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Internship at Deltares, Utrecht; 5-8 months

Nile Delta 3D fresh-saline groundwater model

The Nile Delta is a fertile densely populated area which is of great importance for the Egyptian economy. Agriculture has been the main activity in the Delta and extensive irrigation systems have been constructed to transport the Nile water to the agricultural fields. The extraction of groundwater, which used to be for drinking water purposes only, has increased due to irrigation water shortages caused by an increase of water use upstream. This has resulted in salinization of the groundwater due to an increase in seawater intrusion and upconing of deeper saline groundwater. To predict the future groundwater situation under changes in climate (sea water rise) and changes in groundwater use (further increased groundwater extraction) a groundwater model is required. This model will simulate the groundwater flow and the distribution of the saline groundwater in the Delta. The model will be made with state-of-art software using the modeling experience available at Deltares.

The main challenge is to establish a groundwater model set-up with which it will be possible to analyze scenarios for water management purposes using the limited available data on the sub-surface and groundwater.

Activities are:

  • Literature study on the hydrogeological situation in the Nile Delta
  • Data preparation in a proper format, using existing literature and re cently released data files
  • Set-up model with iMOD-SEAWAT
  • Calibration via trail-and-error, especially on conceptual errors
  • Running climate and global change scenarios

The model will be made with MODFLOW-SEAWAT using the modeling environment iMOD which is developed by Deltares. SEAWAT is a USGS variable-density groundwater flow code to simulate the distribution and changes in fresh-saline groundwater.

The modeling activities will be carried out in Utrecht at Deltares. The model set-up will be done in cooperation with the Research Institute of Groundwater in Cairo. Part of the work may be done in Cairo depending on the availability of funds and permission to stay and work there.

See for more information on internships at Deltares in the Groundwater Management group: More information: Wim van der Linden ( )

Examples of model input and output of variable density groundwater models:

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