Amr Fadlelmawla




  • PhD, Civil Engineering Department/Soil Chemistry Department, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA (1995): Modeling selenium in groundwater aquifersat surface coal mines, Wyoming, USA.
  • M.Sc., Civil Engineering, Environmental Hydrology program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (1991): Development of fractured groundwater flow model using the double porosity method
  • B. Sc., Civil Engineering, Irrigation Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


Summary of Experiences


I have more than 20 years of experience as water resources expert (emphasis on groundwater). As a researcher and consultant, I have led and contributed to projects in the fields of national and regional water resources management, regional strategies for water/food/energy nexus, environmental hydrogeology, isotopes hydrogeology, environmental management, environmental impact assessment, and risk analysis/management.I have managed various research departments and programs at the National Water Resources Centre of Egypt and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. I also have been employed as a consultant for projects funded/managed by several international organizations such as IUCN, FAO, UNESCO, USAID, IAEA, EU Commission and others. I have been involved in projects in Egypt, Kuwait, USA, and Albania.


As a manager, I have significant experiences in restructuring research departments, establishing and leading national research program as well as forming international partnerships with internationally renounced organizations such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI, USA), Idaho National Laboratory (DOE, USA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA, USA).


Recent Employment Record


Manager, Groundwater Management and Protection for Nile Delta and ValleyDepartment, Groundwater Research Institute, National Water Research Centre (NWRC), Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt

2013 to Present

Manager, Water Resources Management and Allocation (WRMA) program, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research






Selected experiences


Groundwater management


Strategic reserve modelling and utilization plans for watersheds fresh/brackish groundwater resources, Kuwait: The aim was to support the water authorities in its efforts to improve the water security situation of the country by evaluating and devising sustainable utilization plans/strategies for the northern watersheds reserves fresh, brackish and saline groundwaters co-exist in a delicate balance. In the first phase, complete field based conceptualization of the hydrology of the freshwater lenses in the vicinity of the main depressions was conducted using isotopic techniques, wells/boreholes drillings, and geochemical modelling. This conceptualization was utilized as platform for developing a sustainable utilization plan for the freshwater at the depressions. The utilization plan was developed using density-dependent numerical modelling (FEFLOW).


In its second phase, a full scale assessment of the watersheds was conducted using surface geophysics, remote sensing/GIS and groundwater sampling to delineate the fresh/brackish water reserves. Recharge was estimated by a number of methods (chloride profiling, water level fluctuations, and hydrological modelling). Point estimates of recharge were up-scaled to watershed scale based on derived equations describing the relation between salinity, estimated from the geophysical survey, and point-estimates of recharge. As the project leader, Amr was responsible for overall coordination of the activities, ensuring technical merit, devising overall utilization strategy, and reporting to stakeholders.


Modelling transport of industrial pollution at Mustorod industrial district, Egypt: The industrial area of Shobra Al-Khaema has been polluting the groundwater for decades. In this effort, the fate of specific industrial pollutants in the groundwater, namely heavy metals, was modelled to determine its environmental impact.


Modelling of selenium transport in groundwater aquifers at surface coal mines, USA: This model was prepared using MODFLOW with the aim of determining the potential of polluting groundwater aquifers outside the borders of the coal mining company.


Modelling water logging problems at the Nubaria area: In this effort, numerical modelling was utilized to simulate the problems of water logging at the Nubaria area (Northwest Cairo) and test various scenarios for managing this problem.


Artificial recharge of Dammam aquifer using RO treated water, Kuwait: A pilot-scale application of injection wells to artificially recharge a limestone fractured aquifer (Dammam aquifer) by reverse osmosis treated wastewater (drinking water quality). The application includes testing geochemical compatibility (i.e. of injection water and solid matrix and groundwater), proposed well design, injection rates, recovery rates, etc. Density dependent modelling using MODFLOW was conducted to simulate the various scenarios.


Policy outlines for artificial recharge of treated wastewater, Egypt: The project was aiming at developing a national policy for AR/WW including locations, methods, and environmental precautions. The project is a component of the Environmental Management of Groundwater Resources program funded in part by the Dutch Government and the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works.


Environmental hydrogeology:


Impacts assessment of urban sub-surface water on the marine environment of Kuwait Bay, Kuwait: The aim of this project was to quantify the submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), which is driven by percolating excess watering of gardens and public parks. We were able to assess the rate of SGD to Kuwait Bay and its consequences on the nutritional balance, providing necessary information for better management of the coastal zone from water resources and marine life views.The study, which provided the first SGD determination in the region, utilized the naturally occurring radium isotopes as tracers to achieve its goals. More specifically, the SGD was estimated through 226Ra mass balance over the Kuwait Bay. International cooperation with Duke University Laboratories and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USA was provided under a sponsored research agreement and consultation contract, respectively.


