FILE - Minister of Planning Hala al-said
CAIRO - 16 September 2018: Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed endorsed Saturday the allocation of LE 1.5 billion for drinking water and sewage projects during the FY2018/2019, where LE 1 billion will be directed to water recycling plants in Upper Egypt.
A total of LE 100 billion will be channeled to purchasing vehicles and equipment necessary to face heavy rain and LE 250 billion will be used to fund drinking water and sewage works related to infrastructure projects being executed in Cairo and Giza such as metro lines and roads. The rest will be used to continue Abou Oweikal water treatment plant with a capacity of 500,000 cubic meters per day.
The aforementioned projects will contribute to decreasing water shortage and accomplishing development endeavors.
Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty stated in June that the water status in Egypt is critical. He explained that, according to the expected population growth and indicators of deteriorating quality of surface and underground water, the individual’s water share will drop to less than 500 cubic meters per annum.
Abdel Aty declared that the annual water deficit is 21 billion cubic meters and that the gap is bridged through imports in the form of food, water recycling, and underground water. The minister added that the country is at risk because of climate change which will result in sea level rise, incurring the relocation of 5 million people in Delta and the loss of investments worth billions of dollars, as well as the infiltration of sea water into underground water reserves.
The ministry estimates that by 2050 the productivity of wheat and corn crops will fall by 15 and 19 percent respectively, and that 15 percent of agricultural water will be subject to salinization.
Egypt has been trying to benefit from rainwater, which is why the construction of a dam in the basin valleys of Shalatin to harness rainwater was announced in 2017 after necessary studies were finished.