Assessment of the Groundwater in Erbil Basin with Support of Visual MODFLOW
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Civil Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Salahaddin University-Erbil, 44002, Iraq
University of Kurdistan Hawler, 30M Avenue, Erbil, Iraq
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Jwan Sabah Mustafa   

Civil Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Salahaddin University-Erbil, 44002, Iraq
J. Ecol. Eng. 2024; 25(4):203-227
Groundwater stands as a crucial lifeline in numerous regions across the globe, a significance magnified in water-scarce locales like the Middle East. With depleting water resources exacerbated by global climate change, the imperative for sustainable groundwater management becomes increasingly urgent. This research employs a groundwater flow modeling approach, utilizing Visual MODFLOW (version, to scrutinize the present state and future security risks of groundwater resources in the Erbil basin. A distinct aspect of this study involves investigating the interaction between the groundwater aquifers of Greater Zab and Lesser Zab Rivers, along with an exploration of the Erbil aquifers, rivers interaction and recharge zones as a second novelty in this re-search. The model, calibrated for heterogenous anisotropic unconfined aquifer transient conditions, exhibits a high correlation coefficient (CC) of 0.997 during calibration and 0.985 in the validation process respectively. Findings indicate a general ground-water flow direction from northeast to southwest in the Erbil basin, aligning with surface observations. Despite groundwater aquifers supplying only 55% of the current water demand from the existing wells, the computed balance reveals river leakages of -33,432 m3/day into the aquifers. The study forecasts a substantial increase in the dry area of the groundwater aquifer under cli-mate change scenarios, especially when recharge rates diminish. To mitigate these impacts, the study recommends preventing illegal well drilling and implementing continuous monitoring using distributed sensors. The insights gleaned from this research are anticipated to furnish essential information for sustainable planning and effective management of groundwater resources in the Erbil basin and its environs.
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