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Type Journal Article - Journal of Asian Network for GIS-based Historical Studies
Title The Relationship between Groundwater, Landuse, and Demography in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt
Volume 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 3-10
URL http://www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~angisj/jangis2/jangis2_2.pdf
Understanding of the continuous dynamic relationship between water availability and land
use /land cover change (LUCC) is an essential step in urban development planning. This is particularly
crucial in dryland environments, where water and fertile soil are very limited and nonrenewable.
Dakhla Oasis is located in the heart of the Western Desert of Egypt, 190 km to the west of Kharga
Oasis, and is the oasis furthest from the main settlements of Egypt. Dakhla Oasis contains highly fertile
lands and is rich in groundwater. It supports a relatively high population compared to Kharga Oasis
with about 100,000 inhabitants. Groundwater is the only water source for irrigation and domestic use.
The economy of Dakhla depends on several industries including agriculture, handicrafts and tourism.
This paper presents the main results of an interdisciplinary research project in Dakhla Oasis with
special emphasis on Rashda Village within the Oasis. The study is a model investigation of
groundwater resources, land use/land cover and their link with demographic characteristics. One 1972
Landsat Multispectral Scanner System image, two 1984 Landsat Thematic Mapper images and Six
2011 SPOT4 satellite images were used for LUCC detection. In addition, a detailed database of
groundwater extraction from 1960 to 2005 was available. Supervised image classification and visual
interpretation were integrated to achieve more accurate LUCC maps. The results show that the study
area has undergone very severe land cover changes with significant increases in urban settlements and
in agricultural land. Local aquifer recharge and recovery fails to compensate for artificial groundwater
extraction. The overall discharge increased between 1976 and 2006 by 54% to 62%, in different areas.
This was associated with increases in population ranging from 8.5% to 150% in the same period. If
extraction continues at current rates, pumping with current technology will become uneconomical in
the next 90 years.

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