Water resource management is becoming one of the most important issues in arid regions of the world. Areas such as the western US, northern Africa, northwestern India, and the Arabian Peninsula are currently using more groundwater than is replenished. Climate changes predicted for the coming decades will only make the situation worse. Thus, new tools must be brought to the effort to measure the inputs and outputs of the hydrological cycle in these areas so that water resource can sustainably be managed.
The project aims to study the impacts of climate and human activity on desert hydrology and water resources and to provide information on the balance between use and recharge of aquifers and sustainability in the present and potential future climate for the case of Saudi Arabia. While this study could be approached entirely from a remote-sensing perspective, it is our goal to combine local-scale information on water use, irrigation and well-levels to corroborate any findings. A rich suite of in-situ and satellite observations in a land-surface model assimilation framework would create a valuable opportunity for improved process understanding, continued monitoring, and eventual prediction of expected future changes in water resources availability.