SMART: Sustainable Management
of Scarce Resources
in the Coastal Zone

D06.1: DRAFT Case Study Report: Abu Qir Bay, Egypt

    Author: Prof. M. El-Raey

Executive Summary

Abu Qir region of the Mediterranean coast of Egypt includes Abu Qir Bay, Rosetta branch of the River Nile, Lake Edku and a number of historic cities and fertile agricultural land of the Nile Delta. It is considered an important underutilized resource of agriculture, tourism and industrial production in Egypt. However, the shortage of institutional capabilities for planning, monitoring, assessment and pollution control in addition to lack of awareness among stakeholders, have rendered this region into a highly degraded and deteriorating environment.

The objective of this work is to identify inherent problems and indicators of changes and to present an integrated plan for development that takes into account the severe limitation of water quality, shortages of institutional capabilities, unplanned development and shortage of awareness. In order to carry out this task it is necessary to use modern technologies of remote sensing, GIS and field surveys to properly analyze and plan development of the region.

This case study represents work for sustainable development of a coastal region under the severe limitation of the low quality of water resources available. In this context, the plan of the project involved:

  1. Collecting, analysis and interpretation of available data on various spatial and administrator sectors of the region.
  2. Building, verifying and analysis of a detailed GIS for various indicators in the region including LUC and change detection analysis based on recent satellites images of the region.
  3. Surveying socioeconomic conditions and identifying inherent awareness problems and suggesting proper plans
  4. Advancing an integrated coastal zone management plan for development of the region and carrying out a strategic environmental assessment involving stakeholders.
  5. Recommending proper management policies and monitoring of specific indicators for assurance of sustainable development of the region.

    This report represents results of the first year collection and analysis of data as well as building of GIS data base and monitoring of some important water quality indicators of the region.

1. Introduction 2. Rosetta region 3. Hydrology 4. Morpho-dynamics
5. Water Quality 6. Socioeconomics 7. Problems 8. Satellite Images
9. GIS data base 10. Conclusion 11. Future Plans 12. References

Morphodynamic Changes Of Rosetta Promontory

The Nile delta coast including Abu Qir bay forms a unique depositional environment, in which sedimentation is controlled by a combination of environmental factors such as waves, currents, tides and river discharge. Similar to other worldwide deltas, the Nile delta is presently subjected to significant coastal changes due to a combination of several factors.

The main factor is the reduction in the Nile discharge and sediment load to the Nile promontory mouths due to the construction of water control structures and dams along the Nile (UNESCO/ UNDP, 1978). In the meantime, and since building of the High Aswan Dam in 1964, sediment discharge at the Nile promontories has reduced to near zero. In the absence of sediment supply to the coast, the continued action of waves and currents act to induce beach erosion. Presently, all sediments are being trapped and deposited in Lake Nasser (south of Aswan High Dam) instead of being delivered to the sea through the two promontories. However, waves and currents continue to move sediments alongshore, resulting in a major reorientation of the coast line as some beaches erode while other accretes.

This erosion is mitigated by the construction of a series of coastal engineering structures at the rapidly eroding promontories. Protective measures, which started during the last decade, are in progress and others are planned for the future (Frihy et al. 2003). As a consequence, the original erosion/ accretion patterns along the Nile delta promontories have been reshaped as a result of these protective structures.

The study area of Rosetta promontory lies on the northwestern Nile delta coast and extends seaward for about 7 km long (Naffaa, 1995). The Rosetta Nile branch is one of the two major distributaries of the River Nile. This branch has developed the triangular Rosetta headland promontory trending. Also, the regional attraction potential is expected to increase after the construction of an international coastal highway connecting Matruh and Alexandria cities to Sinai and Arish City to the east. Recently, a large scale harbor to export natural gas is being constructed at Idku south west of Rosetta.

The Rosetta promontory on the western coast of the Nile delta has been subject to the most severe erosion of the delta coastline (e.g. UNESCO/ UNDP, 1978; Frihy et al., 1991; Fanos et al., 1991; Chen et al., 1992; El Raey et al., 1995).

Our aim in this section is to analyze the morphodynamic behavior of the coastline of the Nile delta Rosetta promontories prior to and after protection by engineering seawall implemented in the last decade, and so to determine whether the general erosion/ accretion pattern along the delta has been reshaped. Beach profile measurements between 1971 and1990 (pre- construction) and between 1990 and 2000 (post- construction) supplemented by wave data are used to interpret processes reshaping the coastline of these dynamically active promontories.

Coastal Processes

Along the Rosetta promontory, waves approach the coastline from N-W and N-E quadrants (Naffaa, 1995). Prevailing littoral current, current driven by the momentum of wave breaking in the surf zone, flow to southeast along the eastern side and to the southwest along the western side (Fanos et al., 1991). Under the effect of this littoral current, sand eroded from the promontory margin is transported to the southeast and southwest, resulting in a shore line accretion along Abu Qir bay and Abu Khashaba shore. The net littoral sand transport is to the southwest along the western flank of the promontory and to the southeast along the eastern side. The pattern of longshore transport corresponds to the predominant wave direction from N-W and N-N-W (Naffa et al, 1991). The predominant N-W wave approach is responsible for the eastward flowing longshore current. A smaller component of waves from the N-N-E produces the seasonal longshore currents towards the southwest.


The Coastal Research Institute of Egypt initiated a beach profile survey program early in 1971. The program covers the entire Nile delta coast from Abu Qir headland at Alexandria on the west to Port Said at the east. The profile lines are perpendicular to the coastline, and extend to about 6 m water depth or up to about 1200 m distance from the fixed baseline. The beach levels and water soundings are adjusted to the mean sea level (MSL) datum using local fixed benchmarks of known elevation.

A total of 24 profiles that cover the entire coastlines of Rosetta promontory have been chosen for the analysis of shoreline position. Profile survey dated prior to (1971-1990) and after protection of the study promontories (1990-2000). The measured shoreline displacement from the fixed baseline (Y) provides a database for monitoring the shoreline changes over the time of profile collection. The data from each profile are arranged in a 2-D graph, where Y is the shoreline position relative to the fixed baseline, and X is the date of survey. This permits the determination of the mean annual rate of shoreline displacement (meters per year) employing a least squares techniques. In addition, data obtained from beach survey taken in 1990 and 2000 were utilized to detect changes in planform configuration resulting from protection of the study promontories.

The longshore sediment transport rate at 200m intervals along the shoreline of the study promontories was estimated (Ebersole et al., 1986). The input data include wave characteristics (height (Hs), period (T), angle (deg.)) and seabed bathymetry including the shoreline surveyed in 2000. The wave data measured at Abu Qir Bay were used in calculating sediment transport rate along the Rosetta

Results and discussion

Superposition of the 1990 and 2000 shorelines shows pronounced erosion along the tip of this promontory (Fig. 3A). Analysis of incident waves versus shoreline orientation revealed that the N, NNW, NW, WNW and NNE (totaling 90 o ) waves are jointly acting to transport sediment toward the southwest and east along the western and eastern flanks of the Rosetta promontory, respectively (Fig.3 A). Conversely, small wave components approaching from W (20 o) and NE (30 o) move sediment to the NNE and west directions, respectively, along these coastal stretches.

The variations of longshore sediment transport along the length of the Rosetta promontory show wide variability in the intensity and directions due to the pronounced angle between shoreline orientations versus incident waves.

