Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 1883–1895 | Cite as

The potential of groundwater desalination using forward osmosis for irrigation in Egypt

  • Peter NasrEmail author
  • Hani Sewilam
Original Paper


As irrigation in Egypt by far is the most significant water user, fertilizer-drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) is a valid option to increase the availability of freshwater from brackish water. Although most of Egypt’s area has access to brackish groundwater, groundwater in Egypt is not well exploited due to its salinity. FDFO holds high potential as it can make irrigation water available at lower energy than the currently available technologies, and is less vulnerable to operational issues such as membrane fouling, optimizes fertilizers application, and saves on labor cost. The objective of this paper is to explore the potential application of FDFO desalination for brackish groundwater in Egypt. For sustainability reasons, five selection criteria were outlined and two locations have been suggested for potential application. The study demonstrated that the proposed scheme is suitable for the two selected areas.


Desalination Fertigation Fertilizer-drawn forward osmosis Forward osmosis Groundwater Irrigation 



The authors acknowledge the financial support of Mr. Yousef Jameel for PhD fellowship award in Environmental Engineering program. Gratitude is further extended to the Center of Sustainable Development members for their constant guidance and encouragement.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering Program, Department of Construction and Architectural EngineeringAmerican University in CairoCairoEgypt
  2. 2.American University in CairoCairoEgypt

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