The aim of our center's research activities is to understand current desert settlement conditions, technologies, and practices, and then to improve them so that development proceeds in a sustainable fashion. To match the complexity of sustainable desert development, our research is both cross-sectoral and integrated, and includes technical, economic and social research activities. These focus particularly on the following areas:
On our research stations in South Tahrir and Sadat City, we carry out applied research on topics ranging from livestock development under desert conditions to testing the energy efficiency of different domestic and farm architectural forms, increased crop productivity, profitability, and the conservation of natural resources.
DDC horticultural, animal science, and soil quality researchers work to identify the ideal breeds and varieties for Egypt’s desert environment. Research achievements include developing highly productive citrus trees through grafting and rootstock experimentation, identifying the optimum combination of cattle breeds and finding trees with low water needs that serve as excellent natural windbreaks and fertilize the desert soil. Please see the section Agricultural Research for more information.
Water and Waste Management
As planned communities in Egypt’s reclaimed lands grow, research is needed to ensure the lifestyles they offer are sustainable; and the way in which these desert communities manage water supply is large factor in determining their sustainability. Since 2006, the DDC has been conducting technical and social research on water management, agricultural systems and community development in the oasis community of Abu Minqar, located 100km south of Farafra Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert. For details on the research process and outcomes, please see the section Oasis Water Management.
In 2009, the DDC research team embarked on water and waste management research on AUC New Cairo, in partnership with student volunteers. The hands-on, fieldwork-based studies aim to assess the water and waste management systems on campus. Our researchers look at ways to improve the university's resource management efficiency, working with different members of the AUC community. For more information, please see the section Water and Waste Management.