Hydrogeology, water quality, and microbial assessment of a coastal alluvial aquifer in western Saudi Arabia: potential use of coastal wadi aquifers for desalination water supplies [Hydrogéologie, qualité de l’eau et évaluation microbienne d’un aquifère côtier alluvial dans l’Ouest de l’Arabie Saoudite: utilisation potentielle des aquifères côtiers des oueds pour l’alimentation en eau après désalinisation] [Hidrogeologia, qualidade da água e avaliação microbiológica de um aquífero costeiro no oeste da Arábia Saudita: uso potencial de aquíferos de wadi costeiros para dessalinização de águas destinadas a abastecimento] [Hidrogeología, calidad de agua y evaluación microbiana de un acuífero costero aluvial en Arabia Saudita occidental: uso potencial de acuíferos costeros uadis para la desalinización de los abastecimientos de agua]
KAUST DepartmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Water Desalination & Reuse Research Cntr
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AbstractWadi alluvial aquifers located along coastal areas of the Middle East have been assumed to be suitable sources of feed water for seawater reverse osmosis facilities based on high productivity, connectedness to the sea for recharge, and the occurrence of seawater with chemistry similar to that in the adjacent Red Sea. An investigation of the intersection of Wadi Wasimi with the Red Sea in western Saudi Arabia has revealed that the associated predominantly unconfined alluvial aquifer divides into two sand-and-gravel aquifers at the coast, each with high productivity (transmissivity = 42,000 m2/day). This aquifer system becomes confined near the coast and contains hypersaline water. The hydrogeology of Wadi Wasimi shows that two of the assumptions are incorrect in that the aquifer is not well connected to the sea because of confinement by very low hydraulic conductivity terrigenous and marine muds and the aquifer contains hypersaline water as a result of a hydraulic connection to a coastal sabkha. A supplemental study shows that the aquifer system contains a diverse microbial community composed of predominantly of Proteobacteria with accompanying high percentages of Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria.