The Egyptian Nuclear Materials Authority (NMA) was exploring and evaluating the black sands deposits along the Mediterranean coast, as part of a comprehensive black sands assessment project.
Environics carried out the hydrological study (baseline and ground and surface waters), the social and economic study, and the ecological study for the project.
The Hydrological Baseline Study included:
Maps of the study area showing urban areas and major roads; electricity power lines; irrigation canals; pumping or observation wells; surface and groundwater quality monitoring locations, and drinking and wastewater treatment plants.
Water resources in the study area (irrigation water supply, agriculture drainage network, groundwater resources, and domestic water supply). This included quality data for irrigation and drainage water and south-north cross section showing groundwater salinity in the area.
Contact information of concerned authorities at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.
The Ground and Surface Water Study:
Aimed at providing basis for careful selection of project water supply source and wastewater management.
Presented the governing legislative framework.
Described the climatic conditions.
Described and assessed ground & surface water conditions as well as hydrobiology.
Identified and assessed impacts.
Discussed mitigation and performance measures.
The Ecological Assessment Study identified, described and analyzed:
Types of habitats and related flora and the dominant floral communities of the lease area.
Faunal communities for each habitat type and their interrelation aspects, with focus on the lease area.
Faunal species of concern, including threatened and protected species, endemic species, species of societal (commercial, subsistence) and/or particular ecological importance, migratory species (particularly birds) etc.
Land use impacts on resident fauna, with focus on species of special concern.
Potential impacts resulting from mining activities on species of special concern and on migrating birds.
Mitigation measures to reduce impacts on local fauna in general and on species of concern in particular, and to avoid the introduction of alien species.
Seasonal variations in late spring and summer.
The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Economic Studies:
Involved meetings with concerned stakeholders, surveys using tailored questionnaires, and relevant document research.
Covered the major organizations of the area, such as the agricultural and fishermen corporations, the development NGOs, and resorts management, as well as the concerned populations of the administrative divisions of Burullus.