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Ahmed Hassan Almuaini

Doctor of Philosophy, (Agriculture and Horticulture)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Coupled Effects of Irrigation Management and Water Salinity on Date Palm Cultivars in the Hyper-Arid Environment of the United Arab Emirates

Date palms are culturally, aesthetically, and economically important in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They require irrigation from groundwater as rainfall is virtually nonexistent. The UAE groundwater reserves are expected to run out in approximately 55 years. Furthermore, the groundwater is becoming more saline. Mr Almuaini investigated the water requirements of date palms and found that the sustainable daily rate of irrigation should be 1.5 times the rate at which they use water, as this accounts for a 25% factor-of-safety and a 25% salt-leaching fraction. This finding represents considerable savings over current practice. A cost-benefit assessment of the option of using desalinated water to dilute the brackish groundwater was completed resulting in a benefit-cost ratio of 1.4. However, the environmental impact of the reject brine will need to be considered.

Professor Peter Kemp
Dr Brent Clothier
Dr Abdullah Dakheel