Design of artificial recharge scheme for industrial effluent disposal, Egypt: Based on comprehensive field investigations, a detailed conceptual design of an artificial recharge scheme for industrial effluent disposal was produced. The scope of this investigations included comprehensive field investigations of the hydrogeological conditions of the area including geophysical measurements, well logging, aquifer tests, as well as infiltration tests. Potential pathways of the infiltrating waters were also investigated and the scheme was approved by the environmental authority.


Evaluation of environmental impacts of coastal Petrochemical Industries Company, Kuwait: Field assessments were conducted to determine the impacts of the on-going operation of the factory on groundwater soil and, indirectly, near shore marine environment. Exposure-effect (i.e. basic principles of ecological risk assessment) relations were utilized to identify the most probable sources of the observed impacts. Mitigation plan with proposals for treatment approaches were outlined.


Assessment of water rise problems at urban areas, Kuwait: Various efforts have been exerted to assess and provide mitigating solutions to the persistent water rise problem at the urban areas of Kuwait City. Efforts included overall assessment of the problem including mapping of depth to water, mapping of risk levels of basement flooding, identification of current and future pollution risks, and characterizing local water rise causes. Solutions have been recommended including horizontal and vertical drainage, identification/fixing of leakages, etc.


Groundwater protection:


Framework for the protection of groundwater in the Nile delta, Egypt: Amr played the leading role in this UN project (funded by UNDP and executed by UNESCO). The main aim of the project was to develop a policy framework for protecting the Egyptian groundwater resources from the different sources of pollution.  This framework consists of different sets of environmental restrictions on land use associated with and based on the vulnerability of the resource being protected.


Development of risk-based decision support maps for groundwater protection, Kuwait: In this project a strategy for protecting the groundwater quality in Kuwait was outlined. Additionally, a scheme of maps describing various risk elements (vulnerability, hazards, groundwater value, as well as various overlays of these elements.) was developed. These maps enable informed decisions regarding the allocation of monitoring points; land use, potential impacts of proposed development projects on groundwater quality, consequences of pollution, etc. The maps along with the protection strategy will facilitate the consideration of water resources best interest in land-use planning


Practical scheme for protecting drinking water wells in heavily populated agricultural area, Egypt: We developed a systematic scheme for better water management that devise protection zones for drinking water wells within the Nile Delta. The challenge was to provide a relatively easily applied and reasonably accurate approach for delineating wellhead protection zones in a highly populated area that contain thousands of drinking water wells with significant lack of qualified staff. The scheme was developed in support of decision makers at groundwater sector.


Regional mapping of groundwater aquifers:


Mapping of Transboundary Aquifers, Gulf region: Based on a successful proof of concept, Amr along with NASA and Caltech counterparts have initiated a regionally-unique partnership among Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to address the management of the shared aquifers. In this project, airborne mapping of the groundwater aquifer system extending over Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates will be conducted using innovative multi-band radar. Building on a successful proof of concept phase, the upcoming phase will focus on capacity building of the regional staff in the fields of radar data interpretation and data base management.


Orbiting arid subsurface (OASIS):Amr has contributed to aproposal that addresses an Earth orbiting satellite mission. The proposal was prepared by an international consortium led by JPL/NASA (10 months effort). The aim of the mission is to produce images of the arid region aquifers that can be interpreted (with support from ground produced data points) as unsaturated zone lithology, depth to water, and groundwater salinity.


Food-Water nexus: Strategies


FAO regional water scarcity initiative for North Africa and Near East, NENA region: As a water resources consultant, I have played a significant role in the coordination and technical backstopping of the initiation of FAO’s regional initiative on water scarcity. The initiative approaches water resource management within the context of agriculture and food security. It is focusing on the policies, investments, approaches and practices that are necessary for sustainable agriculture production under water scarcity conditions. 


NENA Region Land and Water Days, Jordon: The FAO Land and Water Days (LWD) is a Region-wide water and food security knowledge fair with the aims of documenting relevant management experiences, providing a broad exchange of knowledge, promoting policy dialogue on major challenges, and identifying critical actions. Amr has contributed to this event in several capacities including; coordination of activities in the build up for the event, evaluation of technical contributions, liaising with partner organizations (14 national and international agencies/organizations/institutions), and leading the reporting team for the event. Amr also produced the LWD report of documenting the outcomes of the various discussions that took place during the event, with particular highlights and recommendations on the policies, governance, practices and collaboration modalities that need to be put in place to achieve solutions that would reduce considerably the risk of unsustainable future.


Country report on strategy for future investments in irrigation projects, Kuwait: In preparation for a regional strategy for investment in irrigation projects, a country report was prepared for FAO (Rome) describing various aspects of agriculture and irrigation in Kuwait including the agricultural development, food security, current and projected problems, investments in irrigation, Kuwait’s investment in agriculture abroad (land grabbing), potential impacts of climate change, etc.


