Potential impact of sea level rise: Nile Delta

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32. The Nile Delta is one of the oldest intensely cultivated areas on earth. It is very heavily populated, with population densities up to 1600 inhabitants per square kilometer. The low lying, fertile floodplains are surrounded by deserts. Only 2,5% of Egypt's land area, the Nile delta and the Nile valley, is suitable for intensive agriculture. Most of a 50 km wide land strip along the coast is less than 2 m above sea-level and is protected from flooding by a 1 to 10 km wide coastal sand belt only, shaped by discharge of the Rosetta and Damietta branches of the Nile. Erosion of the protective sand belt is a serious problem and has accelerated since the construction of the Aswan dam.

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