Water resources assessment in arid data-scarce regions – multidisciplinary research in Egypt


Dr. Mohamed Youssif

Arid regions are highly vulnerable with respect to environmental and particularly hydrological changes. Data scarcity for most of these areas (such as Egypt and the most of Middle East) is a great challenge for hydrogeological investigation at practical scales. Moreover, climate change will exacerbate groundwater-related problems by reduction in recharge rates in some areas, increased reliance on groundwater resources due to decrease in the reliability of surface-water sources, saltwater intrusion due to sea-level rise, and deterioration of groundwater quality by increased flushing of urban and agricultural wastes.

In Egypt many regions have scarce or missing data such as surface runoff, evapotranspiration, volume of groundwater reserves, and sustainable groundwater exploitation rates. The study faces this challenge by the use of basic hydrogeological field investigations, integration of remote sensing and GIS, and environmental isotopes data. Combined information on hill slope, drainage lines, soil types, structural lineaments, lithology and microfacies, and geochemical analyses can identify the major factors that affect the occurrence and quality of groundwater. This will help to evaluate and improve the currently existing water exploitation as well as to protect and secure these valuable water resources in the future. This scientific approach is presumably applicable to other arid coastal areas with comparable conditions. Recently, we are focusing on Paleo-Hydrogeology and its relation to the current water resources to anticipate the effects of potential climate change (natural or anthropogenic) on hydrology and to assess hydrologic trends, which will require an understanding of past hydrologic variability, e.g. in the Eastern Desert (subproject A1, CRC 806).This is in strong context to recent investigations at Sodmein Cave and helps us to explore more about human behavior in this area.

Dr. Youssef (PhD in hydrogeology) is a researcher in the Desert Research Center (Cairo, Egypt). He carried out Postdoctoral studies in different international universities; Heidelberg University, Tokyo University, Cologne University, and Palacky University (Czech Republic), and has published several international papers concerning the hydrogeological investigations of arid lands.

As guest researcher of the subproject A1, Dr. Youssef is staying for two month in Cologne in the working group of Prof. Dr. Bubenzer, Institute of Geography.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 07/12/2015, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room S22, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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