Irrigation:Water logging and impacts of reuse strategies


Treated wastewater effluent reuse in irrigation, Egypt: The study is a monitored pilot application of reusing secondary treated domestic wastewater in irrigation. The aim is to produce data/information thatsupports the production of environmental code of practice for wastewater reuse to be adapted by the Egyptian Government. Monitoring includes design and implementation of monitoring programs for different environmental resources. As NWRC team leader, my duties included supervision of monitoring system design and implementation, coordination between the different research institutes and the project management, preparation of tendering documentation, etc. A consortium of Montgomery-Watson and Gibb of England, NWRC of Egypt, and KCIC of Kuwait conducted the study. The project was funded by the Arabian Fund for Development.


Evaluating strategies for reusing agricultural drainage in irrigation, Egypt: In efforts to evaluate the current reuse strategies in Egypt, the Canadian International Development Agency funded a massive field-program that covered three governorates of the Egyptian Nile delta to evaluate the environmental impacts of agricultural drainage reuse in irrigation. Spatial analyses of the water quality, co-relating various land uses and irrigation practices to groundwater quality, were conducted using GIS capabilities. The results proved that agriculture drainage water reuse scheme has resulted in wide scale groundwater and soil pollution. The project concluded that the current strategy of agricultural drainage reuse should be revaluated in light of the current practices of domestic and industrial waste which are rendering, in some locations, this potential resource unusable. Amr was responsible for overall technical quality, formulation of conclusions and recommendations as well as managerial aspects of the project.


Developing solutions for water logging at newly reclaimed lands, Egypt: The project, which was funded by IFAD and executed by RIGW, has identified several causes for the persistent problem water logging including; excessive irrigation, impervious subsurface layers, low lands, etc. Solutions were suggested and simulated using numerical modelling that took groundwater, drainage and irrigation water interactions into consideration.


Awards and Recognitions


  • KISR's distinguished scientific performance award.
  • I was selected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (among 7 scientists) to participate in an international effort to develop an isotopes-based approach for up-scaling point estimate of groundwater recharge to basin scale.
  • JPL/NASA appreciation award for establishing an exceptional collaboration program between KISR and JPL.


Peer Review


  • Water Resources Management Journal
  • Journal of Environmental Management
  • Hydrological Sciences Journal
  • Water Research
  • International Journal of Environment and Waste Management
  • Academy of Scientific Research (Egypt)
  • Water Sciences


Grants and Scholarships


I have received several grants (totalling more than $6M) covering a wide range of water related development and research projects. Funding for these projects came from various agencies including UNESCO, IAEA, Canadian International Development Agency, US Geological Survey, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, National Water Research Centre (Egypt) and Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences.I also received research and teaching assistantship from USAID, University of Wyoming and US Geological Survey.


Publications (2000-Current)


Al-Senafy, M., Hadi, K., Fadlelmawla, A., Al-Fahad, K., Al-Khalid, A. and Bhandary, H.2015. Causes of Groundwater Rise at Al-Qurain Residential Area, Kuwait.Procedia Environmental SciencesVolume 25, Pages 4-10.




Charette, M, M. Al-Senafy, and A. Fadlelmawla. 2014.Anthropogenic and natural controls on coastal groundwater exchange in an arid region (Kuwait). Marin Chemistry, under review.


Al-Senafy, M, A. Mukhopadhyay, H. Bhandary, A. Al-Khalid, T. Rashid, K. Al-Fahad, B. Al-Salman and A. Fadlelmawla.  2013. Assessment of Usable Groundwater Reserve in Northern Kuwait. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2013.


Fadlelmawla, A. 2012. Submarine groundwater discharge to Kuwait Bay: Quantities and Qualities. Booklet published by the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Science (KFAS).


Fadlelmawla, A., V. Kotwicki. 2012. Kuwait Groundwater Protection Decision Support Atlas. Published by the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Science (KFAS).


M. Al-Senafy, A. Fadlelmawla, A. Al-Khalid, K. Al-Fahad, H. Bhandary and A. Al-Haddad. 2011. An application of ecological risk assessment principles to identify and prioritize groundwater pollution sources at a petrochemical factory in Kuwait. Kuwait Journal of Science and Engineering.


Fadlelmawla, A., M. Fayad, H. El-Gamily, T. Rashid, A. Mukhopadhyay, and V. Kotwicki. 2011. A land surface zoning approach based on three components risk criteria for groundwater protection, Journal of Water Resources Management, 25 (6), May 2011, 1677-1697.


