Newswise — RUDN University engineers calculated how to collect precipitation for water supply over a large area in an arid region. The results will help solve the problem of water shortages through the construction of several dams and ponds. The results are published in the Journal of Environmental Management.
The lack of fresh water is an acute problem for hot and arid regions. Rivers dry up, and then rains can become the main source of fresh water. However, in order for rainfall to be able to provide the population, it is necessary to create a sustainable and well-thought-out system for collecting and distributing water. RUDN engineers with colleagues from Egypt solved this problem for a vast area in the northeast of Egypt. The researchers concluded that with optimal management, rainfall could provide water for up to 19% of this arid region.
“Water shortage has become a major problem worldwide due to climate change and population growth. Especially in semi-arid and arid regions. For example, Egypt is experiencing severe water supply problems due to limited water resources. The problem of water scarcity requires optimal and sustainable management, which must be consistent with the goals of sustainable development. Rainwater harvesting can be such an effective water management method. Therefore, we decided to calculate the optimal parameters for the implementation of such a system, taking into account the biophysical and socio-economic characteristics of the territory,” said Mostafa Ezzeldin, PhD student at the Engineering Academy of RUDN University.
Engineers conducted a study on the example of the Wadi Watir basin in Egypt. It is one of the most important basins in this region. Rain is the main source of fresh water for all residents on an area of more than 3.5 thousand square kilometers.
The researchers combined geographic data from the Wadi Watir Basin, satellite information and hydrological modeling. As a result, RUDN University engineers have identified the best points for collecting rainwater. It turned out that rain can provide water for up to 19% of the area under consideration (666 square kilometers). To do this, 12 checking dams and 14 percolation tanks need to be equipped.
“A sustainable rainwater harvesting system is very important for the development of Wadi Watir. Our plan provides a sustainable solution to water scarcity and is in line with sustainable development goals. Our results can help planners and managers adjust development plans for the Wadi Watir region. The developed approach requires less effort, time and cost than other known approaches that depend mainly on field data. It can also be used in other regions experiencing water shortages,” said Evgeniy Sinichenko, PhD, Associate Professor of the Construction Department of RUDN University