Water-table Rise and its Mitigation at SQU Campus

Project: Research project

Project Details


Urban groundwater hydrology is a new branch of general hydrology. The urbanization of Cities and their zones are subject to highly dynamic anthropogenic impacts that cause a rapid change of the land surface (buildings, roads, pavements and other surface structures, many of which have subsurface elements like basements, tunnels, cables, utilities, etc.). Most urban structures in Oman (and in the Arabian Gulf countries) are not designed with consideration of a potential threat/damage of shallow water tables and waterlogging i.e. no drainage have ever been planned. Therefore, in most “old” urban districts only hydrological retrofitting and adaptation to rising water tables is feasible. It becomes very important to conduct in-depth studies about shallow water table dynamics in urbanized areas in order to suggest and implement the proper drainage system. Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) faces threats due to shallow water table problems detected at several places over the last 15 years. Over the last few years, it becomes more frequent. Based on recent preliminary study near the College of Nursing, the shallow water table found to expand over larger areas because of recent rainfall events. There is a concern that approved Al-Jifnain dam will affect the groundwater dynamics in the area, which may aggravate the shallow water table problem in SQU and adjoined area. Details of history of water logging problems at SQU is presented in the report below. This proposal is design to study the problem of shallow water table across SQU Campus and suggest sustainable solutions. The work includes several tasks including: (a) geophysical survey to map water table in SQU and locate the existence of low permeable layers that prevent vertical percolation of infiltrating water and hence forming perched water table, (b) hydrological assessment to identify the source of water, assess the impact of Al-Jefnain dam on groundwater dynamics in the sub-catchment in which SQU is located, (c) assess the potential geotechnical challenges for SQU buildings, (d) exploring the feasibility and practicality of ecoengineering and hydro-pedological approaches to drain the shallow water table, and (e) engineered subsurface draining system. The findings of the study will be of benefit to entire Muscat governorate as shallow water table is a great challenge resulting in massive damages to different types of infrastructure along with environmental damages. The project will contribute to capacity building in the field of urban hydrology through involving many young Omanis as detailed later. The study outcomes will help in minimizing the potential risk to SQU buildings and infrastructure

Key findings

shallow water table, waterlogging, numerical modeling, perched water table, geophysical survey
Short titleWater-table Rise and its Mitigation at SQU Campus
Effective start/end date1/1/2112/31/23


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