As expected, increasing gradient of sediment transport rates corresponds to areas of shoreline erosion while decreasing gradient alongshore towards areas where there has been shoreline accretion (Fig.3 B). The net longshore sediment transport (heading southwest) along the west coast is relatively higher than that along the east coast (heading east), being 1292 x 103 m3 and 549 x 103 m3 year, respectively. These higher rates result from the higher obliquity of the wave approach compared with that experienced along the east side. The decreasing in longshore sediment transport along the western and eastern down drifts of the promontory coast indicates an accretionary pattern.

A major transport reversal occurs in front of the Rosetta mouth creating a divergence of longshore sediment transport nodal points; i.e. a place where sand moves alongshore to both the east and southwest away from the mouth (Fig.3 A and B).

The annual rates of shoreline change prior to 1990 demonstrate that higher erosion centered on both sides of the promontory tip, but with accretion to either side along the promontory flanks (Fig.3 C). Maximum erosion revealed on the east and west sides adjacent to the River mouth are 52 and 88 m/yr, respectively. This erosion decreases systematically alongshore both to the west and east, then reverses to accretion at nodal points. Nodal points denote at the change of areas of sediment transport from erosion to deposition or vice versa that result from the orientation changes of the shoreline. These points are located 6.2 km southwest of Abu Qir Bay and 7 km of the Rosetta saddle of Abu Khashaba measured from the Rosetta mouth. This presents a simple pattern of erosion from the tip of the promontory near the mouth of the river, with eroded sand moving alongshore as it is transported by longshore currents to the southwest along the shoreline of Abu Qir Bay and to the east along the eastern flank of the promontory. The western and eastern parts adjacent to the Rosetta mouth are parts of the Abu Qir and Rosetta sub-cells, respectively, identified by Frihy et al. (1991).

To reduce the erosion impacts at the Rosetta promontory, two dolos seawalls (4 and 7 tons) were constructed between 1989 and 1991 on both sides of the Rosetta Nile branch mouth (Fig. 3A). The western and eastern seawalls were constructed inland and extend alongshore to a length of 1.5 km and 3.35km, respectively. The seawalls stand 6.75 m above MSL, and vary in width from 48 to 70 m. The rate of shoreline changes after protection reveals that the two seawalls have succeeded in stopping the shoreline erosion along the tip of the promontory. However, they have shifted the erosion to down drift areas at the east and west wall ends, being 3 and 13 m/yr, respectively (Figs. 3C).

The post construction erosion rates are lower than being experienced prior to building the seawalls, which originally was 106 m/yr. Consequently, five groins were built to combat the local erosion that resulted at the eastern end of the seawall (Fig. 3A?). The length of these groins varies between 400 to 500m seaward and are spaced 800 to 900m a part.

Fig. 3 (A) The Rosetta promontory showing the positions of 1990 and 2000 shorelines, location of the examined 24 beach profiles. Wave-induced littoral currents are schematically denoted. (B) Alongshore pattern of estimated littoral transport rate. (C) The effect of protection system on the behavior of the coastline based on comparison between shoreline change rates before (1971-1990) and after protection (1990-2000). R1 to R24 denote Rosetta beach profile numbers.

Fresh Water Availability and Quality

Fresh water is available through the Rosetta branch of the River Nile. The annual discharge has been 48.03 km3 during the period 1956-1964 with a peak during September and October, but it has decreased to 3.78 km3 during the period 1966-1989 with a peak in winter. After erection of Aswan High Dam, the discharge has been fully controlled and changed in amount and time. About 70% of the total annual input is currently discharged during December, January and February. This riverine input expectedly adds more stress on the bay through the high load of pollutants it carries with; e.g. pesticides. Table (1) presents annual fresh water discharge (km3) through Rosetta branch during the period 1966-1989 (Beltagy, 1994)

Table (1): Annual fresh water discharge (km3) in the Mediterranean through Rosetta branch during the period 1966-1989 (Beltagy, 1994) Year Discharge Year Discharge Year Discharge 1966 13.11 1974 3.56 1982 6.78 1967 20.8 1975 3.7 1983 6.36 1968 5.86 1976 4.4 1984 5.22 1969 2.04 1977 7.56 1985 3.58 1970 3.96 1978 11.48 1986 3.51 1971 4.06 1979 6.05 1987 2.6 1972 3.3 1980 5.4 1988 2.75 1973 2.75 1981 5.15 1989 2.51

The Rosetta branch provides fresh water to Mahmoudia Canal for domestic needs of the region. It also provides fresh water for various agriculture applications and discharges the rest of fresh water in the Mediterranean for balancing pressures of erosion and salt water intrusion in the region.

Groundwater has been utilized for various domestic applications in areas with no other sources of water. In an investigation of the quality of water in about thirty wells of maximum depth 40m, located north of Mahmoudia Canal, it was found that none of these wells is suitable for drinking purposes (Nasr et al,1994).

Water Quality of Abu-Qir Bay

Abu Qir Bay receives polluted discharge through El Tabia Pumping Station at its southern edge. The daily discharge is about 2x106 m3. The monthly average discharge of El Tabia Station is presented in Table (2).

Table (2): Monthly average discharge at El Tabia Station Month Discharge(106m3) Month Discharge(106m3) January 36.145 July 51.953 February 28.00 August 47.93 March 45.32 September 55.951 April 46.85 October 53.879 May 46.00 November 59.69 June 44.789 December 59.37

The main target for the environmental information monitoring program (EIMP) of Abu-Qir Bay is to establish baseline knowledge of the water quality through continuous survey from which a data base is built up. The results of this study will be used to establish quantitative and causal relations between pollution sources and pollution impact.

Eutrophication, from a Socio-political perspective, becomes a concern as soon as it starts to endanger an important part of our marine environment as Abu-Qir Bay. Therefore, for all practical purposes, a simple definition has been adopted that defines eutrophication to be a form of nutrient pollution that degrades and endangers natural resources of our marine environment.

Eutrophication is therefore considered to be a symptom of pollution, whereby addition of excess nutrients leads to excess growth of algae which perhaps leads to high mortality of heterotrophic organisms, particularly fish and benthic organisms. Negative impacts of eutrophication include:

  • The reduction of tourist-recreational value of coastal water due to reduced transparency, changes in the color of seawater, phytoplankton blooms and modified shore communities etc.
  • Health impacts of algal toxic extra metabolites, directly or by accumulation in sea-food organisms.
  • The loss of fisheries resources, mainly as:
    • Mass mortalities of demersal fish and invertebrates.
    • Reduced or collapsed recruitment of inshore, estuarine and tidal lagoon fish and shellfish.
    • Hindrance of aquaculture and / or inquiring the quality of its product, In Abu-Qir Bay, eutrophication in superficial waters results from several phenomena:
    • Winter vertical mixing of water.
    • Discharge of effluents (River Nile, domestic, agricultural and industrial effluents).
    • Natural terrestrial run off.
An environmental monitoring program for Abu-Qir Bay has been established by The Egyptian Ministry of Environment EIMP/EEAA. The program has stressed monitoring at:
  • Major industrial settlement along the Bay.
  • Coastal communities i.e. Abu-Qir, Maadia, Idku and Rashid villages.
  • River Nile estuary at Rosetta.
  • Outlet of Lake Idku.
Parameters which have been covered by the program include:
  • Basic physical parameters: These include depth and vertical profile of salinity, specific conductivity, temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) and water transparency (Secci disc). CTD (YSI) was used for measuring the physical parameters.
  • Bacteriological parameters (total coliform, faecal coliform and faecal streptococci). Special rode with glass carrier has been used for collection of samples.
  • Eutrophication parameters: These include total suspended matter (SPM), nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, silicate and chlorophyll.
1. Physical Parameters
Conductivity, Salinity, pH, depth, water temperature and Dissolved oxygen were measured using 600XL Multi-parameter water Quality Monitor (CTD) YSI incorporated. The data stored in the field in YSI 610 microcomputer (Data logger) and transferred the laboratory computer using powerful software (PC6000).
  • Conductivity: The YI water quality monitor (CTD) was used to determine conductivity.
  • Salinity: Salinity is determined automatically from the 600XL conductivity readings according to algorithms found in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater.
  • pH: The 600XL employs a field replaceable pH electrode for the determination of hydrogen ion concentration.
  • Depth: The 600XL equipped with depth sensor to measure depth.
  • Temperature: The 600XL was used to determine the water temperature.
  • Dissolved Oxygen: The 600XL was used to determine the dissolved oxygen in sea water.

