For thousands of years, Egypt's agriculture was essentially confined to a narrow strip along the river Nile and a fan-shaped delta
. Reclamation of the desert is one of the major tasks facing Egypt with the development of farmland being an important aspect of agricultural policy.
The estuary's 400 foot depths, the strong outflowing current, the relatively light sedimentary load, and the prevailing northwesterly tradewinds all discourage the development of a classic fan-shaped delta
with slower moving currents.