Projekt Rausch 1

Detailed Studies of Water Resources in Khuff Jilh Minjur and the overlying Aquifers

Project Outline

Title: Detailed Studies of Water Resources in Khuff Jilh Minjur and the overlying Aquifers
Commissioned by: Ministry of Water & Electricity
Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Overall term: June 2010 – May 2013

Introduction

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. Meeting the demand for water here has become a major challenge that calls for urgent management of the water resources.

Khuff Jilh Minjur von Randolf Rausch
Photo: Jurassic escarpment in central Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Ministry of Water & Electricity is carrying out studies of the Kingdom's aquifers in order to assess the existing water resources. As part of this undertaking, a joint venture between GTZ International Services and Dornier Consulting (DCo) is conducting the Khuff Jilh Minjur Groundwater Study. The project started on June 2010 and will run for three years until May 2013.

The aquifers (water-bearing rock formations) under investigation are located in central Saudi Arabia (see map). They consist of thick layers of limestone and sandstone.

khuff Jilh Minjur2 von Randolf Rausch
Map: Geological map of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia showing the Khuff Jilh Minjur study area.

Objectives

The main objectives of the study

  • Assessment of the groundwater budget. Here the main purpose is to establish what inflows and outflows exist in the aquifer system.
  • Assessment of the groundwater reserves. This looks at the question of how much groundwater is – or remains – available.
  • Management of the groundwater resources: How can we make best use of the groundwater resource? Is sustainable groundwater management possible?

To answer these questions, the Khuff Jilh Minjur project involves extensive field work. For its various studies, it uses the latest approaches, such as: water point inventory, review and rehabilitation of the monitoring network, surface geophysics, geophysical borehole logging, pumping tests, drilling campaign, groundwater quality study, isotopes study, water demand studies (agricultural, domestic, industrial), remote sensing analysis, and hydrological, geological, and groundwater modelling.

The scientific work is particularly effective as the research is being carried out collectively by the Saudi Ministry of Water & Electricity, GTZ IS, Technische Universität Darmstadt, and the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig.