Towards a framework for the assessment of saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers

G. Rachid, M. El-Fadel, M. Abou Najm, I. Alameddine

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    Saltwater intrusion (SWI) represents a threat to coastal aquifers worldwide by rendering groundwater quality not viable for its intended purposes. Therefore, understanding SWI impacts is indispensable for informed decision-making on aquifer management. Despite advances in methods to assess the impact of SWI, it remains challenging to select appropriate methods that are effective, timely, and affordable under the influence of a range of factors including aquifer characteristics, hydro-geochemical dynamics, shoreline geomorphology, biochemical reactions, and data availability among others. This study examines commonly used methods that assess the impact of SWI towards the development of an assessment framework in coastal aquifers underlying densely populated urban areas. The methods were selected using complexity-functionality criteria and then tested at a pilot aquifer by coupling Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) and Multi-Attribute Decision Making (MADM) analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of the methods and identify elements of the framework. The framework proved functional in synthesizing parametric results, assessing the dynamics of SWI and quantifying its potential impact, as well as providing an effective platform for informed impact assessment and planning for sustainable exploitation of coastal aquifers.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)10-22
    Number of pages13
    JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
    StatePublished - Nov 2017


    • Coastal aquifers
    • Impact assessment
    • Saltwater intrusion


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