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Deal between Egypt, FAO on using solar power in irrigation enacted

Thu, Sep. 6, 2018
CAIRO – 6 September 2018: An agreement between Egypt and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on using solar-powered irrigation system in sites depending on underground water has been enacted on Thursday.

The agreement, which was signed on Oct. 19, 2017, was published in the official gazette Al-Waqa'i' al-Misriyya on Thursday. As per Egypt’s 2014 Constitution, any agreement, loan or law shall be published in the official gazette to come into force.

The agreement is part of a project, via which the FAO will provide technical support to the governments of Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, at a cost of $276,000.

Solar power is a good mechanism to obtain water through; Egypt was ranked as the Arab country receiving the most sun hours per year, according to a study by the Environment and Climate change Research Institute (ECCRI) in April 2012.

Both Egypt and India started using the solar-powered systems in irrigation because it improves water governance, said the FAO in a report published on April 12. Cultivating the swathes of land in the desert via using underground water was one of the projects proposed to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in 2014. The government started using the eco-friendly solar-powered system of irrigation to pump water out of wells with low running cost.

Egypt depends on pumping water out from five renewable and non-renewable aquifers Moghra, the Carbonate aquifer, Nubian Sandstone aquifer, Toshka aquifer, and an aquifer at Tor Sinai.

Additional reporting by Samar Samir
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