A. Mukhopadhyay and A. Fadlelmawla. 2010. Pollution sources, monitoring needs and protection policy for groundwater in Kuwait. Chapter in book: Aquifers formations, transport processes and pollution. NOVA publishers, USA.


Fadlelmawla, A. 2009. Towards sustainable water policy in Kuwait: Reforms of the current practice and the required investments, legislative and institutional measures. Journal of Water Resources Management. 23 (10), August 2009, 1969-1987.


Fadlelmawla, A., K. Hadi, K. Zouari, and K. Kulkarni. 2008. Hydrogeochemical investigations of recharge and subsequent salinization processes at Al-Raudhatain depression in Kuwait. Hydrological Sciences Journal. 53 (1), February 2008, 204-223.


Dawoud, M. and A. Fadlelmawla. 2007. The effect of water scarcity on the future growth in the desalination industry in the GCC countries. Journal of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies. Issue (127), December 2007.


Fadlelmawla, A. 2006. Statistical approach for evaluating the significance of generating new data to the management of the brackish groundwater fields in Kuwait. Journal of Environmental Management, 81 (2006) 223-232.


Fadlelmawla, A., M. Al-Senafy, A. Al-Khalid, and K. Al-Fahad. 2006. Groundwater quality alterations in the vicinity of liquid and solid waste landfills. Kuwait Journal of Science and Engineering, 33(1) pp.83-99, 2006.


Fadlelmawla, A., and M. Dawoud, 2006.An approach for delineating drinking water wellhead protection areas at the Nile Delta, Egypt.Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 79, No 2, p 140-149.


Fadlelmawla, A., M. Al-Otaibi.2005.  Analysis of the water resources status in Kuwait. Journal of Water Resources Management, Vol. 19, No. 5.


Khater, A., A. Fadlelmawla and A. Fekry. 2003. Statistically-based vulnerability mapping approach and assessment of specific groundwater pollution problems in the Nile Delta, Egypt. Journal of WaterSciences, Vol. 34.


Attia, F., and A. Fadlelmawla, 2002. Development of Groundwater Protection Criteria. UNESCO IHP Publications, Regional Network on Groundwater Protection in the Arab Region, UNESCO Cairo Office, 2002


Fadlelmawla, A.A, and H. El-Harairy.  2001.  Approach for quantitative evaluation of the Carbonate aquifers potential in Egypt. Journal of Water Sciences, Vol. 30, No. 4.


Fadlelmawla, A.A., 2000.  Verification of theoretically based natural protection/vulnerability of the quaternary aquifer at El-Sharqia governorate, Egypt.Journal of Water Sciences, Vol. 29, No 6.


Fadlelmawla, A., K. Hadi. 2012. Recharge investigations at northern Kuwait. Hydrogeology of the arid environment, Hanover, Germany


Heggy, Essam, A. Fadlelmawla, T. Farr, M. Al-Rashed. 2011. Probing shallow aquifers in northern Kuwait using airborne sounding radars. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA, 4-8 December 2011.


Fadlelmawla, A. 2010.The role of desalination in Kuwait water sector.Arab climate resilience initiative- Climate change impacts in the Arab region:


Mukhopadhyay, A. and A. Fadlelmawla. 2010. Selection of suitable sites for artificial recharge in Kuwait using GIS technology. The Seventh International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR7), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), October 9-13.


Fadlelmawla, A., E. Azrag, M. Al-Otaibi, M. Al-Senafy. 2009. Application of numerical modeling in testing management scenarios for the groundwater of Al-Raudhatain depression, Kuwait. 3rd International Conference on Geo-Resources of the Middle East and North Africa, Cairo University.


Hadi, K. M. Al-Senafy, A. Fadlelmawla. 2009. Geochemical processes influencing the fresh groundwater lenses salinity in Kuwait. 3rd International Conference on Geo-Resources of the Middle East and North Africa, Cairo University.


Fadlelmawla, A., H. El-Gamily, T. Rashid and H. Naseeb. 2009. Risk-based decision support tools for groundwater protection in Kuwait.4th Joint KISR/JCCP Environmental Symposium "Water Resources in the GCC and Environmental Challenges", 2nd – 4th February 2009, State of Kuwait.


Fadlelmawla, A., M. Al-Senafy, A. Al-Khalid, H. Bhandary, A. Mukhopadhyay, and A. Al-Haddad 2008. Submarine groundwater discharge: The phenomenon, its implications and initial assessment at Kuwait Bay. Eighth Gulf Water Conference "Water in the GCC … Towards an optimal planning and economic perspective". 3-6 March, 2008, Kingdom of Bahrain.


Fadlelmawla, A., and E. Azrag. 2005. Simple yet significant: Water auditing as demand management tool. 7th Gulf Water Conference: Water in the GCC-towards and integrated management; 19-23 November, 2005, Kuwait City, State of Kuwait.