Dr. Hani Swelim, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, received a report from Dr. Osama Al-Zaher, Head of the Groundwater Sector, reviewing the status of the ongoing development work in Siwa Oasis.
Dr. Swailem stated that the current development work is carried out by integrating the efforts of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces and the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University, and in full coordination with the people of the oasis, pointing out that the development work would restore the oasis to its environmental balance, and achieve a balance between water withdrawal rates and achieving levels. The agricultural drainage ponds in the oasis are safe, and the oasis has begun to recover after the improvement of the agricultural lands that have deteriorated over the past years.
real-time monitoring system
He added that the necessary steps are currently being taken to create a system for real-time monitoring of the levels of ponds, main drains and hot spots in the oasis, by linking them to the monitoring network at the (telemetric) distance, believing in the importance of continuing follow-up of the development work that has been accomplished, and ensuring that safe levels of drainage ponds are achieved without negatively affecting the lands. agricultural.
Swailem explained that the work of digging an open channel with a length of 33.70 km has been completed to transfer agricultural drainage water to five drains leading to the Siwa pond (which are the drains of Atfir, “3 drains”, Western Siwa and Mullul), and transporting it to the Ain Al-Janabi depression east of the oasis by constructing The Antvir Lifting Station, for which a trial operation was carried out in the presence of His Excellency Prof. Dr. / Prime Minister in May of the current year 2023, which pumped agricultural drainage water through a 5.70-kilometer-long channel that reaches the open channel.
Fresh water production
In addition, 12 deep wells were drilled to produce fresh water from the Nubian sandstone reservoir to mix with surface well water. In return, many underground wells were closed, which were drawing water from the surface aquifer in an unfair manner. Works were also carried out to strengthen, raise and consolidate. The number of four bridges around the Siwa pond in order to reduce the damage resulting from the rise in water levels during the past years, which negatively affected some agricultural lands, buildings and tourist facilities overlooking the lake.
It is scheduled that the ongoing development work in the oasis will extend to include the construction of a lifting station to transfer part of the water of Bahey El-Din pond to the Ain Al-Janabi depression, where detailed designs for the required works have been completed, and preparations are underway for implementation during the next few months.