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Title: Development of a sustainable water management strategy in the Alwahat area of Libya
Author: Alamin, S. A.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2012
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Groundwater in the Alwahat region of Libya is a non-renewable resource, and is the only source of water for agricultural land in the region. The aim of this research is to explore the contemporary performance of the groundwater sector in Libya and to develop a strategy for providing a sustainable groundwater resource to achieve a social, economic and environmentally-sustainable water future. Perceptions about groundwater sustainability are elicited from 769 local stakeholders. This analysis is conducted using a triangulated mixed-methods design, to interpret the collected information. Conflicts of opinion among the stakeholders are exposed, highlighting controversies concerning their levels of satisfaction with water supplies, their awareness of water sustainability issues, their understanding of recent changes in groundwater quality and the environmental impact of water use, and future solutions to prevent water misuse. In addition to this, there is an examination of what officials report as the extensive misuse of water due to the installation of pumps, and some of the farmers abstracting drinking water from the network for irrigations well as digging deeper into the ground and sinking more wells, which abstracts excessive amounts of water and lowers the groundwater level. The known reasons of groundwater contamination discussed in this study include oil operations, increased salinity in water soil infiltration, and crop fertilization which is established by reliable sources; however no contemporary quantitative or qualitative monitoring data is available. The majority of the farmers, domestic users, and officials agree that the environment around Alwahat is adversely affected by oil company activities. Education, training, and guidance are encouraged by all the stakeholders as a solution to prevent water misuse. In effect, farmers resort to changing their crop types and the metering of wells to conserve water; but, the government officials disagree. The hydrologist’s solution is to stop the expansion of the farms. Penalties for excessive water were introduced, but increasing the price of water was not popular among domestic consumers. The findings make the following recommendations: (a) Stakeholders should adopt the principles of the Dublin statement, recognizing a holistic approach to sustainable water, linking local, social and economic issues with ecosystem protection; (b) The Libyan Government should develop a sustainable water strategy with long-term ambitions; (c) Further efforts from water legislators to clarify regulations and their implementation; (d) Long-term quantitative and qualitative monitoring of local groundwater resources, and the formulation and use of integrated models to support future water management. (e) A pricing structure to be implemented, using a water tariff system for domestic, agricultural, and industrial users.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available