Groundwater Hydrochemical Characteristics and Water Quality in Egypt’s Central Eastern Desert

Ahmed Saleh, Ahmed Gad, Alaa Ahmed, Hasan Arman, Hassan I. Farhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid expansion of economic activities in Egypt’s Central Eastern Desert has resulted in poorly coordinated groundwater development, having a negative impact on the resource. This study was conducted to assess the hydrochemical characteristics of the different aquifers in the Central Eastern Desert, with an emphasis on the impact of seawater intrusion and groundwater quality for different purposes. A total of 21 groundwater samples were collected representing the three main aquifers (Eocene Carbonate, Nubian Sandstone, and Fractured Basement) in the Central Eastern Desert, and analyzed for major ions and trace elements. The majority of the samples had electrical conductivity values that exceeded the salinity limit for natural water. Groundwater saline load is primarily influenced by sodium, calcium, chloride, and sulfate concentrations. The groundwater in the Central Eastern Desert mainly consists of Na-Cl, Ca-Cl, and Na-SO4 water-types. Saltwater intrusion and water-rock interactions via cation exchange and minerals weathering are the primary controlling factors of groundwater hydrochemistry. The high salinity of this groundwater renders it unsuitable for irrigation or consumption. Additionally, it is unfit for domestic use based on total hardness values. Furthermore, the Al, Cd, Fe, Mn, and Ni concentrations in the investigated groundwater exceed the allowable limits for human consumption. Proper mitigation measures and adaptation strategies are required for groundwater sustainability in the Central Eastern Desert.

Original languageEnglish
Article number971
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Eastern Desert
  • groundwater
  • hydrochemical facies
  • hydrogeochemistry
  • seawater intrusion
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Biochemistry


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