Analysis of Possible Actions to Manage the Longitudinal Changes of Water Salinity in a Tidal River

Ali Dinar Abdullah*, Ioana Popescu, Ali Dastgheib, Pieter van der Zaag, Ilyas Masih, Usama F.A. Karim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In previous studies we have ascertained that inflows and seawater intrusion in the Shatt al-Arab River (SAR) are two key physical factors behind fluctuating and sharply escalating salinities observed in recent years. Such levels require a series of countermeasures and investigative studies to translate physical factors into a salinity dynamics model to understand the problem and its impact as these factors vary in location, time and quantity. A one-dimensional hydrodynamic and salt intrusion numerical model was applied to simulate the complex salinity regime in the SAR based on hourly time-series data for the year 2014. The model was used to analyse the impact of different management scenarios on salinity under different conditions. The results show a high correlation between seawater intrusion and river discharge. Increased use of water upstream and local water withdrawals along the SAR will increase seawater intrusion and salinity concentrations. Improving the quantity and quality of the upstream freshwater sources could reduce salinity levels. Discharging the drainage water into the river could be used to counteract the salt intrusion, considering that its location affects both the salinity distribution and extent. A scenario analysis based on a numerical model constructed for the longitudinal salinity variation associated with different sources in a tidal regime, can efficiently screen alternative water management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2171
Number of pages15
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Hydrodynamic modelling
  • Salinity
  • Salt intrusion
  • Shatt al-Arab River
  • Water management


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