Groundwater threatens Egyptian treasures

Jan 01, 2008

Encroaching groundwater threatens the foundations, columns and walls of Egyptian treasures in Cairo's Giza Plateau, scientists and engineers say.

Some flooding caused by farming, urban development and residential housing near the monuments already has begun, Kyodo News reported Monday.

Reda Mohamed el-Damak, director of the Center of Studies and Designs for Water Projects at Cairo University, told the Japanese news agency that groundwater poses a threat to the fabled Sphinx, carved from the bedrock of the Giza Plateau.

"It is not pure water, but rather sewage containing toxic waste and chemicals'' that is causing structural damage, Damak said.

Damak leads a team of scientists trying to save relics from groundwater, which hydrologists said comes from the nearby el-Mansuriya Canal, a drainage channel located less than a mile from the Sphinx.

Hafez Abdel Azim Ahmed, director of the university's Archaeological and Environmental Engineering Center, said residents of Nazlet el-Samman at the foot of the pyramids throw garbage into el-Mansuriya Canal, "clogging up the drain and causing the water table to rise and spill over the Sphinx area."

He said one possible way of saving the treasures is draining the water into smaller wells to reduce the water table level.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

17 hours ago

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

18 hours ago

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

18 hours ago

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.