| Abdallah Bazaraa
- Faculty of Engineering, Department of Irrigation and Hydraulics
- Cairo University
Dr. Abdallah S. Bazaraa is a full professor at the Department of Irrigation and Hydraulics of Cairo University. Dr. Bazaraa received his B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering (1971) from Cairo University, his MS. degree in Agricultural Engineering (1975) from Washington State University, Pullman and his Ph.D. degree in Hydrology and Water Resources (1979) from Colorado State University, Fort Collins.
Dr. Bazaraa has long experience in teaching, consulting and conducting research. He maintains a wide interest in all aspects of irrigation research including hydrology, drainage and water management and the importance of research topics relating to the preservation of the ecosystem and the environment. He is the author of some five dozen refereed articles and another two dozen technical reports. He has supervised the graduate work leading to more than twenty Ph.D. and MS. thesis. Dr. Bazaraa has worked in Egypt, the State of Qatar and USA. He continues to serve as a consultant to several ministries and engineering firms in Egypt as well as several international organizations.
Throughout his academic career, Dr. Bazaraa has been instrumental in developing new courses and training programs in irrigation design, soil and water management, shared water resources, etc. He has established the water engineering laboratory facilities at Qatar University and at the American University in Cairo. Dr. Bazaraa organized and facilitated several conferences and workshops related to integrated land and water improvement projects, reuse of drainage water and participatory water management. He has delineated important areas of research, evaluated the effectiveness of ongoing activities and suggested ways to improve the quality of the published results for several research institutes in Egypt.
Over the period December 2004 to December 2007, Dr. Bazaraa had served as the Cultural and Educational Counselor of Egypt in the United States where he visited more that 40 institutions of research and higher education. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Civil Engineering Center for Studies and Applied Research at Cairo University. He served as the head of the Department of Irrigation and Hydraulics and the general coordinator of the postgraduate diploma program on Shared Water Resources at Cairo University. He is currently a member of the Egyptian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, the Egyptian National Committee on Large Dams. He served on the editorial board of the Egyptian code for the design of irrigation and drainage structures. He is also a member of the Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the National Geographic Society (The Netherlands).
Water scarcity is a relative concept that depends on the habitual levels of consumption of a society and the level to which that society likes to produce its own food. In most arid countries, irrigated agriculture is by far the biggest water user, and Egypt is no exception. As indication of scarcity in absolute terms often the threshold value of 1000 m3/capita/year is used. Egypt has passed that threshold already in the nineties. As threshold of absolute scarcity 500 m3/capita/year is used, this will be evident with population predictions for 2050 which will bring Egypt down to 420 m3/capita/year.
The following strategy options could be adopted to deal with water scarcity in arid regions; i) make the most of existing system by implementing the necessary efficiency measures, ii) continue efforts to increase supply, iii) optimize the food production within the boundaries of the system and iv) create conditions for the country to develop itself according to optimistic scenario. It is widely agreed that macro-level decisions made external to the water and irrigation sector are as important as those made by the sector for the national development outcomes related to water resources management.
This project is geared toward defining the role(s) of the university in promoting effective use of the water resources in arid regions. In particular efforts are directed into three areas; i) the required preparation of the university graduates, the continuous education of professionals in the area of water resources development and management and the possibility of serving students and professionals on regional basis, ii) the development/ testing or transfer/ adaptation of new techniques and technologies to conserve the use of water in irrigation and iii) the outreach to the general public (school students, farmers, policy makers…etc) of the necessary measures to cope with water scarcity.
Cairo University, one of the largest and oldest universities in the Middle East, will be taken as a case study to examine its potential in bringing the required changes under the constraints of large student population, shortage of funding and to some extent the rigidity of binding regulations and laws.