Clean Water and Sanitation

6.5.4 Sustainable water extraction on campus

In 2021-2022, AASTMT contributed to SDG6 through its commitment to advancing education, research, and capacity-building in the water sector. This has been carried out through conducting internally funded (by AASTMT) research initiatives and international projects with relevant stakeholders related to water resources management and implementation of integrated water resources management strategies.

Internally Funded Research Initiatives and Projects related to Water Resources Management

Monitoring, Assessment, and Innovative Treatment Technology to Enhance Groundwater Quality for Irrigation Toward Climate Change Adaptation

The project at AASTMT - AbuQir Campus addresses growing concerns about increasing pollution in aquatic resources and climate change affecting freshwater quality. This is particularly crucial for drinking, the food industry, and irrigation. Focusing on groundwater as a potential solution, especially in arid regions where it is the primary source, the project aims to enhance the irrigation and drinking water quality from 13 borehole ground wells at Abu Qir Campus, near Alexandria City's eastern shore. The project involves collecting and analyzing physical, chemical, and biological water samples to assess pollution regionally and temporally, correlating findings with environmental and climatic conditions. Nanotechnology will be employed to improve water quality. The AASTMT has fully funded the project, emphasizing the main objective of enhancing water quality through seasonal water sampling and subsequent improvements. The main objective of the project is:

  1. Evaluate the groundwater quality in 13 selected borehole wells at Abu Qir campus, Alexandria, specifically for its suitability for irrigation purposes.
  2. Investigate the influence of various physical, chemical, and climatic factors on groundwater quality.
  3. Determine the spatial and temporal variations in the physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters of groundwater in the study area, correlating them with environmental and climatic factors.
  4. Explore advanced treatment options to improve groundwater quality for irrigation, utilizing new technologies and materials.
  5. Design an innovative water treatment unit featuring an Activated Carbon (AC) biofilm system supported by silver Nano particles (Ag NPs) as a continuous treatment system. The goal is to ensure and maintain high water quality suitable for irrigation purposes. ​​​​​​​

The quality of water for irrigation is determined by the concentration and composition of dissolved elements. Assessing salinity or alkali conditions in irrigated regions requires careful evaluation of water quality. Key factors influencing the quality of irrigated water include total soluble salts (TDS), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), chemical concentrations of potentially toxic elements like Na+ and Cl-, and the presence of residual sodium carbonate or residual alkalinity (RSC or RA). Post-treatment results indicate a significant improvement in water quality, making it suitable for irrigation purposes.

Currently, a renewable, innovative & integrated water treatment unit is being developed to power a three-phase pump, serving the dual function of lifting water from a well and subsequently channeling it through a state-of-the-art four-stage nano-filtration system, thereby ensuring its purity and suitability for various applications, including cultivation and drinking.

For more information, and details on the project

Monitoring, Assessment, and Innovative Treatment Technology to Enhance Groundwater Quality for Irrigation Toward Climate Change Adaptation 

Aquaculture Research Center (2010- present) 

The Aquaculture Research Center aims to pioneer new development projects in aquaculture by addressing scientific problems and providing tailored solutions. The center focuses on three integrated tasks: water, energy, and food.

  • Biodiesel Production from Waste: The center has developed a 1000-liter capacity mixer reactor for biodiesel production using the transesterification process. Waste cooking oil, obtained from kitchen waste on the main campus and local restaurants, is used for biodiesel production. The generated biodiesel is utilized to produce electricity via a diesel generator, supporting the general activities of the Aquaculture Research Center.
  • Hyonic System for Food Production: The center employs hyonics, a soil-less plant cultivation method. Flowers, herbs, and vegetables are grown in inert growing media supplied with nutrient-rich solutions, oxygen, and water. This system promotes rapid growth, higher yields, and superior quality compared to traditional soil cultivation. The hyonic system reduces water usage by 95% and increases plant production threefold.
  • Rainwater Harvesting for Hyonic System: Given Alexandria's heavy rainy seasons, the center collects rainwater from greenhouse roofs in 10 tanks, each with a 500-liter capacity. This harvested rainwater is utilized in the hyonic system and fertilizer production units year-round.
  • Composting of Organic Waste: The center addresses organic waste from landscape areas and kitchen scraps by converting them into soluble organic fertilizers. These fertilizers are used in the Earthworm production unit, producing vermi-compost as organic fertilizer for the hyonic system plant production and worms for experiments in animal feed production.

Aquaculture Research Center (2010- present) 

Environmental Research Facilities at AASTMT

The Environmental Monitoring, Modelling, and Training Research Facilities at AASTMT are advanced and fully- equipped facilities dedicated to a comprehensive study of environmental, energy, and climate change research parameters. Underground, postgraduate Students and faculty researchers conduct rigorous research in the sampling, analysis, and data interpretation. It fosters collaboration with national and international research institutions, government bodies, and industry stakeholders to encourage information exchange, generate solutions to global environmental issues, and promote sustainable practices within and beyond the AASTMT community. They carry out all environmental research studies and consultations as well as training. Sustainability has been at the heart of the Arab for a very long time. Our 2021-2026 strategic plan has dedicated one of its four main goals to sustainability, where The AASTMT commits to fulfill its societal responsibility and aligning itself to the SDGs. The research facilities support wastewater analysis and water quality studies. Some of the equipmet present:

  • The DRB2000 is used to estimate water pollution levels entering and leaving wastewater treatment and industrial facilities.
  • The AP-7000 comes with all of the common water quality testing sensors pre fitted to the probe: pH, ORP, Conductivity, TDS, SSG, Resistivity, Salinity, Dissolved Oxygen, Depth, Temperature.
  • HI83399 benchtop photometer measures 40 different key water and wastewater quality parameters using 73 different methods that allow for multiple ranges and variations in chemistry for specific applications. The Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) parameter is included for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment.

Environmental Research Facilities at AASTMT 

Implementing New Irrigation Systems

President Professor Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag visited the agricultural plant nursery at the main campus of the Academy in Abu Qir to assess progress and recent developments. During the visit, he inspected newly added plants, as well as new irrigation systems implemented in the general area and new agricultural greenhouses. The President commended the nursery team for their efforts, especially in adopting modern agricultural and irrigation techniques. He expressed hope for continued efficiency and adherence to modern methods in their work.

Explore the The AASTMT New Irrigation Networks