Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia

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This publication is the first UN-led effort to make a comprehensive assessment of the state of transboundary surface and groundwater resources in the Middle East. It follows a standardized structure, with eight surface water chapters and 19 groundwater chapters that systematically address hydrology, hydrogeology, water resources development and use, international water agreements and transboundary water management efforts. The chapters cover all rivers and groundwater resources shared between Arab countries in the Middle East and include data on water resources that are shared with Iran, Israel and Turkey. Boasting over 50 new maps and 200 figures, tables and boxes with recent, comprehensive data series, the Inventory provides an up-to-date view of the state and evolution of shared water resources in the region.



Widyan-Salman: Umm er Radhuma-Dammam Aquifer System (North)

The Umm er Radhuma and Dammam Formations constitute the main aquifers in this system, which stretches from the Rutba-Widyan area eastward through the Salman Zone to the Dibdibba Delta, forming a shared aquifer system between Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The two main aquifer formations are composed mainly of limestone and exhibit a shallow water table (0 - 250 m bgl). Limited recharge occurs mainly through the Umm er Radhuma outcrops. The general groundwater flow direction is from the outcrops in the south-west towards the Euphrates Depression and the Gulf coast in the north-east. Good quality water is found around the Salman Zone in Iraq, while springs along the Euphrates River naturally discharge slightly more saline groundwater. Available information indicates that the three riparian countries currently exploit the aquifer system, primarily in the Dammam and the upper part of the Umm er Radhuma Formations, resulting in a waterlevel decline of up to 60 m in both formations. Nevertheless, the aquifer system remains exploitable in most of this section, except in the Widyan Plateau that straddles the Saudi-Iraqi border and coastal areas where it is either dry or contains saline water.


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