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Rising water table 'challenging' Doha construction

Leaks from older infrastructure and sweater intrusion contributing to higher groundwater levels.

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Qatar, Water, News

Doha’s rising water table and increasing sea water intrusion are becoming increasingly problematic to Qatar’s major infrastructure projects in the capital and other areas of the country.

Last month Qatar Rail was forced to halt tunnelling works on Doha Metro’s Red Line due to flooding, after contractors on the north tunnel reported damage to their tunnel boring machine.

However, rises in the water table due to large-scale development and leaks from older infrastructure, alongside sea water intrusion have affected much of Doha, reaching a critical state in some areas, with even the construction works of simple residential units being affected by 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,” Prof Patrick Linke, chair of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University Qatar, said in talks on the subject, according to the Peninsula.

Public Works Authority Ashghal is working to address the issue by releasing a list of contractors appointed in a prequalification process to work on groundwater dewatering on construction sites.

The body is also working to launch a mega pilot plant for the dewatering of swelling groundwater and subsurface water in the country, to be set up in south Doha and completed in six different phases over five years, Al Sharq reported.

The plant will have a capacity to handle 12.5 megalitres of groundwater and subsurface water collected over an area 4.5 hectares, with the additional capacity to desalinate 10 megalitres.

The initiative is part of wider efforts to combine dewatering efforts with environment-friendly groundwater treatment to produce potable water for Doha’s treatment reservoirs.

Uniquip-Hoelscher, a water management company in Qatar, recently hosted a workshop to discuss the implementation of such technologies on the Gold Line of Doha Metro.

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