Adaptive Management Zones of Egyptian Coastal Lakes
Lakes are one of the most important characteristics of Egypt’s coastal areas. However, deteriorating condition of these lakes due to industrialization, land reclamation, agricultural practices, overfishing, bird hunting, and coastal erosion is serious. Many challenges are faced by these lakes, some of which are the most polluted lakes in Egypt where they receive large quantities of agricultural, industrial, and municipal wastes through several drains and from factories around them. In addition, Egypt’s Mediterranean coast and the Nile Delta have been identified highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Adaptive management is the best approach for addressing this type of complex problem. The main objective of this chapter is to classify Egypt’s lakes and depressions and to evaluate the land resources status of Egypt’s coastal lakes. Also, the challenges facing the sustainable development of these lakes were identified. Adaptive management approach would facilitate the investigation and classification of Egypt’s lakes and depressions.
The North Coastal zone: including the coastal area stretching eastward from the northwestern coast to the northern coastal area of Sinai. The northern lake group includes Northern Delta Lakes and Lake Bardawil.
The Western Desert zone: encompassing oases and remote areas, including Wadi El- Natrun, Qattara Depression, Siwa Oasis, and Toshka Lakes.
The Nile Valley zone: encompassing the fertile alluvial land of Middle and Upper Egypt, the Nile Delta region, and the reclaimed desert areas on the fringes of the Nile Valley. This group includes Nasser Lake, Qarun Lake, and Wadi El-Rayyan Lakes.
Inland Sinai and the Eastern Desert zone: including Great Bitter Lake and El-Timsah Lake.
In the northern lakes, the levels of pollution in these lakes are Mariut > Manzala > Edku > Borollus > Bardawil. The most polluted lakes are Lake Mariut and Lake Manzala. Lake Mariut receives agricultural drainage and domestic and industrial wastewater from agricultural drains. However, Lake Manzala serves as a final repository for many of the municipal and agricultural wastewater of the eastern Delta, including the wastewater of most of Cairo. The main contributors to the lake are the Bahr El-Baqar drain, Hadous drain, and drainage water delivered by Mataria, lower Serw, and Faraskour pumping stations. Bahr El-Baqar drain carries sewage effluent from Cairo and the drainage water of more than 200,000 ha of agricultural lands.
The result of the case study on the Lake Manzala showed the land use and land cover change that has occurred during the period 1986–2016. The highest positive changes areas are showed in crop vegetation areas (+16.44%) and bare land areas (+15.43%), while the highest negative changes areas are displayed in natural vegetation areas (−23.91%) and fish pond areas (−10.77%).
KeywordsAdaptive management Climate change Coastal lakes Egypt Land resources Nile Delta
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