Impacts of sea level rise and groundwater extraction scenarios on fresh groundwater resources in the Nile Delta Governorates, Egypt

Marmar Mabrouk*, Andreja Jonoski, Gualbert H.P. Oude Essink, Stefan Uhlenbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


As Egypt's population increases, the demand for fresh groundwater extraction will intensify. Consequently, the groundwater quality will deteriorate, including an increase in salinization. On the other hand, salinization caused by saltwater intrusion in the coastal Nile Delta Aquifer (NDA) is also threatening the groundwater resources. The aim of this article is to assess the situation in 2010 (since this is when most data is sufficiently available) regarding the available fresh groundwater resources and to evaluate future salinization in the NDA using a 3D variable-density groundwater flow model coupled with salt transport that was developed with SEAWAT. This is achieved by examining six future scenarios that combine two driving forces: increased extraction and sea level rise (SLR). Given the prognosis of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), the scenarios are used to assess the impact of groundwater extraction versus SLR on the seawater intrusion in the Delta and evaluate their contributions to increased groundwater salinization. The results show that groundwater extraction has a greater impact on salinization of the NDA than SLR, while the two factors combined cause the largest reduction of available fresh groundwater resources. The significant findings of this research are the determination of the groundwater volumes of fresh water, brackish, light brackish and saline water in the NDA as a whole and in each governorate and the identification of the governorates that are most vulnerable to salinization. It is highly recommended that the results of this analysis are considered in future mitigation and/or adaptation plans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1690
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018


  • Extraction
  • Fresh groundwater volume
  • Nile Delta aquifer
  • Nile Delta governorates
  • Saltwater intrusion
  • Sea level rise


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