Accelerating Aquifer Storage & Recovery in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Science Center Objects

In cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development, USGS helped regional partners assess the suitability for managing scarce groundwater resources, and improving water supply, using artificial recharge methods. 

Background

Aquifers are important sources of water in the arid Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, especially during droughts and dry seasons. However, many aquifers are under stress due to high rates of pumping and low rates of natural recharge. Water supply can be improved by use of various methods collectively referred to as Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR), or more commonly as Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), in which captured stormwater runoff or treated wastewater is recharged to depleted aquifers to improve water security. MAR is a practical and cost-effective solution to recover and store millions of cubic meters of water that would otherwise be lost.

MAR is currently underutilized in the MENA region due to the high cost of site identification and difficulty matching MAR & ASR technologies to site conditions. The goal of this activity was to improve water security in the MENA region by accelerating MAR. This activity aimed to accelerate adoption of MAR by applying and disseminating new methods for mapping and identifying high potential MAR locations using remote sensing, geospatial data, and water availability analyses.

Objectives

The overall goal was to improve water security in the MENA region by accelerating use of ASR & MAR. Specific objectives were:

  • Demonstrate new methods to identify high potential MAR sites
  • Map MAR potential in two study areas for testing & replication in other MENA countries
  • Build the capacity of MENA water institutions to develop non-conventional water resources

Selected products by cooperating partners

Reports:

  • Salameh, E., and Abdallat, G., 2020, The Potential for Groundwater Artificial Recharge: With a Case Study in the Jordan Valley Area: National Center for Research and Development, Amman, Jordan, 22 p., available at USAID Develoment Experience Clearinghouse.
  • Itani, N.A., Harik, G., Alameddine, I., and El-Fadel, M., 2021, Potential of managed aquifer recharge in Lebanon: A case study of the Damour watershed: American University of Beirut, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Beirut, Lebanon, 57 p., available at USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse.

Articles:

  • Abdallat, G., and others, 2020, Management of Treated Wastewater and Flood Water Using GIS for Environmental Protection in Jordan: J. Geoscience & Environment Protection, https://doi.org/10.4236/gep.2020.81006.
  • Al-Batsh, N., and others, 2019, Assessment of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Poor Rural Communities: A Case Study from Yatta Area, Palestine: Water, 11(3), https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030585.
  • Al-Khatib, I.A., and others, 2019, Health Risk Associated with Some Trace and Some Heavy Metals Content of Harvested Rainwater in Yatta Area, Palestine: Water, 11(2), https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020238.
  • Salameh, E., and others, 2019, Planning considerations of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) projects in Jordan: Waterhttps://doi.org/10.3390/w11020182.
  • Salameh, E., and G. Abdallat, 2020, Potential areas for managed aquifer recharge in the eastern lower Jordan Valley area: Journal of Water Resource and Protection., 12, p. 330-357, https://doi.org/10.4236/jwarp.2020.124020.

Abstracts:

  • Abdallat, G., and E. Salameh, 2018, Water harvesting and groundwater artificial recharge in Jordan - Wadi Kafrain case study: Remote Sensing and Hydrology Symposium (RSHS18), Cordoba, Spain, May 2018, no. 86.
  • Abdallat, G., and E. Salameh, 2019, Mixing of Waters and Water-Rock Interaction Processes during Managed Aquifer Recharge: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 111, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Gorski, Galen, and van der Valk, Michael, 2019, Producing more interpretable maps of managed aquifer recharge suitability by visualizing sensitivity to subjective choices during mapmaking: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 133, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Harb, H. and others, 2019, Metals content, occurrence and distribution in soil of Al-Qilt catchment: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 156, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Salameh, E., and others, 2019, Unsustainable Depletion of Non-Renewable Groundwater Accelerating - the Jordan Case: American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference on the Quest for Sustainability of Heavily Stressed Aquifers at Regional to Global Scales, Valencia, Spain, October 21-24, 2019, https://agu.confex.com/agu/19chapman5/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/487943.
  • Senay, G.B., and others, 2019, Integrating weather and remote sensing datasets for historical (1980-2015) runoff simulations and mapping in the MENA region: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 77, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Senay, G.B., and others, 2018, Satellite-derived actual evapotranspiration mapping for basin water budget assessment and drought monitoring applications: Remote Sensing and Hydrology Symposium (RSHS18), Cordoba, Spain, May 2018, no. 69.
  • Senay, G.B., and others, 2019, Integrating weather and remote sensing datasets for historical (1980-2015) runoff simulations and mapping in the MENA region: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 77, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Van der Valk, Michael, and others, 2019, The impact of MAR suitability mapping and maps as a tool in the science-policy interface: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 214, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Velpuri, N.M., and others, 2019, Mapping potential sites for aquifer storage and recovery in the MENA region: A hydrologic modeling and remote sensing approach: 10th International Symposium on Manage Aquifer Recharge, Madrid, p. 76, https://www.ismar10.net/en/2019/05/18/ismar10-abstracts-book-and-program/.
  • Velpuri, N.M., and others, 2018, Modeling regional rainfall dataset using satellite based rainfall observations, in situ data and rainfall climatology contours: A case study for the MENA region: Remote Sensing and Hydrology Symposium (RSHS18), Cordoba, Spain, May 2018, no. 38.
  • Velpuri, N. M., and others, 2018, Validation of seven gridded rainfall products for the Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon region using in situ observations: American Geophysical Union 2018 Fall Meeting, H43F-2471, https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/394693.

Datasets:

  • Goode, D.J., van der Valk, M., and ElHarirry, N.H., 2021, Regional screening for managed aquifer recharge suitability in Jordan, Lebanon, and surrounding areas: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9WDQ4VF.
  • Senay, G.B., Kagone, S. Velpuri, N.M., Cole, J.C., and Goode, D.J., 2021, Modeling accumulated surface runoff and water availability for aquifer storage and recovery in the MENA region from 1984-2015: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9TXLT1X.
  • Kagone, S., Velpuri, N.M., and Senay, G.B., 2021, Assembly of satellite-based rainfall datasets in situ data and rainfall climatology contours for the MENA region: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P971ZVHF.