Abstraction MCM 250 200 150 100 50 0 1967 1970 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 Year

Municipal

Agricultural

Industrial

Total

Present Water Abstractions from UER Aquifer in Greater Dammam Area (MCM)
ARAMCO Airport 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1967 1970 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 Year KFUPM Municipality Air Base Total Al-Khobar

Abstraction MCM

History of Water Abstractions (MCM)

Neogene Aquifer
Groundwater Abstraction(MCM) 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970

Dammam Aquifer

UER

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

Year

Impacts of Increase in Groundwater Abstraction on levels and qualities

DAMMAM AQUIFER

The Impact of Increase in Groundwater Pumping from Dammam aquifer on water level ( 1967-2005)

Total 600 Water Extraction Rate MCM 500 400 300 200 100 0 1965 1970

W.L.Well No Q6K Dammam

W.L.Ras Tunura Water Level in Meters MSL 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6

1975

1980

1985 Year

1990

1995

2000

2005

The Impact of Increase in Groundwater Pumping from Dammam Aquifer on Salinity level Change in Dammam Area (1967-2005)
Total 600 G ro u n d w a te r A b s tra c tio n (M C M ) 500 400 300 200 100 0 1965 1975 1985
Year

TDS 6000 5000 T D S (p p m ) 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1995 2005

UMM ER RADHUMA AQUIFER

The Impact of Increase in Groundwater Pumping from UER aquifer on water level in Dhahran Area (1967-2004)
Total W.L. Well # 811 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

700
Extraction Rate MCM

600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985
Year

1990

1995

2000

2005

Water Level in meters MSL

800

The Impact of Increase in Groundwater Pumping from UER Aquifer on Salinity level Change in Dhahran Area (1979-2005)
Total Abstraction 800 700 A b stra ctio n M C M 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1967 1970 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 Year TDS 5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

T D S (m g /l)

NEOGENE AQUIFER

The Impact of Increase in Groundwater Pumping from Neogene aquifer on water level (1951-2005)
Neogene Aquifer
Water Extraction Rate MCM 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

W. L. Well # HH2N
160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2010 Water Level in Meters MSL

Year

The Impact of Increase in Groundwater Pumping from Neogene Aquifer on Salinity level Change (1979-2005)
Neogene Aquifer 600 G ro u n d w a te r A b s tra c tio n (M C M ) 500 400 300 200 100 0 1965 1975 1985
Year

TDS - Umm Saba'ah

TDS-Haqel 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0


T DS (p p m )

1995

2005

North Western Western Province Province North

North Western Western Province Province North

North Western Western Province Province North

North Western Western Province Province North


More than 1,500 wells have been pumping about 2,300 MCM/year of groundwater with salinity level of less than 400 ppm since 1986. About 48 BCM of groundwater have been pumped after 1986. This is equivalent to 3.5 times the total production of the desalination since early seventies of the last century until now.

ADOPTED MEASURES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT

Utilization of non-renewable groundwater can occur in two approaches: Planned schemes in which the mining of aquifer reserves is based on logical utilization of aquifer reserves with expected benefits and predicted impacts over a specified time-frame. An unplanned basis with incidental depletion of aquifer reserves, as a result of intensive groundwater abstraction under limited recharge conditions.

Prior 2001, the government (Ministry of Agriculture and Water) has adopted several regulations for proper utilization of groundwater resources. These include: Special permits from the Ministry for well drilling including site, aquifer, depth, design, development and production; Supervision of well drilling and development by the Ministry, Control on the purpose of water use by the Ministry, Pan on well drilling in over pumped areas or in aquifers which suffer from water level declines and quality change. The Ministry has also the right to claim water protected zones for special uses such as domestic purpose.

In July 2001, The Ministry of Water was announced to be responsible for all related issues of water in the Kingdom. All water agencies and authorities became under the Ministry after the appointment of the Minister of Water (MW) in September 2002. This is to secure effective water management and national planning, and to achieve the sustainability of water resources and continuity of the development and progress of the country

The specific objectives of the new Ministry as stated in the Royal Decree No 125 on 25/4/1422 (16 July 2001) are:

To supervise the water sector and its facilities, and the management, monitoring and organization of this sector. To carry out all related studies to water in order to assess it resources, storage and available volumes. To prepare a comprehensive water plan defining the policies related to water, development of its resources, and water resources protection and conservation for different purposes.

The Ministry has adopted the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as the main tool to achieve sustainability of water resources and development of the Kingdom. IWRM is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems

Objectives, tools and actions of IWRM


(World Bank, 2003)

Environmental and Ecological Sustainability

Enabling Environment
ts en um tr s In
Allocation Regulations Economic Tools

m ge a an M

t en

Policies Legislation Fora & mechanisms for participation International cooperation

Level of action Management boundaries Cap. Build.,

In st itu tio na lR ol es

Economic Efficiency (Economic Sustainability)

Social Equity (Social Sustainability)

Stages of groundwater resource development in a major aquifer and their corresponding management needs (UNEP, 2003)
Groundwater Conditions in Saudi Arabia

Targets for groundwater resources management in rationalization scenarios following indiscriminate and excessive exploitation
(UNEP, 2003)

Groundwater Recovery in Saudi Arabia

Rationale Groundwater Resources Management in Saudi Arabia Following Excessive Exploitation 2003

Water Consumption (MCM)

25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000

0 Water Level (m.s.l.) -20 -40 -60 -80 -100

Sustainable Level

0 -120 1968 1973 1978 1983 1988 1993 1998 2003 Water Consumption Water Level

Corrective demand management measures for agricultural purposes such as: 75% reduction in wheat areas (since 1975) About 40% reduction in forage crops (mainly after 2001). National water strategy tied with agricultural national strategy (strategy is in final stages). Further agricultural water demand reduction measures are expected soon. Reduction of at least 30% of agricultural water use is important to protect the groundwater sustainability.

Corrective demand management measures for domestic purposes in urban and rural areas have been implemented. Daily savings of about 30% of domestic use or about 524,000 M3 (equal to the production of 4 desalination plants) have been achieved .

Furthermore, The MOWE has introduced a new strategy for PPP in managing the water and wastewater in major cities and tows in KSA. A new National Water Company owned totally by the Government and supervised by the MOWE has been announced in October 2006.

CONCLUSIONS

Saudi Arabia has relied on groundwater resources to support its comprehensive socio economic, agricultural and industrial developments especially during the last three decades. Understanding the characteristics of the aquifer, the government has followed rationalizes approach to utilize groundwater resources especially after 1993, by controlling aquifer development, well licensing and drilling, agriculture policy modification, production of non conventional water resources.

More serious measures have been taken after the establishment of Ministry of Water and Electricity in 2001 by the adoption of IWRM tools for achieving the objectives of the national water policy and to accomplish the sustainability of groundwater resources.

Corrective demand management measures such as major shifting and reduction in agricultural areas, water conservation and reuse of treated wastewater effluents have to be carried out to protect the aquifers and groundwater resources in the Kingdom.

Thank You