Sustainable Agricultural Drainage in the Nile Delta of Egypt Development project
Youssef, Mohamed A

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Description:
 

Agricultural drainage is essential for crop production in Egypt. Over 78% of Egypt’s agricultural land is artificially drained. Drainage, however, has negative impacts on ground and surface water quality. Drainage mobilizes salts and agricultural chemicals, which may contaminate shallow groundwater aquifers and surface water bodies. Drainage systems must be carefully designed to increase yields, reduce production costs, and minimize nutrient losses from drained farmlands to ground and surface waters. Over-designed drainage systems not only increase installation costs, but more importantly waste the valuable water resource, may lead to yield losses because of the potential increase in dry stresses, and also increase the potential for leaching losses of applied agrochemicals, contaminating ground and surface waters. Despite the dramatic changes in farming practices and the availability of water resource, the design criteria for drainage systems in Egypt has not been updated during the last three decades. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate new drainage design criteria that explicitly link the design of drainage systems to crop yields and profits, water quality, and water conservation. A regional study will be conducted to evaluate the performance of existing drainage systems. The new design criteria and framework will utilize the widely used DRAINMOD (drainage water management suite of models). The new design criteria will be evaluated using two field experiments. The results of this project could lead to significant improvement to the drainage design, reducing construction cost, improving yield, conserving water, and reducing pollution load. The excessive surface water pollution and the scarcity of the water resource, currently facing Egypt, make this research proposal timely and critically needed.

Region(s)/Country(s):
  Egypt
Dates:
  07/01/2016 - 07/01/2019
Institutional Partner(s):
  National Water Research Center (NWRC), Egypt
Funding Agency(s)/Sponsor(s):
  U.S. Agency for International DevelopmentĀ (USAID)


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