Hydrogeology of Egypt
This page has limited information and needs to be updated. If you have more information on the hydrogeology of Egypt, please get in touch!
Dr Kirsty Upton and Brighid Ó Dochartaigh, British Geological Survey, UK
Please cite this page as: Upton & Ó Dochartaigh, 2016.
Bibliographic reference: Upton, K. & Ó Dochartaigh, B.É. 2016. Africa Groundwater Atlas: Hydrogeology of Egypt. British Geological Survey. Accessed [date you accessed the information]. http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/Hydrogeology_of_Egypt
Terms and conditions
|Estimated Population in 2013*||82,056,378|
|Rural Population (% of total) (2013)*||57.0%|
|Total Surface Area*||995,450 sq km|
|Agricultural Land (% of total area) (2012)*||3.6%|
|Border Countries||Libya, Sudan, Israel, Gaza Strip|
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal (2013)*||68,300 Million cubic metres|
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Agriculture (2013)*||86.4%|
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Domestic Use (2013)*||7.8%|
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Industry (2013)*||5.9%|
|Rural Population with Access to Improved Water Source (2012)*||98.8%|
|Urban Population with Access to Improved Water Source (2012)*||100%|
* Source: World Bank
More information on average rainfall and temperature for each of the climate zones in Egypt can be seen at the Egypt climate page.
These maps and graphs were developed from the CRU TS 3.21 dataset produced by the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK. For more information see the climate resource page.
The geology map shows a simplified version of the geology at a national scale. More information is available in the report UN (1988) (see References section, below).
The hydrogeology map below shows a simplified version of the type and productivity of the main aquifers at a national scale (see the hydrogeology Map resource page for more details).
More information on the hydrogeology of Egypt is available in the report United Nations (1988) (see References section, below).
The major groundwater systems in Egypt are (from Aquastat:
- - Nile aquifer: mostly recharged by infiltration of excess irrigation water originally from the Nile river, so it is not an additional primary source of water but a secondary source of freshwater available for use. In term of abstractions, it provides about 85 percent of the total groundwater abstractions in the country (AfDB 2015).
- - Nubian sandstone aquifer: fossil groundwater in the south west part of the country shared with Libya, Chad and Sudan
- - Fissured carbonate aquifer: widely spread over more than half of the country’s area, on top of the Nubian aquifer
Moghra aquifer: towards the Qattara depression, recharged both by rainfall and lateral inflow from the Nile, but containing also saline water in the north west
- - Coastal aquifer: on northern and western coasts, recharged by rainfall, but presence of saline water underneath limits the abstracted quantities
- - Basement aquifer: mostly in eastern deserts and southern Sinai.
For further information about transboundary aquifers, please see the Transboundary aquifers resources page.
References with more information on the geology and hydrogeology of Egyptcan be accessed through the Africa Groundwater Literature Archive.
United Nations. 1988. Groundwater in North and West Africa: Egypt. United Nations Department of Technical Cooperation for Development and Economic Commission for Africa.