2. Bacteriological Parameters
Sampling techniques, preparation, handling and preservation of marine water sample were done according to the guidance described in the International Organization for standardization (ISO) No. 5667/9 (1992). Detection and enumeration of coliform organisms and presumptive E. Coli were done using method and media described in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) No. 9308-1 (1990) whereas faecal streptococci bacteria were detected and enumerated according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) No. 7899/2 (1984).

3. Eutrophication Parameters Six stations were selected to represent Abu-Qir Bay. Water samples were collected at depth of about 2.5 m; the samples were filtered through filter paper (GF/C). The dissolved inorganic nutrient salts (including nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, phosphate and silicate) were analyzed spectro-photometrically or by using Alpakam auto-analyzer for NO2, NO3, P, and Si.

Nitrite (NO2) and Nitrate (NO3): The determination was carried out according to Grasshoff (1983b)
Total phosphorus and total nitrogen (TP & TN): Total method used for determination of total nitrogen and total phosphorous was performed according to Valderrama (1981)
Ammonia (NH4) , Reactive phosphate (PO4) and Reactive silicate (Si): The method used for determination is due to Koroleff (1983b)
Chlorophyll-a: Chlorophyll-a extraction and measurement was performed according to Strickland and Parasons (1972).
Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM): Suspended particulate matter was measured according to the method described by Van Loon (1982).

Results and Discussion

1. Physical Monitoring of physical parameters revealed that salinity was generally low in front of fresh water outlets like Maadia and Rashid. With respect to pH values, slightly alkaline values were recorded for Abu-Qir Bay. Low values of dissolved oxygen were observed sometimes in the Bay.

Relatively high water temperature was observed most of the time in front of Electrical Power Station of Abu-Qir Bay. This is due to cooling water of power station discharged into the bay. This phenomenon was continued during the monitoring years (from 1998-2002).

High DO values were detected in surface water of the Maadia during May. This is due to the high rate of mixing and presence of strong surface currents. Sometimes the presence of high amount of phytoplankton causes photosynthesis which lead to increase of DO, while the lower DO values were recorded in the deep water. This could be attributed to the discharge of untreated wastewater into the bay through Maadia outlet, Tabia outfall plus cooling water from the Electrical Power Station.

The investigation of sea water temperature during year 2000 revealed thermal pollution in Abu-Qir Bay in front of Electrical Power Station especially in summer and autumn seasons. Relatively lower salinity values were observed at Rashid City.

Two cases of DO deficiency have been detected during year 2000: the first one was below the Egyptian guideline (4 mg/l) and the second was hypoxia (> 3 mg/l). Deficiency of DO (> 4 mg/l) has been detected during May 2000 at Abu-Qir Bay. Also during July 2000 at eastern of Abu-Qir city and finally during November at Maadia. Hypoxia (< 3 mg/l DO) has been detected in bottom water of Maadia during May 2000 and during Sept.2000 at Electrical Power Station and Maadia and finally during November at eastern Abu-Qir City and Electrical Power Station.

It is worthy to mention that the River Nile does not contribute to decrease salinity in front of Rashid during March and May. This is due to the change of seawater current being from sea towards Rashid estuary.

2. Bacteriological Bacteriological investigation for pathogenic bacteria (Total coliforms, E.coli and faecal Streptococci) in Abu-Qir Bay during the last five years (1998 – 2002) revealed the following:

  • The sites especially in form of outlets such as Maadia, Rosetta and outfalls were contaminated by faecal pollution indicating bacteria with counts exceeding the acceptable numbers adopted by the European Community Standards (ECS). In general Idku site did not exceed the permissible numbers during most of monitoring campaigns.
  • Faecal contamination found in Abu-Qir Bay is due to discharge of untreated Sewage water in the bay. Discharging the wastewater into the sea is considered of potential risk to public health through direct infection to swimmers and / or eating contaminated sea-food.
3. Eutrophication Monitoring of eutrophication parameters i.e. nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, phosphorous, silica, chlorophyll-a and SPM at Abu Qir during 1998 revealed high levels at eastern Abu Qir City, Electrical Power Station, El-Maadia outlet and Rashid. Those high levels were due to discharge of untreated wastewater into Abu-Qir Bay.

During year 2000, the regional and bimonthly variations of nitrate and nitrite along Abu-Qir Bay showed relatively low levels during the whole period of investigation except in Sept. at Electrical Power Station where the nitrite was relatively high.

High level of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) was detected in the bay. This may be due to the impact of discharge of domestic, industrial and agricultural runoff into the bay.

Relatively low levels of nitrate and nitrite were recorded at Abu-Qir Bay, while high concentration of total nitrogen was observed to the east of Abu-Qir City. This is due to the impact of discharge of untreated wastewater into the bay. Moreover, normal levels of reactive phosphate and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) were recorded.

Relatively high levels of chlorophyll-a and suspended matter were observed in front of outlets such as Maadia and Rashid estuary.

Maadia and Rashid sites were characterized by increasing primary production (relatively high levels of chlorophyll-a). This may be related to the influence of drainage water brought by the River Nile or industrial wastewater like Electrical Power Station or mix of industrial and agricultural wastewater.

In general gradual improvement for water quality of Abu-Qir Bay has been noticed during the period of the investigation (1998-2002). Continuous surveillance and enforcement of the Egyptian environmental law No. 4/94 are expected to be the main reasons for this improvement.

5. Socioeconomic Conditions This part is based on data obtained during field visits, interviews with experts, local communities, statistics and available studies.

Population: There are four major cities in the study area; Kafr El-Dawar Rashid, Idku and Al Maadia. These cities have an over all populations of about 991,800 person (Census, 1996). Population growth rates for the study area are not available but national growth rate decreased from 2.75% in 1968 to 2.8% in 1996.

Kafr El-Dawwar the biggest city hosts about 232,000 inhabtants. It encompasses important industries; textile and dying, chemicals, canning and food processing. Rashid City hosts a population of around 85,000. Edku hosts about 88,000 inhabitants. Maadia has a population of 8,800 and it is important for local fisheries because of its new harbor.

Generally the areas east and west of Lake Edku are densely populated and several villages lie in the vicinity of the major cities. There are no settlements in the area north-east of Idku because there are no cultivated land or irrigation facilities.

Socio-economics: Mainly there are two economic poles in the study area: agriculture and fishing. Those economic sectors not only form economic bases but also adjust the social life for the peoples in the study area. Those two socio-economic poles interact and integrate to draw the individuality of the study area.

