Strategic management of groundwater resources in the Arabian Peninsula: Wadi Na’man case

Şen Z., As-Sefry S., Al-Harithy S.

Arabian Journal of Geosciences, vol.10, no.3, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12517-016-2824-9
  • Journal Name: Arabian Journal of Geosciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Arid regions, Groundwater, Management, Risk, Saudi Arabia, Strategic planning
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Groundwater resources management in arid regions needs a special considerations, where each stage is affected by a wide variety of technical, social, and economic considerations, and therefore, in an integrated analysis, the foundation stone is the strategic planning, which should include ingredients of basic field data and their simple interpretations, identification of relevant parameters, sub-regions of water priority, and risk assessments. In arid regions, Quaternary deposit aquifer potentiality within any catchment (wadi) is partitioned into subdivisions for strategic planning according to rainfall pattern, morphology, geology, recharge features, and water quality. The climatologic, hydrologic, morphologic, geophysical, and hydrogeological factors combined together lead to a proper assessment of the water availability, abstractability, and recharge possibility in the area. In this paper, rather than deterministic classical approaches, uncertainty in the nature of different factors is explored during the assessment through simple risk concepts. Hence, each key factor (storativity, transmissivity porosity, saturation, and unsaturation thicknesses) is attached with respective risk values leading to groundwater volume calculations. The scenarios of possible strategic groundwater resources management are given on the human population and time bases. The application is presented for one of the major wadis, Wadi Na’man, in the central western part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.