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Assessment of Irrigation and Drainage Water Management for Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Nile Delta of Egypt

Waleed Abou El Hassan1, F. El Gamal1 and Y. Kitamura2

1 National Water Research Center, WMRI, Egypt

2 Tottori University, Faculty of Agriculture,Tottori, Japan


River Nile is the main source of water for irrigation in Egypt. The major challenge facing the sustainable agricultural development in Egypt is the limited water resources. Surface irrigation accounts for more than 85% of the total volume of water used for irrigation in the Nile Delta region. This method irrigation generally has a low level efficiency. Improvement in irrigation and drainage management can raise irrigation efficiency in the region. This paper reviews studies that have demonstrated the potential of irrigation and drainage water management in the light of the available water resources and cropping patterns in the Nile Delta.

There is an urgent need to improve water resource use through: implementation of integrated irrigation and drainage water management, identification and correction of limitations of drainage water reuse for irrigation under normal and saline conditions, conjunctive use of ground water for irrigation, optimization of irrigation scheduling for different soil and plant conditions, designing and management of surface irrigation system, as well as improvement of the irrigation delivery system. The information generated would assist in the management decisions regarding water delivery and drainage for the Nile Delta. It would also help in making recommendations on the adoption of improved irrigation practices in crop production and use of viable solutions that may be widely disseminated throughout the country for saving water and achieving sustainable development of agriculture in the Nile Delta.