Biodiversity returns to Al Karaana lagoons in Qatar thanks to soil remediation
Located 60 km southwest of Doha, Al Karaana Lagoons were used to discharge and evaporate industrial and municipal wastewater from nearby Doha Industrial Area. The Qatar Public Works Authority (Ashghal) entrusted SUEZ in 2017 to transform a harmful environment into a healthy natural site constituting a habitat conducive to the development of fauna and flora.
The accumulated sludge and sediments had to be cleaned up and the site rehabilitated. During the process, it was essential to avoid the groundwater contamination by the persistent wastewater flow and minimize the disruption to residential areas near the lagoon.
Depolluting the soils while recreating a natural environment for wildlife
SUEZ started its work on site in early 2018 and completed the rehabilitation of Al Karaana Lagoons over 6 months ahead of the schedule in November 2019. State-of-the-art technologies were used to control odors and treat wastewater sludge and sediment using a thermal desorption unit to treat the most highly polluted sediments.
Three 70 ha Lagoons were constructed to store 2.4 million m3 of cleaned water and to recreate a natural environment for wildlife, especially for migrating birds in Qatar. The project also includes new evaporation ponds (basins) with a storage capacity of 1.2 million m3 that can be used as an emergency disposal system for industrial effluents.
Equipped with oil separation units, these basins are protected by a thick insulating layer that prevents the leakage of contaminated water to groundwater. Finally, landscaping of the full site was performed to recreate a natural environment for wildlife and visitors.
Thermal desorption unit for Al Karaana lagoon project (Qatar) - SUEZ
Credit: SUEZ group
A new wildlife habitat for numerous species
The Lagoons constitute a wildlife habitat for birds and fishes: a total of 78 species of bird have been recorded at the Al Karaana Lagoons, which represents a relatively large proportion of the recognized avifauna inventory of Qatar. After rehabilitation, each lagoon can host nearly 10 natural habitats. A sensitization process has also been carried out and frequent site visits are being organized to raise awareness on nature and biodiversity protection.
The Rehabilitation of Al Karaana Lagoon project ensures the sustainable redevelopment of the land by removing health and environmental risks and by contributing to the preservation and restoration of biodiversity, especially recreating a natural environment for migrating birds in Qatar. It is fully part of the Qatar.
H.E. Abdulla Abdulaziz Turki Al Subaie , Qatar Minister of Municipality & Environment