Riyadh city the capital of Saudi Arabia has expanded rapidly where its built-up areas increased from about 4.5 km2 in 1950 to about 1,557 km2 in 2021. The city population grew from 106,000 in 1954 to… read more
Riyadh city the capital of Saudi Arabia has expanded rapidly where its built-up areas increased from about 4.5 km2 in 1950 to about 1,557 km2 in 2021. The city population grew from 106,000 in 1954 to 5,200,000 in 2010 and it may reach about 15,000,000 in 2030. The city spreads over vast areas of two main catchments: the Wadi Hanifah basin and the Wadi As Silayy basin. Land-use/land-cover changes have been considered one of the most important sensitive factors for environmental change. Urbanization is one of the major forces that drive land-use and land-cover (LULC) changes. The rapid growth of Riyadh city has accompanied serious environmental problems including repeated urban flooding, groundwater level rise, and wastewater perennial streams. Urban impervious surfaces decrease infiltration, reduced runoff response time, and increase the total volume and peak discharge of the streamflow and result in more frequent flooding incidents. Since the expansion of Riyadh has had a profound influence on runoff, runoff data is of great importance for solving urban environmental problems, urban planning, policymakers, and water/land resource management. But, drainage basins in Riyadh city are ungauged and there is no available runoff data. Thus, the main aim of this Ph.D. research is to develop SWAT models for two main catchments of Riyadh city to simulate surface runoff and to explore its sensitivity to land-use change.
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