The United Arab Emirates is one of the top ten water scarce countries in the world due to its hyper arid climate. Over the last few decades, water demand has increased rapidly due to population growth, remarkable expansion in the urban areas, economic development, and changes in lifestyle which effectively have led to the increase in water demands for irrigation, domestic uses, touristic activities, and industrial processes. In addition, due to climate change variability, sustainable long term supply of fresh water is becoming more challenging than ever before. Currently, agriculture is the largest consumer of water followed by residential, then forestry, public realm amenities, commercial, and then government. Freshwater scarcity has driven the country to desalinate large volumes of seawater to meet the fresh water demands.
The following maps are produced to give a general view of water availability and the main hydrogeological parameters of the country’s aquifers.
The lowest rainfall is observed in the desert foreland and the highest in the mountains and east coast of the region. The percentage of mean rainfall volumes are 3, 16, 10, and 70% for the east coast, mountains, gravel plains, and desert foreland, respectively.
Used to measure rainfall and estimate average precipitations and runoff processes in urban areas. Understanding the regional and temporal variations in precipitations is vital for water resources planning and hydrologic studies. The rainfall patterns may significantly affect the agriculture productivity as the cycles of maximum or minimum precipitation may coincide with peak growing season.
The geological structure, stratigraphy, and lithological settings define the physical characteristics of the groundwater aquifers and determine the extent and patterns of groundwater flows. The mineral composition of bedrocks and the unconsolidated surficial deposits largely governs the chemical quality of groundwater. The lithology of the aquifers can be divided into consolidated and unconsolidated lithological units classified into fluviatile or alluvium, eolian, and sabkha deposits.
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 90 meters resolution processed to create a thematic map of ground surface elevation grids required to determine the drainage networks, drainage basins, slope values and directions, and flow accumulation in the ponding zones.
Saturated thickness in northern emirates ranges from 20 meters in the mountainous area to 50 meters in the rest of the area.
The soil map provides an overview of soil types making up the United Arab Emirates and their general location. The map unit descriptions provide information about the general range of important soil properties of the soil great group.
Water tables depths below ground surface recorded from monitoring wells. Increase in depths observed in Al Ain, Al Dhayd, and Al Hamaranyah is caused by over-abstraction thus depleting the saturated thickness
Different uses of land including agricultural areas, urban areas, and forests are derived from Landsat images at spatial resolution of 30 meters.
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