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Cairo Calls for Rationalizing Water Consumption Amid Stalled GERD Talks

Cairo Calls for Rationalizing Water Consumption Amid Stalled GERD Talks

Saturday, 16 October, 2021 - 09:30
The permanent ministerial commission formed to address the water crisis meets in Cairo. (Egyptian cabinet’s official Facebook page)

Egypt has renewed its call for the rationalization of water consumption and switching to modern irrigation systems to raise the efficiency of the waterway network and maximize water returns.

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr. Mohamed Abdel Aty stressed on Friday the importance of cooperation to rationalize the use of water, improve its use and preserve its quality.

He pointed to Egypt’s strategy and plan for water management until 2050 to face the adverse effects of climate change and the Strategic National Water Plan 2037 to manage and meet water demand, with investments of nearly $50 million.

He further mentioned the urgent two-year plan (2019-2021) that aims to rehabilitate canals and irrigation facilities and expand the reuse of agricultural drainage water, as well as a medium-term plan to be implemented within five years.

He made his remarks during a meeting held by the permanent ministerial commission on water resources, in the presence of Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Al-Sayed al-Quseir.

According to the cabinet’s statement, Abdel Aty briefed the commission on his ministry’s strategy to address all water challenges by implementing projects that aim at raising the efficiency of the waterway network and maximizing water returns.

He also pointed to the expansion projects to reuse agricultural wastewater and use of modern technology and satellite applications in the water management process, as well as the newly approved water resources law.

The commission seeks to develop a sustainable strategy for the optimal use of water in the country, the cabinet affirmed, noting that it includes five-year plans for managing water and renewable energy for food production with limited resources.

This comes in light of the stalled talks on dispute between Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Egypt and Sudan want to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of GERD, while Ethiopia rejects the proposal, stressing its right to development.

In mid-September, the UN Security Council urged the three countries to resume African Union-led talks to reach a binding deal “within a reasonable timeframe” over the operation of the mega dam on the Blue Nile.

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