Main activities sectors: There are three major economic activities as follows:

  1. Agriculture activity The agriculture in the project area is characterized by the irrigated cultivation of date palms, fruit trees and traditional crops. Very few people produce honey. Bee keeping is mostly confined to the plantations of orange trees. Some of the agricultural land is permanently under cultivation, some parts are only cultivated for a certain period of time during the year. In rare cases fields are abandoned or neglected. Cultivation of crops in Lake Edku region follows the tradition of three year cropping pattern with cotton, rice and vegetables grown in the summer and wheat, barely, beans and vegetables in winter. Generally, returns from trees are higher than from traditional crops. Palm trees are mainly cultivated in a belt along the coastal strip. Towards the south, palm tree plantations are fewer and more fruit trees and traditional crops dominate the agriculture of production: The uppermost level is the canopy of the palm leaves. Intermediate plants are fruit trees such as guava, citrus fruits and mango. On the ground there are tomatoes, onions, potatoes, zucchini and eggplant.

    Table (3) and Table (4) show the main agricultural products in Edku. Table (3): Main Agricultural products in Idku for 1996/97: Trees. Tree Area Feddan* Volume of production (ton) Average ton per Feddan Average number of trees per Feddan. Palm (Date) 8.709 52.254 9 80 Guava 4.986 40.390 8.1 400 Apple 1.252 8.764 7 500 Orange 252 2.020 8 400 Total 15.197 103.428 7.2 Source of Data: IDSC of Local Unit Idku, 1998. Last Column: Field Survey, 1998 * One Feddan is 4200 m2

    Table (4): Main Agricultural Products in Edku District for 1996/97; Crops.

Crop Area in Feddan Volume of production Unit Rice 5.029 15,087 Ton Cotton 4.829 34,768 Quintal+ Beans 3.390 20,340 Ardab* Wheat 3.070 49,120 Ardab* Tomato 1.660 12,450 Ton Maize 941 23,532 Ardab* Water melon 800 880 Ton Eggplant 11 87 Ton Pepper 10 25 Ton Onion 10 65 Ton + 1 Quintal= 100kg. *Unit of Volume (no metric unit available). ** excl. figures for beans, wheat, maize. Source of Data: IDSC of Local Unit of Edku, 1998.

More and more trees, such as palm and guava, are being grown on the sandy lands because they are less sensitive to the high groundwater levels.

Table (5): Summary of Agricultural Structure in the Project Area. Main Ownership Average farm size in Feddan Average annual profit per Feddan Remarks Trees: date, guava, orange, apple, mango, mandrian Crops: tomato, berseem, eggplant, beans, wheat, barley, zucchini, pepper. Muddy land: 100% private Sandy Land: 2/3 private, 1/3 rented from government. 5-6 25% have less than 1 ca.20 persons have 10 or more. 5.000 L.E. Salinization problems, high investments for soil improvement; Some dunes, mostly stable- they are used as resource for leveling the land. Trees: date, citrus, guava, apple, mango. Crops: tomato, berseem, wheat, eggplant, beans, barley, zucchini, pepper. 95% in transition from public to private ownership; 5% rented from government. 3-6 4.000 L.E. Sandy land leveled and reclaimed by the state in the 1960’s. Trees: date, guava, mango. Crops: tomato, zucchini, eggplant, rice. Governmental (TDA); dispersed private cultivation without registration. 1-100, very variable. 0-5.000 L.E, very variable Not declared as agricultural land; soil of poor quality; larger portions not reclaimed. Dunes, many mobile. Trees: date, guava, mango, citrus fruits, apples. Crops: tomato, zucchini, eggplant, rice, onions, water melon, peanuts. Mainly, Kela system. 5 Smallest farms:0.5 (rare). 2.500-5.000 L.E. Land is cultivated already for several generations. Trees: date, guava, mango, citrus fruits, apples. Crops: tomato, zucchini, eggplant, rice, onions, water melon, peanuts. Almost exclusively Kela System. 1.5 max3 min 0.5 2.500-5.000 L.E. Land is already cultivated for several generations; 60% of the farmers have land elsewhere; unclear tenure of land. Crops: berseem, wheat, potatoes, corn, cotton, rice, onion. Trees: citrus fruits, banana, date. All private land. 0.5-3 max 46 min 0.5 2.000-5.000 L.E. Towards the south, crop production predominant; some larger farms, mostly owned by people from Alexandria.

  • Fisheries activity

    Apart from agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture there are other important sources of income in the project region. In Edku district, about 10% of the population depends on marine and freshwater fisheries. In Maadia Town and its surrounding villages, the portion is 50%. An estimated 300 fish-farms are located in the lake whereas the vast majority is rather small. There are three large fish farms. Two of them are located in the south-east of the lake and one to the north.

    Marine Fishing is very important in Maadia. There are more than 270 boats registered in the Maadia fishing port. Fish catches have risen from 1,500 tons in 1984 to about 11,500 tons in 1996. The Maadia fishing port was extended under a Japanese grant aid project. Table 6 shows the structure of fisheries in Edku district for 1996.

    Table(6) : Fisheries in Lake Edku Location No. of Fishers No. of boats Size of area Production in tons/year % of total production. Sea 7.857 306 35 km along the coast 11.522 51 Lake Edku 4.000 1.619 17.000 Feddan 8.193 36 Fish farms (lake) 425 --- 5.228 Feddan 2.093 9 Drains/ Canals --- --- --- 743 4 Total 12.282 1.925 --- 22.497 100 Source of Data: IDSC of the Local Unit Idku, 1997.

    Industrial activity

    Industry plays a minor role within the study area. Apart from some heavy industry west of Maadia there is almost exclusively light industry. This is concentrated in Rashid and Edku. Several factories for brick production are located along the banks of the Nile north of Rashid. Small scale industries for baskets, ropes, tiles and carpentry as well as car repair shops are common. Traditional fishing boat and yacht building is also important. A substantial number of yachts are exported to Arab countries. In Edku town the weaving industry is widespread in small scale factories with about 121 production plants. Several heavy industrial plants are located on the coast west of Maadia. These are paper, fertilizers and chemicals, petroleum and electricity.


    Generally most of residents of the study area work in agriculture or fishing. However, in the west of the study area a high proportion of employees work in factories and industrial plants west of Maadia or in services sector in Alexandria. Unfortunately there is high rate of unemployment in the southern part of the study area. Actually there is not enough land to cultivate.

    Table (7), gives an overview of inhabitants and regional economic related to three major cities in the study area. There seems to be some shortage of agricultural labors in the east of the study area. So during the main harvesting season labour come from nearby to work on the farms. These hired labour are mainly fron Kafr El Dawar. This means that part of the surplus labour force in southern part of the study area is assimilated here.

    Table (7): Distribution of population( 6 year and over) of economic activities. ` Rashid Edku Kafr El Dawwar Agriculture and Fishing 18482 13799 58952 Industry and construction 636 3553 24974 Services 11257 6031 19242 Not adequately described 1864 23845 6260 Total of working people 37163 47228 109428 Unemployed 75833 73908 304585 Source of Data: 1996 Census

    Land use The study area is dominated by irrigated agriculture. Fisheries and aquiculture also form significant clusters. The aquaculture is mainly situated in the Lake Edku. Activities of agriculture and aquaculture interact and integrate. On the other hand, industry forms queer spots. In fact the industry create bunches at the west of the study area and recently in the north as petrochemical industries. To date tourism has not played momentous role in the study area.

    Status of land ownership There are different patterns of ownership and user rights in the study area. There are cases where lands are regulated under different regulations and also where land is an transition of ownership. Formal registration of private ownership to deceased persons is common. Table (8) clearly shows that more than 80% of all landowners in the Beheira Governorate have less than 3 Feddan (1.26 ha). In Beheira this is only 50% of the farmers. Most owners in the project area have one plot of land as a farm. Only a minority owns land in different locations.

