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Groundwater Lowering Projects

Speeches Shim

Workers dig a trench at Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan, Egypt
Workers dig a trench at Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan, Egypt
Mohamed Abdelwahab for USAID

Rising groundwater is weakening the foundations of ancient monuments and eroding hieroglyphics and other wall carvings. Since 2000, USAID, at the request of and in collaboration with the Government of Egypt, has completed several large-scale engineering projects to protect several of the country’s most important archaeological sites from rising groundwater. USAID’s engineering partners identify the sources and quantity of groundwater flowing toward the sites and then design and construct systems that will protect the antiquities from the groundwater. USAID also brings in archaeological experts to work in partnership with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities to properly preserve and document archaeological information and objects discovered during system design and construction. Current support contributes to the engineering design and construction management services for groundwater lowering systems at Edfu Temple and Kom Ombo Temple near Aswan and the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa near Alexandria.

Implementing Partner (engineering design and construction management): CDM International, Inc.; Life of Project: December 2011 – May 2019; Total Estimated Cost:  $9.6 million; Governorates: Alexandria and Aswan. 

Implementing Partner (construction): National Organization for Potable Water and Sanitary Drainage (NOPWASD); Life of Project: August 2017 – June 2020; Total Estimated Cost: LE 101.8 million; Governorates: Alexandria and Aswan