Water usage will be significantly reduced at one CWGC’s largest desert cemeteries thanks to a recent restoration project.
Workers reinstated and improved the drainage and irrigation system at El Alamein War Cemetery in Egypt. We can now capture and store nearly 500 cubic metres of rainwater underground at this iconic cemetery.
Despite the lack of turf, significant irrigation is still needed here. Water is vital to keep the distinctive desert horticulture alive, and help the sandy ground hold its form during the frequent sandstorms.
Agaves, Aloe, Bougainvillaea and other drought tolerant species are used to add a very distinctive look to the cemetery. Though there are small ornamental lawns which flank the entrance, the planting here is chosen to be tolerant of extreme heat and minimal watering.
Now the two-month project is complete we can maximise the water we capture during the short rains in winter for use throughout the year.
Water is a precious resource in Egypt and this new system of rainwater harvesting will reduce our use of local water supplies by a third, further improving our impact of the environment around us.
El Alamein War Cemetery contains the graves of more than 7,000 Second World War dead, and a series of memorials commemorating thousands more missing or cremated war dead.