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Posted On: 31 July 2015 08:07 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

Underground water ‘floods’ key projects

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Qatar’s rising water table and sea water intrusion are posing problems for the country’s infrastructure projects in some areas.

Large-scale development, leaks from older infrastructure and sea water intrusion have resulted in a rising water table under much of Doha. This issue has already reached a critical state in some areas of Qatar.

Qatar Rail recently admitted it was forced to halt the tunneling works of Doha Metro’s Red Line due to ‘flooding’. The contractors said their boring machine suffered damage after the red Line’s North tunnel got flooded.

Qatar Rail, without elaborating on the issue, said that the flooding hit its “pilot tunneling operations.” However, it added that the flooding will not have any significant impact on its original project. The Red Line North consists of two twin tunnels, only one of them was reportedly affected by ‘flooding’.

The construction works of residential complexes in some areas of Doha are also reportedly being hit after the contractors encountered subsurface water flow.

“The issue poses technical challenges and greatly increases the risk of polluting the sea and groundwater as construction projects pump water from sites,” said Professor Patrick Linke, chair of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University Qatar, while participating in a discussion on Qatar’s groundwater issues.

In an initiative to improve the standards and procedures of groundwater dewatering on construction sites across Qatar, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is working to address the issue. Recently it released a list of contractors that were qualified through a prequalification process to work on groundwater dewatering on construction sites.

Ashghal is also working to launch a mega pilot plant for the dewatering of swelling groundwater and subsurface water in the country. Ashghal has plans to set up a new groundwater dewatering station in southern part of Doha next year. The works of the plant would be completed in six different phases within five years, Al Sharq reported.

The plant will be equipped with a state-of-the-art water treatment system with a capacity of handling 12.5 megalitres of groundwater and subsurface water collected covering area 4.5 hectares. The project will have both traditional facility for the purification of five megalitres as well a reverse osmosis plant with a capacity of five megalitres.

The company involved in the construction of the project will augment the existing pumping station in the area, enabling it to pump out an extra volume of groundwater and surface water to the treatment reservoir. Uniquip-Hoelscher, a water management company in Qatar, recently hosted a workshop to discuss groundwater issues and witness environment-friendly groundwater treatment technologies on the Gold Line of Doha Metro. Experts demonstrated how cutting-edge groundwater treatment systems being used by Uniquip-Hoewater on the Gold Line manage to meet dewatering demand of construction while purifying the water