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Minister of Irrigation Says COP27 is an Opportunity to Set Out Egypt's Water Scarcity

Minister of Irrigation Says COP27 is an Opportunity to Set Out Egypt's Water Scarcity

Wednesday, 17 August, 2022 - 08:15
The newly appointed Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Hani Swailem (Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation)

The newly appointed Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Hani Swailem, said the upcoming COP27 climate summit is "an opportunity" to introduce the world to Egypt's water poverty.


Swailem indicated that Egypt depends on boosting its cooperation with the Nile Basin countries to benefit from its resources and reduce the impact of climate change.


Egypt needs about 114 billion cubic meters of water annually to meet its needs, but the available resources amount to only 74 billion cubics, according to the Ministry.


The Nile water accounts for more than 90 percent of Egypt's needs, or 55.5 billion cubic meters. Cairo fears water shortage after Ethiopia begins operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


In his first extended meeting with the Ministry's officials, Swailem vowed to employ all technical and administrative capabilities to improve the water management process in Egypt and ensure it reaches the beneficiaries.


He reiterated the importance of cooperation with local and international institutions to maintain water security while maximizing reliance on scientific research and expanding the role of the National Water Research Center (NWRC) in serving the state's future projects.


The Minister said that the coming period would witness increased cooperation with the various ministries concerned with managing water resources in Egypt to increase the efficiency of water and land resources.


He stressed the importance of cooperation between all institutions to preserve Egypt's water and manage it in the most efficient and available means, provided the use of scientific and applied research prepared by the National Center.


He indicated that this would help Egypt manage water with the highest efficiency, noting that cooperation will characterize the upcoming stage for the future relations between Egypt and the Nile Basin countries to benefit from its resources.


Foreign relations will help support the plans of the Ministry of Irrigation, said Swailem.


He stressed the importance of scientific research in international universities in coordination and cooperation with the National Center for Water Research to expand the application of research and raise the efficiency of water resources management for Egypt.


The Minister noted that COP27 scheduled for next November in Sharm El-Sheikh would be a good opportunity for the world to review Egypt's progress on climate change issues.


It will help put Egypt's problems on the global agenda and seek solutions to water poverty, said Swailem, explaining that the summit will be an opportunity to benefit from international experiences.


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