Impacts of heavy groundwater pumping on hydrogeological conditions in Libya: Past and present development and future prognosis on a regional scale

Yousef M. Elgzeli, Tomasz Ondovcin, Zbynek Hrkal, Jiri Krasny, Jiri Mls


Libya, like many other regions with arid climates, suffers from inadequate water resources to cover all the needs of this rapidly developing country. Increasing amounts of water are needed to supply the population, as well as for agricultural irrigation and industrial use. As groundwater is the main water source in the country, it represents a natural resource of the highest economic and social importance. Conceptual and numerical models were implemented on a regional scale to show how the natural situation has changed following heavy groundwater abstraction during the last decades in the northwestern part of the country. The results of the numerical model indicated that the current zones of depression of the piezometric surface could have been caused by smaller withdrawn amounts than previously estimated. The differences in the assessed withdrawn groundwater volumes seem to be quite high and might have a considerable influence on the future possibilities of groundwater use in the study region.


Libya; Arid countries; Groundwater; Natural flow; Abstractions

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