In this study, the selection of suitable crops and the water management were considered as the main pillars of sustainable agriculture in dry deserts. The main objective is to use remote sensing and GIS for setting a suitable cropping pattern and estimate the crop water requirements in arid desert area. A newly reclaimed area located to the west of the Nile Delta was selected for this work. A Landsat ETM+ and a Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data were processed using ENVI 4.7 software for landforms mapping. The recognized landforms comprised; old deltaic plain, aeolian plain and depression with alluvial deposits. The mapped units were represented by 24 soil profiles and 36 observation points. The soil profiles were morphologically described, sampled and analyzed. A GIS soils database was established using the landform map and the results of the land surveying and soil analysis. Based on land characteristics (i.e., soils, water and climate) the suitable crops for each landform were proposed. The land surface temperature (LST) and Crop evapotranspiration (ET) are estimated from Landsat ETM+ thermal band by using the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL). The water requirements of the proposed crops were calculated and the irrigation management is discussed with respect to the soil properties. Results indicated that partial land uses could be achieved the agricultural sustainability in such area.
R.R. Ali and A. Shalaby, 2012. Sustainable Agriculture in the Arid Desert West of the Nile Delta: A Crop Suitability and Water Requirements Perspective. International Journal of Soil Science, 7: 116-131.