2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


SHAKI, Ali and ADELOYE, A.J., civil and Offshore Eng, Heriot-Watt Univ, Riccarton, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, United Kingdom, shakiali@hotmail.com

Libya is considered as one of those countries which suffer from limited water resources availability because most parts of the country are either semi-arid or arid. The consequent over-reliance on ground water for meeting the ever increasing demands has resulted in the excessive depletion of the fresh groundwater stock. The situation is being exacerbated by the lack of adequate recharge to replenish the water withdrawn from the various aquifers. The present study focused on the Murzuq basin located in southwest Libya. This system rovides domestic water and serves the large-scale Ghaduwa agriculture project. The continued water withdrawal from the aquifer system over the last two decades has resulted in significant lowering of the ground water table. This is affecting the yield from the aquifer, increasing the energy cost of water withdrawal and is a potential cause of pollution. The practice is therefore unsustainable. This paper presents the preliminary evaluation of the Murzuq aquifer whose aim was to provide useful technical data and other information which will assist in the formulation of a more sustainable management programme for the aquifer. Data on water quality, quantity, and aquifer drawdown were collected between August 1995 and October 1996 from several water wells in the basin and analysed. The results of the analysis will be presented and discussed. In addition, historic water use patterns over the past twenty years at the Ghaduwa agricultural project were analysed to determine the conveyance and use efficiencies. Improving use and conveyance efficiencies at Ghaduwa will contribute to the overall sustainability in Murzuq. The paper will also introduce the next stage of the study which is the development, calibration and testing of a mathematical model of the aquifer system which will act as the driver of an optimization management model for the Murzuq aquifer system.