Nile river in Aswan- Creative Commons
CAIRO - 7 April 2017: Egypt suffers from water scarcity and will face much tougher situations due to increasing demand, said Abdel Latif Khaled, head of the Reservoirs and Grand Barrages Sector at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation on Friday.
"Egypt does not have the luxury to waste even one cubic meter of water," Khaled told Youm7, noting that the country has no alternative water resources, while the demand is increasing.
In November 2016, the ministry, in cooperation with the United Nations, held a workshop to discuss the government’s strategic plan concerning water scarcity, according to an official statement.
Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atti announced in May 2016 that Egypt’s water resources produce 62 billion cubic meters annually, while the consumption could reach 80 billion cubic meters.
The annual per capita of water supply in Egypt is 600 cubic meters, while the international average is 1,000 cubic meters, according to statistics by the ministry and the Central Agency of Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Former Ministry spokesperson Khaled Wasif told The Cairo Post that water scarcity was related to the Nile flood, which has decreased over the past four years, amid the ongoing construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam in the Blue Nile River, one of the Nile’s artilleries.
Egypt has voiced its concern over Ethiopia’s dam construction, as it would affect Cairo’s 55-cubic meter share of the Nile water. However, Addis Ababa said the dam is necessary for its development and would not negatively affect the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan).
The three counties resumed their talks in August 2014, after three years of suspension. They signed a Declaration of Principles in 2015, guaranteeing their water rights, and agreed to continue the talks.