Présentations Colloques

    Oral Presentation
    Session 5.02: Groundwater and global change
    Zekri Slim
    Sea Level Rise, Groundwater and the Future of Agriculture in Oman
    Oman’s agricultural sector depends totally on irrigation from small coastal alluvial aquifers that are recharged temporally and sporadically. Most of these aquifers are already stressed. Expected sea level rise due to climate change will exacerbate seawater intrusion and the consequent salinization of the aquifers. Fifty percent of Oman’s agricultural activity is located in the coastal region of Batinah. This paper estimates the effect of sea level rise on the water salinity of two aquifers Jamma and Suwaiq located in the Batinah. Two extreme scenarios are presented RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, where the sea level rise will range between 24 cm and 63 cm by 2050 and 2070 respectively. The groundwater simulation model MODFLOW-SEAWAT is used to assess the extent of the irrigated area that will be affected by salinity in the next 35 to 55 years. Results showed that around 64% to 75% of the cropped area will have to be abandoned due to excessive salinity in the groundwater, in the absence of adaptation measures. The economic losses due to climate change on the agricultural sector are estimated assuming no increase in current rates of pumping from wells given the limits on wells’ yields. A crop production function was used to determine the effect of deficit irrigation on the value of crop productivity. It is expected that the present value of losses will vary from $38.5 Million by 2050 to $65 Million by 2070, assuming a 2% discount rate. The gross profit will fall from a current 100% to 40% by 2050 and 22% by 2070 considering 2015 constant prices and no discounting. The alarming results show the urgent need for determining the best combination of adaptation measures to reduce the impact on farmers’ communities.


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