x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Charting Ajman's water sources

Scientists are working on a map of the emirate's water resources to help authorities track pollution and regulate water extraction.

Scientists in Ajman are working on a map of the emirate's water resources to help authorities track pollution and regulate water extraction. The map, which is being compiled by researchers at the Ajman University of Science and Technology, will indicate where wells are located, measure the quality of underground water in various locations, including the pollution levels, and judge how long the water has been in particular locations. It is due to be released next year.

If water at a particular location has been there a long time, it will probably take longer to replenish if it is extracted. The mapping team is being led by Dr Zeenalabedeen Rizk, the dean of the university's Institute of Environment, Water and Energy. The university agreed to produce the water map at a recent meeting with Ajman Municipality officials. Much of the work to compile the map will be done by AUST master's students in groundwater engineering and management.

"The knowledge about your aquifers, the present exploitation and future exploitation rates, none of this is really available to the municipality," Dr Rizk said. "There is very little water that we get naturally from rain. If you develop a map, it will tell you the availability if any. It will tell you that you can drill a well here because next year it will be renewed." Field studies will be carried out from October to December this year, and from March to May next year, with chemical and bacteriological analysis being carried out at the laboratories of the Department of General Health and Environment. The Institute of Environment, Water and Energy will also carry out measurements on the water.

The study will also assess surface water, desalination and treated wastewater. dbardsley@thenational.ae