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An approach for delineating drinking water wellhead protection areas at the Nile Delta, Egypt



An approach for delineating drinking water wellhead protection areas at the Nile Delta, Egypt



Journal of Environmental Management 79(2): 140-149



In Egypt, production has a high priority. To this end protecting the quality of the groundwater, specifically when used for drinking water, and delineating protection areas around the drinking water wellheads for strict landuse restrictions is essential. The delineation methods are numerous; nonetheless, the uniqueness of the hydrogeological, institutional as well as social conditions in the Nile Delta region dictate a customized approach. The analysis of the hydrological conditions and land ownership at the Nile Delta indicates the need for an accurate methodology. On the other hand, attempting to calculate the wellhead protected areas around each of the drinking wells (more than 1500) requires data, human resources, and time that exceed the capabilities of the groundwater management agency. Accordingly, a combination of two methods (simplified variable shapes and numerical modeling) was adopted. Sensitivity analyses carried out using hypothetical modeling conditions have identified the pumping rate, clay thickness, hydraulic gradient, vertical conductivity of the clay, and the hydraulic conductivity as the most significant parameters in determining the dimensions of the wellhead protection areas (WHPAs). Tables of sets of WHPAs dimensions were calculated using synthetic modeling conditions representing the most common ranges of the significant parameters. Specific WHPA dimensions can be calculated by interpolation, utilizing the produced tables along with the operational and hydrogeological conditions for the well under consideration. In order to simplify the interpolation of the appropriate dimensions of the WHPAs from the calculated tables, an interactive computer program was written. The program accepts the real time data of the significant parameters as its input, and gives the appropriate WHPAs dimensions as its output.

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Accession: 004396236

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16171930

DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2005.06.001


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