Brackish water (or brine water) is water that has more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. Brackish groundwater (BGW) usually has dissolved solids concentrations between 3,000 and 10,000 mg/L. Brackish groundwater is directly used for purposes such as saline agriculture, irrigation of salt-tolerant plants, aquaculture, cooling water for power generation, and for a variety of uses in the oil and gas industry such as drilling, enhancing recovery, and hydraulic fracturing. Brackish water aquaculture, also known as coastal aquaculture, is a rapidly expanding farming activity and could play an important role in the overall fisheries development and food security. As such, brackish groundwater use is emerging as a high potential source of non-conventional water that could supplement the use of scarce freshwater sources, especially in the most water-stressed countries as the Arab countries.
Better understanding of the location, potentiality and characterization of brackish groundwater reserves is needed to expand their development. Feasible BGW potentials would provide technical, economic and environmental bases for better policy-making and investment decisions.
Taking stock of the availability and potentiality of brackish groundwater should be coupled with developing knowledge base, and technical capacity in BGW development and utilization.