Management of Bai Hassan Unconfined Aquifer, Lesser Zab River Basin, Kurdistan Region, Iraq Using a Modeling Approach

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Iraqi Geological Journal



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A numerical groundwater modeling approach is presented to quantify spatial and temporal trends in groundwater flow and availability, and to analyze the cumulative impacts of human activity on the shallow Bai Hassan aquifer underlying the central portion of the Lesser Zab River Basin, Kurdistan region, Iraq. The study area lies in the Kurdistan region of northeastern Iraq between the cities of Mosul, Kirkuk, Erbil, and Dokan. Increasing population, some of which has been displaced by conflict, coupled with continuing drought, climate change, and increasing agricultural irrigation, has intensified the need to identify water resources in the region. The Bai Hassan Formation (Pliocene – Pleistocene) is exposed in much of the basin and appears as a large potential source of water. Initial model inputs are in part based on the 365 historical data from the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources and monitoring of about 40 wells in the area during 2014. The transient simulation model assumes 500 new wells will be drilled within the next ten years, with a discharge rate equal to 20 l/sec and with a pumping duration of eight hours daily. Simulations model of the future pumping and recharge for five and ten years from the present shows a general decrease in hydraulic head in the unconfined aquifer on both sides of the Lesser Zab River but do not show a significant and immediate impact on the surface water flow. The recommended solution is to prevent excessive depletion in the middle and southern parts.


Groundwater management; Numerical modeling; Water supply; Bai Hassan; aquifer; Iraq


Water Resource Management



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