Fresh ground water in northern Qatar occurs as a lens in limestone and dolomite of Eocene age. Natural recharge from precipitation averages 17x106 cubic metres per year whereas current discharge averages 26.6x106 cubic metres per year. Depletion of storage is accompanied by a deterioration in quality due to encroachment of salty water from the Gulf and from underlying formations. Artificial recharge with desalted sea water to permit additional agricultural development appears technically feasible but its practicability needs to be examined further. A hydrogeological appraisal including test drilling, geophysical logging, pumping tests, and a recharge test, coupled with engineering analysis of direct surface storage/distribution of desalted sea water versus aquifer storage/distribution, is recommended.
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Preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of artificial recharge in northern Qater