An Overview of Groundwater Resources in Nile Delta Aquifer

  • Abdelazim M. NegmEmail author
  • Sameh Sakr
  • Ismail Abd-Elaty
  • Hany F. Abd-Elhamid
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 73)


Egypt’s renewable water resources are limited to its share from the Nile River as well as some minor rainfall along the coastal areas. The Delta and the narrow valley of the Nile comprise 5.5% of the total area of Egypt. The Nile Delta aquifer, Egypt, which is replenished directly by the Nile water, is considered another renewable resource. However, this aquifer system is in direct contact with the Mediterranean Sea from the north and the Suez Canal from the east. Groundwater resources in Nile Delta are an essential source of freshwater due to increasing water demand and shortage in supply as a result of increasing agriculture, domestic, and industrial consumption. It provides about 85% of total groundwater abstractions in Egypt by 6.1 BCM per year. It is obvious that since 1981 the groundwater potentiality is decreasing annually in a linear fashion by 0.1 billion cubic meters. On the other hand, water quality in the irrigation and drainage canals is deteriorating as we move downstream due to the increased pollution load from the heavy agricultural activities and high population density. Agriculture, domestic, and industrial effluents are the main sources of contamination of the Nile Delta aquifer. The water quality of the Nile Delta aquifer has been assessed through testing some groundwater samples, surface canal water, and drainage water. All the studies showed that the concentration of most water quality parameters and heavy metals exceeded the WHO standards for drinking water, and some studies indicated the areas where the groundwater is not suitable for irrigation. There are damage and shortage in aquifer water quantity and degradation in the quality due to the gradual increase of groundwater pumping especially in the delta fringes. Also, problems were reported as a result of the continuous decline of the piezometric surface and the increase of the water salinities. This chapter gives an overview of groundwater resources in the Nile Delta aquifer. Detailed investigation of groundwater in the Nile Delta aquifer was presented.


Irrigation Pollution Wastewater Water quality Water resources 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdelazim M. Negm
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sameh Sakr
    • 2
  • Ismail Abd-Elaty
    • 1
  • Hany F. Abd-Elhamid
    • 1
  1. 1.Water and Water Structures Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  2. 2.Groundwater Institute, National Water Research Center, Ministry of Water Resources and IrrigationCairoEgypt

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