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Integrated remote sensing and GIS for surface water development. Case study: Ras El Hekma area, northwestern coast of Egypt


The surface water development can help to address the growing demand for water resources and the effects of stormwater flooding on the local environment. The study area was chosen according to its special conditions where it represents one of the main headlands along the southern Mediterranean coast and receives amount of rainfall during the winter season. The main objective of this paper is to monitor and record data about the current surface water status as well as to have a systematic understanding of the water resources base in the study area, and this assessment will contribute in the exploitation of the surface water. The current research is integration between geomorphology, geology, remote sensing, and the applications of geographical information system. The total amount of annual rainfall and surface runoff are estimated (annual rainfall is 23.345 million m3 and surface runoff is 1.167 million m3). On the other hand, the surface runoff which has been resulted from one event (storm) is also estimated to be 483,000 m3/day. The present study introduce some recommendations; the cisterns should be established in the vicinities of the watersheds and on the downstream of the drainage basins to store water before draining to the sea, the dug should be in oolitic limestone to reduce drilling costs, the water reservoirs should be established to store large amount of surface water (from 2,000 to 3,000 m3). Dams are necessary to protect the agriculture activities from any flash hazard which is expected any time.

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Authors are thankful to the DAAD, Bonn, German (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) and the ministry of higher education and scientific research in Egypt who funded the postdoctoral scholarship for the first author; through which the present research was conducted. Also thanks to the Desert Research Center (Cairo, Egypt) for providing a potential for field studies and the University of Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany) for providing all the requirements to conduct research.

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Correspondence to Mohamed Yousif.

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Yousif, M., Bubenzer, O. Integrated remote sensing and GIS for surface water development. Case study: Ras El Hekma area, northwestern coast of Egypt. Arab J Geosci 6, 1295–1306 (2013).

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  • Egypt
  • Ras El Hekma
  • Surface water
  • Water harvesting
  • Arc Hydro