Rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and population growth are making access to clean water increasingly problematic in Egypt. At the recent Water Investment Forum, held in cooperation with the European Union, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation announced that the government plans to invest more than $4.7 trillion in water projects. Egypt is facing major water shortages, and with water stress on the rise, the country is successively taking more measures to reduce the threat of water shortages.
Liquid gold shortage – Egypt in serious water crisis
The Nile is Egypt’s treasure – the life-giving water called liquid gold there – has conditioned the country’s existence since the dawn of time. This region is characterized by pouring heat from the sky and desert sands. The river provides access to clean water for the survival and well-being of the people there, by which it concentrates 95 percent in its valley. societies.
Egypt is among the countries strongly affected by climate change. Combined with steady population growth, it is exacerbating the water crisis. Rising ambient temperatures intensify evaporation, and precipitation patterns are changing – droughts are more common, as well as periods of very heavy rains that wash fertilizer off fields and thus heavily pollute surface and ground water.
The amount of water in the Nile is declining and the population is steadily increasing, causing a shortage and difficulty in accessing clean water. The river satisfies as much as 97 percent of. Egypt’s water needs, and a decrease in water levels is the easiest way to an environmental, economic and, above all, humanitarian tragedy. With such a high population density, water scarcity exacerbates sanitation problems, thus increasing the risk of spreading disease.
In addition, Egypt recently lost its monopoly on the use of Nile waters and must share them with Sudan or Ethiopia. It is the dam built in the latter country that causes Egyptians to look to the future with trepidation. For now, the impact of the massive dam that has been in operation since last year in Ethiopia on the Blue Nile – a tributary that supplies 70 percent of the The waters of Africa’s longest river. The largest power plant in Africa was built at the so-called Great Revival Dam. This facility is expected to significantly affect the lower Nile, further reducing access to clean water, as well as disrupting the river’s annual flooding and significantly reducing the size of agricultural areas. Backward erosion can also occur, involving the encroachment of seawater into the delta.
The dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia in this field was so serious that some observers considered it highly likely to escalate into an armed conflict. Fortunately, this has not happened so far, but the worsening water crisis is bound to be one of the main factors in shaping the political situation there.
Egypt Vision 2030 and changes in the way water is managed
Among the goals enshrined in the national sustainable development strategy known as Egypt Vision 2030 are. Water system sustainability.
The government wants to increase water security and ensure access to clean water by upgrading and expanding infrastructure, which will increase the use of off-river water resources and reduce losses in current water use systems. Major activities include. expansion of waterways and drainage, increased use of rainwater, construction of new wastewater treatment and seawater desalination plants, and financial outlays to support the transition to more sustainable consumption patterns.
Egypt will increase access to clean water by funding more investments
To date, several large-scale projects have been implemented in Egypt’s water sector. These include. The launch of a wastewater treatment plant in Cairo, which is the largest of its kind in the world, as well as desalination plants located along the country’s coasts.
The government’s current announcements concern the financing of 30 more projects, nine of which have been transferred to the Ministry of Irrigation and 21 to the Ministry of Housing.
The Egyptian Minister’s announcement of more planned projects shows that the country is firmly committed to improving water relations and is making every effort to increase access to clean water for residents. The cost of these activities is huge and funds are limited, so international cooperation in research and innovation and loans for investment is extremely important.