2018 Graduation Projects: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Water scarcity is one of the growing challenges that Egypt has been facing for many years. The country’s per capita water resources are in a continuous drop. Besides, more than 80% of Egypt’s water resources are consumed in agricultural applications. Hence, improving the water management is becoming more and more important. Anas Azzam and Mostafa Osama, students at the Engineering department of Heliopolis University have recently proposed their graduation project in this regard.

Entitled WEF Nexus, the project provides a conceptual approach that focuses on the interconnections and linkages between the security of Water, Energy, and Food. “The nexus in our case will include using sprinkling and dripping irrigation systems, in order to maintain high water productivity,” says Mostafa Osama. “Also closed loops of subsurface drainage systems are encompassed for an optimal use of water in irrigation,” he adds.

The two students designed a prototype system of cultivated boxes that contain jojoba and quinoa to be placed in El-Moghra farm, a selected study area, located in Al-Wahat Al-Bahriya. “Our aim is to test the resilience of these crops to the salinity of the water, and monitor their adaptation to climate change,” says Anas Azzam.

The whole system is meant to cultivate Bioenergy crops, which include jojoba, quinoa, and jatropha. Those crops are well-known for their drought resistance, as well as for the high nutritive value that classifies them as superfoods.

Supervised by Dr. Tamer El-Gohary, the two Heliopolis University students succeeded to present such an innovative solution, hoping to be adopted on the local level in the near future.

Hagar Ahmed