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Egypt Reviews National Standing on Water Scarcity

Egypt Reviews National Standing on Water Scarcity

Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 - 10:45
A general view of banks, hotels, office and residential buildings in the center of Cairo, Egypt, September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

In parallel with conducting lengthy negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan for securing Egypt’s share of Nile waters, Cairo is periodically reviewing its standing on water scarcity.

According to official statements, Egypt is experiencing a critical stage of water scarcity with a dwindling annual rate of 1,000 m3 per capita.

Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Atti on Monday held a meeting with senior executives in the ministry to follow up on the water supply situation. During the meeting, Abel-Atti urged expediting the procedures for rationalizing water consumption and punishing violators.

The Egyptian government had announced a national plan to rationalize water and maximize the use of available resources in Egypt through 2037 at a cost of $50 billion, which aims to overcome problems related to water shortages.

Abdel-Atti, during the meeting, stressed the necessity to adhere to the national plan’s delivery deadlines for the rehabilitation of canals and the implementation of quality control processes.

He added that control over rehabilitated canals must be transferred to a modern irrigation system that works on all aspects of water rationalization.

Abdel-Atti also called for expediting the transformation from surface irrigation to modern irrigation.

He emphasized the need to release all warnings and water-wasting records for farmers who violate modern irrigation systems and to swiftly collect issued fines.

The minister urged improving coordination with local agencies to face all forms of violations.

Necessary measures for national banks providing low-interest loans to farmers looking to finance transformation projects for modern irrigation systems are being taken, Abdel-Atti explained.

On another note, Abdel-Atti declared the ministry’s readiness to receive the rainy season and floods expected this winter.

He added that the ministry and its branches will work around the clock to ensure the performance and efficiency of the stations and to carry out the necessary maintenance.

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