Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Karen Culcasi

Committee Co-Chair

Trevor Harris

Committee Member

Bradley Wilson


The town of St. Katherine is located in the mountainous and most water rich region of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. This relative water abundance was a critical factor to the historical and cultural landscape that emerged there over the centuries. Past human settlements have left an intricate network of catchments, conduits and wells. Much of this infrastructure is still in use today across the hundreds of orchards that dot valley floors around this growing urban center. A pipeline has recently linked this community to the Nile River hundreds of miles away restructuring water consumption patterns throughout the area and reinforcing a sedentarization process that began forty years ago. This thesis offers a critique of this development placing it squarely within the context of a fix to the overproduction inherent to capitalist based economies. It discusses the effects that increased capital flows from the tourism industry have had on St. Katherine's waterscape. Drawing on a series of interviews and mental mapping exercises, it also challenges the hydro-development discourse in the area by reflecting on some of the ways that new water management schemes are being negotiated among the multiple stakeholders in and around St. Katherine.