    Table (8): Distribution of Agricultural land by Size of Ownership in the Beheira Governorate: Size of Land in Feddan Owners Area Number Percent Feddan Percent Less than 1 128.914 49.6% 69.124 9.3% 1- 52.335 20.1% 80.870 10.9% 2- 31.452 12.1% 73.640 9.9% 3- 17.635 6.8% 58.415 7.9% 4- 10.788 4.2% 47.210 6.4% 5- 8.686 3.3% 62.444 8.4% 10- 5.531 2.1% 77.775 10.5% 20- 2.580 1% 70.190 9.5% 50- 1.264 0.5% 81.624 11.0% 100 and over 596 0.2% 119.081 16.1% Total 259.781 100% 740.373 100% Source of Data: CAPMAS, 1997.

    The management of government land is not carried out by a single administration in Egypt. Different authorities are responsible, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Housing and Utilities and Urban Communities, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Defense etc. This appears to contradict the fact that the coastal strip north of Lake Edku is owned by the Tourism Development Authority of the Ministry of Tourism. All the non-urban land here was assigned to the TDA in 1992.

    The dunes in the project area are a very important resource for local agriculture. The sand is taken for leveling the low lying land prone to salinization. The heavy exploitation of the dunes has resulted in a considerable depletion of some of them. In certain locations they have almost completely disappeared. The present dunes can be classified into two groups with regard to user rights: there are no formal regulations for the use of the larger mobile dunes east of Edku. Illegal quarrying of the sand is carried out on a large-scale. For the smaller isolated fixed dunes further east individuals have exclusive user rights. These rights are not formalized but are the consequence of long established practice.

    Water uses

    The irrigation water is free of charge and readily available for almost all land that officially declared as agriculture land. Most of it is connected with the Nile-fed governmental irrigation system. The irrigation system in the study area is a combined gravity and water lifting system. This system typically consists of a main canal system that takes its water from the head regulator located at the Nile. Water is distributed along the branches. At the third level canals distribution canals receive water according to rotation schedule. Pumps are then used to lift water from these channels to irrigate the fields. The largest and the most important irrigation canal in the study area is the Mahmudia Canal with width of 25 m.

    On land that is not officially declared as agriculture land, the holders have to build irrigation and drainage arrangement at their own expense. The agricultural authorities clean and clear canals and drains regularly. Alternatively drains provide another source of irrigation water. This can cause problems because the water from the drains is mainly contaminated.

    Drainage Whereas the irrigation system is generally well established in the study area, the drainage system is somewhat less well developed. In some cases fertile lands are not cultivated for the reason that of lack of drains. Seeing as the area east of Edku is not officially acknowledged as agriculture land, there was no drainage system until recently. Generally the lack of drains is dealt with two different manners; either by digging drains or by making ground using sand from the nearby dunes.

    Drinking water
    All water for drinking purposes is processed surface water from the Nile. Pipelines from the processing stations supply it. But there are few hamlets in the study area not connected to drinking water network. The people living in those hamlets get their water from public pipes in neighboring village.

    In rural areas sewage treatment is practically not existent. Sewage is disposed of in pits close to the houses. Public or private operated disposal cars empty those pits. The wastewater from these cars is fed into drains. Some villages discharge their sewage into Lake Edku. Rashid town has sanitary network under construction. But at this moment there is deterioration in the environmental conditions of the town. In Edku town a sewage system was established for the main roads a few years ago. The outlet of the main drain from Kafr El Dawwar is the main source of pollution in the area. It discharges huge amounts of agriculture and industrial effluent.

    Water supply and Wastewater Questionnaire Survey

    A survey has been carried out by Alexandria Local Assembly for all Alexandria districts including Abo Qir district. The objective of the survey was to
    • Assess quality of services offered by Water Supply Company and Waste Water Facilities
    • Assess the awareness of the public of the relationship between environment, quality of life and health
    • Identify problems of extension of services of water supply and wastewater
    • Assess satisfaction of the quality of water and services
    • Assess the welling to pay for providing better services
    • Identify options of development and improvements.

    Solid Waste Disposal
    There is practically no efficient waste collection. In general, a substantial amount of solid waste is thrown into canals and drain. Especially in and around the villages, the open canals and drains are litter with all kinds of domestic refuse in most cases.

    Cultural Heritage and Archaeology

    Submerged Archeological Sites The archeological sites submerged under the western part of Abu Qir bay are an attractive salvage operation for marine archeologists and would also stimulate the tourist industry. The following famous submarine archeological remains exist under Abu Qir bay:
    Canopus and Herakleion cities Ruins of the ancient cities of Canopus and Herakleion, dated from Greek to Byzantine times, were discovered at depths of 6-7 m in the western part of Abu Qir bay (Toussoun, 1934; Bernard, 1970; Stanley et al., 2001). Artifacts have been recovered in recent times by fishermen from the bay, and the sites were first explored by hard-hat divers in 1933 (Toussoun, 1922). The Canopus and Herakleion were positioned west of the mouth of the old Niles’s Canopic branch. This branch was one of the seven distributaries that flow in this region west of Edku inlet between 600 BD and 300 AD. The Canopic branch was navigable and its water was received from the Rashid branch (Rosetta). Of these seven distributaries, five have since silted up, leaving the present-day Rosetta and Damietta branches. These sites are 1.6 and 5.4 km, respectively, east of the Abu Qir headland. At each site, ruins were found over an area exceeding 0.5 km2. Recent investigations using side-scan sonar have recorded large features such as walls, bases of temples, columns, stellae, and statues. According to Bernard (1970) structures in Canopus at the time were still positioned close to the shore until the early seventh century. The temples and walls were remained exposed for another century, until after 731.

    Different theories have been attributed to the submergence of these cities, these are:

    • The effect of a rise in sea level and subsidence (which to gather account for less than 3 m of vertical offset since AD 700).
    • The effect of active earthquake activity. However, no earthquake activity was recorded in Egypt during AD743 or 745 (Saloviev et al, 2000).
    • The result of sudden riverbank failure of the low-elevation margin of the river banks (Stanley et al., 2001). Unfortunately, the Canopic Nile mouth did not reach the two cities at the time of disappearance of these cities.
    • According to Said (2002) assessment the two cities had disappeared gradually and not suddenly (due to neither floods nor earthquakes). The disappearance came gradually due to the erosion and processes by current and waves across 400 years same as the old Burullus.

    Bonaparte's Fleet On 1st August 1798 the British naval units commanded by Admiral Nelson sank most of Napoleon's flotilla at Abu Qir Bay. The remains of the fleet particularly the Napoleon' s flagship (L'Orient) are visible underwater in calm sea. Submerged remains are cannons, guns, anchors, coins, cups (Morcos, 1997).

