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A Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Network and Water Quality Indices for River Nile

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Amir Ali Khan, Haseen Khan, Shaden Abdel-Gawad
Dr. Amir Ali Khan Manager, Water Resources Management Division, Department of Environment and Conservation Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, PO Box 8700, St. John’s NL A1B 4J6 Canada Telephone Number: ++1709 729 2295 Fax Number: ++17097290320 E-Mail : akhan@gov.nl.ca Mr. Haseen Khan, P.Eng. Manager, Water Resources Management Division, Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation, Canada Prof (Dr.) Shaden Abdel-Gawad President, National Water Research Center, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt

Keyword(s): Real time water quality monitoring, water quality indices, River Nile, trans-boundary monitoring, index network, integrated water resources management
Article:
AbstractIntroduction: The history, culture, current and future socio- economic status, and environmental sustainability of Egypt and its people is intricately linked with the River Nile. The Nile River is the primary source of water for a multitude of strategically important water uses such as drinking, fishing, industrial use, livestock and irrigation and there is a critical need to ensure the security of the Nile River against any natural or anthropogenic threats and to develop an effective Water Resources Management System. Objective: Addressing this need, a “state of the art” environmental monitoring and sensing system is being implemented for the Nile River in Egypt through a NATO “Science for Peace” Project. The “Science for Peace” project, initiated in July 2007, is setting up for the Nile River an environmental security and water resources management system using real time water quality warning and communication. This will allow Egypt to ensure environmental security of its water bodies and enhance integrated water resources management. Methods: Real time water quality warning will be provided through a four station Real Time Water Quality monitoring index network complemented with an automated weather station with a central command centre. In parallel, an Egyptian Water Quality Index, a critical tool for water resources management, will be developed to evaluate and communicate the suitability of water bodies in Egypt for various uses such as drinking, irrigation, livestock, aquatic life and recreation. The Egyptian Water Quality Index will provide an easy to use and scientifically defensible methodology for evaluating water quality based on its intended use and for converting water quality data into information and then into knowledge. Results: This paper outlines the concept behind the environmental monitoring network, its scope, environmental benefits. The paper discusses the progress made to date and presents the initial results from the real time water quality network. It highlights the challenges encountered in establishing the environmental security and water resources management system. The paper presents the results of the initial application of the Egyptian Water Quality Index including how the challenge of the scarcity of use based water quality guidelines was overcome. Conclusion: The paper also outlines how Egypt plans to expand the index network to address trans-boundary monitoring of Nile River and the monitoring of Groundwater and Drainage Water.
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