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Environmental Assessment of Brine Discharge Including Wastewater Collection in the Arabian Gulf

Publiceringsår: 2009
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag


The environmental effects of brine discharge in the Arabian/Persian Gulf have been assessed. The Arabic Gulf is a wide and shallow system having a horizontal shear dominance. The management choice of mixing brine with wastewater to reduce the salt content in the discharge has also been considered. Approximately 90% of the area around the Arabian Gulf has been compared with the world data for desalination and population growth rate. The Arabian Gulf region is occupying about 3.3% of the world area and 1.0, 2.0 and 2.2% of the total world population in the years 1950, 2008 and 2050 respectively. The annual population growth rate during the whole period is approximately 1.30 in the world and 2.07 in the area studied. The results for the study area were obtained from desalination capacities that are about 50, 40 and 45% of total world capacity for the end of 1996, 2008 and 2050 respectively.

The increased recovery ratio in desalination plants over the years was considered as one important environmental factor. At the end of 1996 it was about 30 to 35% and 2008 about 40 to 45%. In some countries it can reach 50%. This development will significantly increase the brine salt concentration from 1.5 to more than 2 times seawater and negatively affect the receiving water. Water and salt mass balance were used to calculate residual flow, exchange flow and exchange time of the Arabian Gulf. For example at zero wastewater discharge and from 1996 to 2008, the net volume has decreased by the amount of 7.4 millions m3/day, exchange volume increased by 69 millions m3/day and the mixing time decreased with 22.5 days. For the next 42 years from 2008 until the year 2050 the calculation shows a decrease in the net volume by 48.7 millions m3/day, an exchange volume increase by 424 millions m3/day and a mixing time decrease of about 126 days. The more desalted water that is collected from the Gulf, the higher remaining salinity is found in the Gulf.

With higher salinity in the Gulf, the exchange between the Gulf and the Indian Ocean will increase. Mixing brine with wastewater dampens the water and salt exchange between the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. This method will however also minimize the water that is coming from ocean to the Gulf. The content of nutrients in wastewater is positive for irrigation but with only secondary treatment problems like eutrophication in the Gulf may be increased if the exchange of water is low.


  • Water Engineering
  • Other Social Sciences


Proceedings 12th IDA World Congress & Water Reuse, Nov. 7-12

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