    Problems of the Region:

    During the field surveys, it was observed that there are some obstacles which could impact the natural resources and slow the development in the study area; it should be taken into consideration. These obstacles are:
    1. Shortage of institutional capabilities Severe shortage of institutional capabilities of all sectors is the main problem in the region. The lack of proper urbanization services of all kinds including fresh water supplies, wastewater systems, solid waste disposal systems, planning and enforcement systems, healthcare systems and even the law enforcement systems. As a result, there are many problems with marketing of products, recycling of waste, transportation and roads. The absence of enforced plan of development constitutes a very serious draw back for sustainable development.
    2. Shortage of Transportation Network In spite of the transportation network from Alexandria to Rosetta is recently connected to the International Highway, still secondary roads are very narrow especially at some points of presence of some settlements such as that near Lake Edku inlet. Nowadays, the international coastal road passes through the region with some big bridges crossing the Edku Lake as shown in Fig. (4). Detailed studies will need to measure the type and magnitude of this road impacts on the whole region.
    3. Coastal Erosion: The Nile Delta with its classic fan shape has been evolving since Upper Miocene time (10 million years B.C.)- (Said, 1981). The Rosetta Nile branch is one of the two major distributaries of the River Nile. This branch has developed the triangular headland Rosetta promontory trending NNW. Its mouth extends about 12 km into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile Delta coast forms a unique depositional environment, in which sedimentation is controlled by a combination of some environmental factors (such as waves, currents, tides, etc) and river discharge. As a result of that it became a subject to frequent changes. Since the building of Aswan High Dam (1964), an imbalance between the two major forces affecting the shore (erosion and accretion) has occurred. As a result of this, a strong decrease in the amount of sediments accreted (the amount of sediments decrease from 120 million tons per year to only a trace amount). These have caused significant and rapid changes along the shore of the North West Nile Delta coast. These rapid shoreline changes could create catastrophic physical, biological and socioeconomic problems. The historical shoreline retreat along the study area was reported using both satellite remote sensing data and field measurements, (El-Hattab, 1993; El-Raey, 1995). Two photos illustrate both erosion areas (in the western coast of the area) and accretion zones (in the western coast of the area) taken through field visits were taken, Figures (5 and6). Two protection sea walls have been built to protect the coast from the high rates of erosion. The eastern wall is 3.6 km length, while the western one is 1.6 km length. Both walls have 6 meters depth and 6 meters height. During the last few years, the sea water is reached the walls and began to surround it which is a very serious sign. Nowadays, there are some experiments from different companies to protect the coastal line, like the huge concrete bags that put parallel to the coastline.
    4. Water pollution and Water Scarcity Water is available for irrigation through the River Nile, Rosetta branch. It is also available for domestic needs through pipelines connected to Alexandria network. The region is relatively rich in water resources; however, problems are mainly related to water quality rather than quantity. Increasing salinity and intrusion of saline water into the soil has impacted many sectors. Palm tree are cultivated to avoid this problem, however, the rest of crops are definitely affected one way or another. Industrial pollution has impacted both marine and fresh water resources. Marine monitoring has indicated the presence of several hot spots. Fresh water analyses from drains dumping the lake and in the bay have indicated very low water quality.
    5. Low education and awareness Generally, the education level and awareness of environmental problems in the region is low as compared to other adjacent regions (UNDP, 2003). This has limited availability of jobs and performance on the environmental matters. Figure (5): Areas of Coastal Erosion (mainly in the western coast) Figure (6): Areas of coastal accretion (mainly in the eastern coast) Fig.(7) : Sea wall at Rosetta Promontory Figure (10)
    6. Dune Quarrying: Sand dunes in the study area have unique characteristics, which are not found in most of sand dunes in Egypt. Sand dunes in the area are covered completely by grass which makes it stable and gives it a very unique nice-beautiful view. This dunes overlooking view is most suitable and attractive to tourism activities. The sand dunes in the study area are found mainly in two locations: one starting from Idku city and takes the north direction toward Rosetta, while the other is in Abou Mandour area, and is perpendicular to the first one. Sand dunes have a great ecological benefit in the management of the area. It gives a nice view, and provides attractive locations to tourists who search for quite and unique places to visit. Continued mining and reclamation of sand dunes will threaten the natural defense of the remarkable coastal dune belt along the backshore of the study area. In addition to natural defense, these dunes are considered as an essential landscaping element in terms of coastal development and as a natural protection element from beach erosion as well. Also, these dunes host thousands of remarkable Palm trees that characterize this region. Unfortunately, intensive illegal mining activities for the coastal dune belt west of Idku inlet is being carried out. More than 20 trucks have been observed in one quarry site dredging hundreds of cubic meters of dune sand per day. This activity was observed during the recent team field visit to investigate the process of ground truth. It is expected that the impact of sand dune mining and use for agricultural applications will have serious adverse impacts on soil salinity and tourism activities in the area. The huge quarrying process illustrated in the next two photos taken through field visits, Figure (11).
    7. Water Logging and water bogging: Most of the study area is flat and lies at low-lying elevations except some locations to the south such as the two belts of sand dunes. Most of coastal parts are logged areas. So, the project site should be selected carefully to avoid water logging. As a result of severe cutting of sand dunes, water logging problems in the study area in the very near future are expected to be aggravated. In addition, it has been noticed that serious seasonal variations of sea invasion occurs in the area. The affected stack holders of this phenomenon are farmers and fisherman. Farmers have to remove the logged water manually in an inefficient way, Figure (12).
    8. Climate change and Salt water intrusion Many examples of salt water intrusion in the agricultural and mixing of fresh and salt water exists. This is exacerbated by anthropogenic activities of soil quarrying in many localities and lack of integrated control.
    9. Land subsidence in Abo Qir Bay The vertical motion of land, subsidence or emergence refers to the lowering or emerging of the land surface relative to a geodetic datum. Vertical motion varies locally depending upon rates of isostasy, tectonism, compaction and anthropogenic influences (groundwater or oil withdrawal) or combination thereof. Subsidence and emergence is generally independent on world (eustatic) sea-level changes. Measurement of subsidence requires removing the effects of changing sea level, which has been rising during much of the past ~18,000 years. Land subsidence and emergence due to neo-tectonism play an essential part in increasing or decreasing sea level. Unfortunately, there have been no tide gauges deployed at Abu Qir bay to estimate relative sea-level rise. However, Stanley (1990) and Stanley and Warne (1993) have estimated long-term average subsidence rates across the Nile delta region including Abu Qir Bay (Figure I A and B). Their estimation is based on carbon-dated sediment cores recovered across the coastal zone of the Nile delta. The processes of compaction and dewatering of the thick accumulated deposits of fluviomarine deltaic mud sequence formed in the Holocene has induced higher rates of subsidence ranging from 1 to 5mm/yr. Subsidence has been considerably lower in a westerly direction, ranging from 5mm/yr at Port Said in the east to ~1mm/yr farther to the west at Alexandria region (Stanley and Warne, 1993). Thickness of Holocene strata beneath the modern delta plain is a direct function of subsidence, which ranges from 50 m at Port Said and tends to decrease or be nearly absent westward below the Alexandria coastal plain. Accordingly, subsidence at Abu Qir Bay attains a maximum of 3 mm/ year at the Rosetta promontory. Several impacts would be expected due to land subsidence and sea level rise on Abu Qir bay coastal zone. Beach erosion, saltwater incursion in groundwater would be increased, the ecosystem of Idku lagoon, and hence fish resources, would probably adjust to gradually changed conditions of salinity and water temperature. Changes in the salinity conditions of the coastal lagoons may lead to impacts on the ecology of Idku lagoon and fisheries. Strengthening shoreline defenses against beach erosion is an effective way to mitigate possible consequences of sea-level rise and land subsidence. Preserve the coastal dunes by fixation probably by water-tolerant plants and prohibiting sand quarrying as well. Other adaptive options include adapting new agricultural practices with improved efficiencies for using freshwater and developing salt-tolerant plants. The nonstructural adaptive responses could be landward retreat of areas of small populations to areas above 2 m contour and little investment to save localities may be the most effective and economic response to sea level rise particularly in vulnerable areas of high risk.
    10. High Rates of Unemployment The high rates of unemployment (9-12% according to UNDP 2003) represent an important factor that exacerbates deterioration of the quality of environment in the region. It is important to develop work in SME to help alleviate this problem.

