Unlike captive aquifers that are relatively protected by their impermeable roof, the Berrechid water table is very vulnerable to pollution from the ground surface. This pollution can be either localized (discharges of domestic and industrial wastewater, solid wastes leached by seepage water, either diffuse (Fertilizer application of soils, treatment of crops with plant protection products). This last mode of contamination presents the danger of being spread over large areas, and therefore of being difficult to control.To model the nitrate transport in the Berrechid aquifer, we used the MT3DMS model coupled with the hydrodynamic model previously created using MODFLOW; this in order to have a decision support tool for optimal management of the region’s groundwater resources.Various simplified water management scenarios are examined, in particular artificial recharge and reduction of pumped water volumes for irrigation. The results show that the halving of current withdrawals would improve the current situation of the Berrechid aquifer by avoiding the appearance of dewatering zones in 2025, with a considerable drop in nitrate concentrations in almost the entire aquifer. This model that we developed could thus be a useful tool for the management and protection of groundwater in the Berrechid aquifer.
Keywords: Berrechid, Groundwater, MODFLOW, MT3DMS, Modeling, Protection