NANO alumni publication: Effect of unconventional water resources interventions on the management of Gaza coastal aquifer in Palestine

NANO Alumni Hassan Al-Najjar and colleagues published the following article in the Water Supply Journal

Effect of unconventional water resources interventions on the management of Gaza coastal aquifer in Palestine

Al-Najjar, H. et al. (2021) Water Supply. DOI 10.2166/ws.2021.170

Abstract

The non-conventional water resources of seawater desalination, wastewater treatment, and stormwater harvesting are promising water resources to enhance the water supply and to cope with the groundwater depletion of the Gaza coastal aquifer (GCA). In total, the current daily operation of the short-term low-volume (STLV) seawater desalination plants produces 36,000 m3 and, on the large-scale perspective, the seawater desalination capacity is planned to increase from 150,000 to 300,000 m3 per day by the years 2025 and 2035, respectively. The wastewater treatment and reuse activities are processed through three wastewater treatment plants with a total daily capacity of 130,000 m3 which is proposed to be increased to a capacity of 235,000 m3 by the beginning of 2025. Stormwater collecting and harvesting supply the water sector by about 550–820 cubic meters per day. The proposed stochastic and artificial intelligence model that was developed in this study to simulate the interactive conditions between the groundwater and the water intervention plan showed proper performance in terms of (r) = 0.95–0.99 and the root mean square error (RMSE) = 0.09–0.21. The model outputs reveal that the annual groundwater abstractions will reach 192 million cubic meters by 2040 with an annual increasing rate of +3%. By applying the model, the optimum utilization of the unconventional water resources contributes positively to the recovery of the GCA, which is experiencing a decline hot spot in the water level that reaches to −19 m below mean sea level (MSL) and is expected to drop to −28 m MSL by 2040. The impact of unconventional water resources interventions was investigated by simulating the water table trend using stochastic models and artificial neural networks (ANNs) through three scenarios. The first scenario, which addresses the non-intervention status, indicates that the groundwater table will decline by −1.5% in the northern governorates and by −51% in the southern governorates of the Gaza Strip within 2020–2040. The second scenario demonstrates the impact of the existing water interventions that revealed an interim recovery in the groundwater balance until 2025 in which the water consumption tended to increase rapidly. The third scenario illustrates the impact of applying the full water management intervention plan in which the depression cone in the groundwater level will be restored by about +10 m.

Keywords:

Link for the publication here

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