    Monitoring and Assessment Using Satellite Images

    . Due to increased pressures on natural resources, it has been decided to monitor and study this area in depth. Site selection of infrastructure, facilities requires, collection, storing, analyzing and presenting in spatial terms, large amounts of environmental and social data needed to decide on locations that will cause minimum environmental harm, and promote growth and development. This aspect lends itself to the use of satellite images processing as a modern tool that can organize and analyze sizable amounts of spatially referenced data. This section will first outline the basic principles of remote sensing and image analysis. There is, then, a discussion about the data collection process, the nature of satellite images, and the various operations involved in image analysis. The French SPOT satellite is an operational civilian satellite that can provide a high spatial resolution imagery data. A (SPOT) image covering the study area was processed in his project. The satellite image has a spatial resolution of 20 meters; its date of acquisition was August 16, 1995. The SPOT image consists of three different spectral bands covering the visible and near infra-red spectral regions. The SPOT image was geometrically corrected using both the topographic maps sets of scale 1:15000 and the GPS reading during field survey. A twenty eight ground control points were chosen carefully and checked in the field for either the registration and rectification or the further processes like accuracy assessment. The final registration accuracy was tested and found to be acceptable. The image is then displayed and visually analyzed. That visual interpretation based on the prior information obtained during the first trips to explore the region identified the extension of different land cover classes in the area. The image of the three spectral bands are combined together in the false color composite (band 1, band 2 and band 3 as Red, Green and blue respectively) as shown in Figure (12). Different land cover classes appear in different color codes according to their spectral signatures represented by tonal variations in the three raw spectral images. In spite of being false colors, it represent a standard colors, i.e. the red color areas represent the vegetation, the grey colors represent urban, the blue represent the water masses, . . .etc. Unsupervised cluster analysis is carried out to classify the image into different classes according the difference among their spectral characteristics, it represents the natural clustering of the pixels around its mean (i.e. it needs neither prior information of the area not high experiences). The unsupervised classification then provided a preliminary legend for different land cover classes present in the study area. Various classes of land, water masses, urban zones, bare soil, and vegetation types are identified and displayed in the unsupervised classified image. A number of field visits are carried out to the study area for ground truth observations. Different locations are identified in the image and their land use determined covers are checked in the field for verification using Ground Positioning System (GPS-Garmin). Ground truth observations helped the selection of training areas to carry out the supervised classification and assessment of the accuracy of classification. A supervised classification analysis is carried out according to standard CORINE classification scheme, (EUNIS, 2002) by using Maximum Likelihood technique and the training areas identified in the field.

    There are 9 separate classes obtained from the supervised classification of the satellite image, these layers are:

    1. Discontinuous urban fabric
    2. Road and rail networks and associated land
    3. Permanently irrigated land
    4. Fruit trees
    5. Complex cultivation patterns
    6. Beaches, dunes, and sand plains
    7. Inland marshes
    8. Salt marshes
    9. Water courses
    The resulting supervised classification image showing the nine land cover classes is presented in Figure (12).

    Building the GIS data base

    Preparation of Maps-Set: Various scales were reviewed for checking the suitable one to the scale of the study. The scale 1:25000 was checked and it was found that the study area would fit in 15 maps of that scale, besides the excessive amount of details would cause confusion and interference between maps features while reading the map. More difficulties would be expected during further phases of manipulation and digitization.

    The scale 1:50000 was found to be the most appropriate one for this study, as with its regional coverage, all necessary map features were obviously interpreted and coded. The study area was covered in 6 maps of this scale (as shown in Figure 13).

    By reviewing the previous map, a thematic boundary map was derived that shows the study area with all of its boundaries. It covers an area of 1338.223 km2 (133822.3 Hectare, 3306.7 Acres) with an overall perimeter of 191.383 km.

    As shown in the previous map, the study area of Abu Qir Bay is bounded from the north with the Abu Qir Bay (Mediterranean Sea), the “Mahmoudeya” Canal from the south, a cut-off of the urban fabric of Alexandria city from the west, and a narrow zone past the River Nile from the east. Three governorates are involved in the study area. Alexandria Governorate with an area of 91.04 km2, Behera Governorate with an area of 1058.69 km2, and Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate with an area of 168.73 km2. The main natural geographic features that exist in the study area are:

    • The Mediterranean Sea coast to the North, expressed in Abu Qir Bay
    • The river Nile (Rosetta branch of Rasheed branch) to the East
    • The Mahmoudeya Canal to the South
    • Lake Edku centered in the study area and having an approximate area of 129.273 km2

    3. The Geographic Base of the GIS:

    3.1 Base Map Preparation The mosaic shown in Figure 3 was prepared for photo-scanning by a flat bet scanner in several slices to fit with the geometrical size of the scanner. Slices were aggregated and stitched altogether to form the main geographic reference on which rely the GIS intended to be built.

    3.2 Scaling A vector depending software was used for the purpose of digitizing the map features. AutoCAD software was used for this purpose for its high digitization capabilities. The previous master map was appended as an image inside the AutoCAD drafting environment, scaled so that its borders translate the real dimensions of the study area. Thus the measurement units support the user with real distance values, and hence the geographic base map was ready to be generated.

    3.3 Digitization The Geographic base of the GIS expresses the spatial format of data in the GIS under construction. Each map entity is pointing to (or expressing) a feature in the study area, illustrated by the drafting means (polygons - lines- points), and encoding means (thickness – appearance with colors or hatching). By examining the map components, it was found that it would be more efficient if all components would be classified into certain categories or classes for main graphic entities: polygons, lines, and points, as shown in table (9). The table also shows the number of digitized graphic entities of the study maps-set.

    Table (9): The database design for map components and layers configuration # Graphic Entity # Main Categories # Classes Layer Number of Graphic Entities Name Color Line-type 01 POLYGONS 00- Land 00 Land 00Land 41 Continuous 2 (09 Categories) 01- Water Bodies 01 Sea 01Sea Blue Continuous 1 (26 Classes) 02 Gharaka 02Gharaka 142 Continuous 3 03 Lake 03Lakes 132 Continuous 5 03 Lake-Sabkha 03Lake-Sabkha 132 Continuous 2 03 Lake-Swamp 03Lake-Swamp 132 Continuous 16 04 River Nile 04RiverNile Cyan Continuous 1 02- Bare Land 05 Sandy Areas 05SandyAreas 51 Continuous 5 03- Islands 06 Islands in Lakes 06IslandsInLakes 52 Continuous 25 04- Vegetation 07 Cultivated Land 07CultivatedLand Green Continuous 11 08 Under Reclamation 08UnderReclamation Green Continuous 5 09 Trees and Parks 09TreesAndParks 60 Continuous 243 10 Palm Trees 10PalmTrees 82 Continuous 3 05- Urban 11 Major Cities 11MajorCities 211 Continuous 61 12 Minor Cities 12MinorCities 231 Continuous 8 13 Villages 13Villages 241 Continuous 748 14 Cemetery 14Cemetery 253 Continuous 23 15 Industrial Clusters 15IndustrialClusters 253 Continuous 21 16 Stations 16RailWayStations White Continuous 9 06- Administrative Boarders 17 Governorate 17Governorate 11 Dashed 3 18 Center 18County 31 Dashed 8 19 Center Text 19CountyText 31 Continuous 14 07- Contour Lines 20 Contour Polygons 20ContourPolygons 33 Continuous 432 21 Contour Text 21ContourText 33 Continuous 325 08- Archeological Sites 42 In-Land 42MonInland 8 Continuous 4 43 Submerged 43MonSubmerged 194 Continuous 29 02 LINES 01- Water Bodies 22 Major Canals 22MajorCanals 161 Continuous 10 (07 Categories) 23 Minor Canals 23MinorCanals 151 Continuous 39 (20 Classes) 24 Small Canals 24SmallCanals 151 Continuous 203 25 Major Drains 25MajorDrains 92 Continuous 7 26 Minor Drains 26MinorDrains 62 Continuous 52 27 Small Drains 27SmallDrains 62 Continuous 157 02- Roads 28 International Road 28InternationalRoad Red Continuous 1 29 Main-Paved 29MainPaved 242 Continuous 12 30 Secondary-Paved 30SecondaryPaved 243 Continuous 100 31 Prepared 31Prepared 24 Dashed 115 32 Tracks 32TracksUnpaved 23 Dashed 591 03- Power Lines 33 Power Lines 33Powerlines 254 Continuous 28 04- Railways 34 Railway Tracks 34RailwayTracks White Continuous 8 05- Geo-References 35 Longitudes 35Longitudes White Dash Dot 6 36 Latitudes 36Latitudes White Dash Dot 4 37 Longitudes ETM 37LongitudesETM Red Continuous 9 38 Latitudes ETM 38LatitudesETM Red Continuous 9 06- Bathymetry 44 Bathymetry 44Bathymetry 142 Continuous 164 07- Bridges 41 Bridges 41Bridges 14 Continuous 513 03 POINTS 01- Contour Points 39 Contour Points 39ContourPoints 21 ---- 82 (02 Categories) 02- Urban Landmarks 40 Urban Landmarks 40UrbanLandmarks Yellow ---- 361 (02 Classes) 18 Categories 48 Classes 48 Layers 4478

    Each of these categories covers a certain group of map features, for example: water bodies, roads, canals, drains, urban spots, etc., so that each category contains several sub-components (classes) of that particular category. Table 9 also shows the main idea of database design, and the layers configuration as the basis of the GIS under construction.

    3.5 Graphic Formats It is an important issue - in this phase – to take into consideration the assignment of all graphic entities to the graphic formats recognized by the GIS software to be used later. In other words, all graphic entities digitized from the base map should be assigned to one of three main formats: polygons, lines, or points. For example urban clusters can be assigned to the polygon format, while a transportation road can be assigned to the line format (for its linearity), and a well or an urban landmark can be assigned to the point format.

    3.4. Updating and Verification of Spatial Data The utilized maps-set described in section 2, was surveyed, edited and revised in 1993. Thus, it was important to identify the main alterations that took place between that year and the present one. Two methods were applied for this task; the remotely sensed satellite imagery and the ground truth revision field trips.

    3.5. Satellite Imagery Several satellite images were used as a reference data source (which is an important application of remote sensing techniques in building Geographic Information Systems). Images (shown in plates 1,2, and 3 ) of different types and dates were acquired, like:

    Images were subjected to geometric corrections for: shift, skew, and scaling to the utilized study scale. Then the images were entered separately as different layers in the drafting system, with exact registration and matched superimposition with all digitized graphic entities. By displaying each image together with all graphic entities, it was possible to identify the changes and the variations that took place between 1993 and the date of the satellite image.

    3.6. Field Trips for Ground Truth Revision and Verification For the sake of increased precision and truth reliability of the digitized maps, the research consultancy team has undergone two field trips covering the study area through all its main sectors that cover the majority of all available diversity of land cover, and urban land uses.

    The first field trip was carried on the 26th of January 2003, from 8:03 (Prof. El Raey was three minutes late) to 17:12, and has got the following surveying path shown in figure 14.

    It emphasized the surveying and investigation of the Northern part of the study area, from Alexandria to the Western parts of Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate.

    The second field trip was carried on the 14th of August 2003, from 8:00 sharp ! to 17:08, and has got the following surveying path shown in figure 15. It emphasized the surveying and investigation of the Southern part of the study area, from Alexandria to the Western parts of Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, and then returning through the Northern part again.

    Fig. 15. The path of the second field trip, covering most of the northern, middle and southern sectors of the study area

    3.6 Photographic Documentation of Land Features The following plates show a variety of photographs taken in the study area, with a key map (Figure 16) that shows the location and the target of the taken photograph.

    Photograph 1-12. Photographs* taken during the second field trip, showing the main features characterizing the land cover** . P.1 An old building used as a storage place P.2 Aquaculture ponds P.3 Fish culture, in culturing ponds P.4 The barrage of Edfina city, that controls the flow of the river water to the estuary P.5 A public park in Motoubess city (Kefr El-Sheikh governorate) P.6 El-Geddeya Bridge (to the South of Rosetta city) crossing the Nile P.7 Palm trees land cover distributed in various locations at the study area P.8 Water logging and salt precipitation, in various places near the seashore P.9 Sandy areas near the seashore P.10 Fish cultivation in network barriers in the water of the river Nile (Rosetta Branch) P.11 Agricultural drainage systems in some places depend on pumping stations P.12 The team at the site of the study area, on 14/08/2003. From right to left: Below: Prof./ Omran El-Sayed Frihy Dr./ Ahmed M. Shalaby Above: Prof./ Samir M. Nasr Dr./ Yasser El-Sayed Fouda Prof./ Mohamed El Raey - Principal Investigator/CEDARE Dr./ Alaa El-Haweet Dr./ Mamdouh El-Hattab

    All the above 12 photographs were taken during the 2nd field trip carried on Thursday 14th of August 2003. The field trips resulted in a clear view of the realistic situation of the study area, and were a guiding reference for the corrections, updating, and the verification of the utilized maps-sets of the study.

    3.7 Color Coding and Further Steps As shown in figure the coverage is coded with a selectable colour for visual differentiation, and suitability to other coverages. Features shown in figure 16 are in the line format. Further procedures for building the GIS are transforming the area features to the polygon format, and hence, it would be possible to go on through the analytic stage of the GIS.

    Acquired alphanumeric data relevant to the digitized features are to be entered as well through the table module usually used in GIS software. By the completion of that phase, a live linkage between the spatial and aspatial format of data would be maintained and the GIS would be ready for the analytic phase, and also for the conditional data retrieval.


    The team has explored the study area through both literature survey and field observations. Collected data has been analyzed and interpreted in terms of prevailing conditions in the region. Water resources, geo-morphological conditions, pollution sources, socioeconomic conditions, have all been surveyed and explored. Problems of the region have been well identified and analyzed.

    A geographic information database at a scale of 1:50,000 have been built. Data concerning important parameters such as land use, topography, transportation networks, administrative boundaries, have been encoded. Over 20 layers are already available and verification is in progress.

    Satellite images at different dates have been collected and analysis of change detection is in progress. The main objective is to identify any sudden or drastic changes in land use in the region. Monitoring data of the variability of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the bay have been collected and analysis is in progress.

    Future Plans:

    • Change detection analysis of satellite images over the last 15-20 years is planned in order to identify and assess changes of land use in the region
    • Questionnaire analysis of willing to pay will be carried out for water quality
    • Completion and validation of GIS data base and analysis to identify best available sites for major important development projects of the region.
    • Advancement of a plan for sustainable development of the region based on principles of integrated coastal zone management in view of scarce resources of water quality.


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