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Egypt steps up motion as risk of water shortage looms

Egypt steps up action as threat of water scarcity looms

Egypt has began to take actions at varied ranges to handle the water shortage drawback the nation is dealing with. 

In an interview with TeN TV June 5, Mohamed Ghanem, spokesman for the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Sources, mentioned that the Egyptian state is dealing with main challenges within the water sector, given the restricted water sources that don’t exceed 55 billion cubic meters — consisting of Egypt’s share of the Nile water, along with a small quantity of rainwater and groundwater. He defined that Egypt’s wants quantity to 114 billion cubic meters, warning that Egypt suffers from water shortage that requires main measures to beat the challenges.

He famous that the state has just lately taken motion at 4 totally different ranges to handle the water shortage disaster, together with the implementation of a venture for the rehabilitation of water canals and the rehabilitation of water drains. The 2 different initiatives encompass selling using fashionable irrigation programs and good irrigation programs in agricultural lands, to make sure an optimum administration of water sources and provide farmers with the required quantity of water.

Ghanem continued that such steps would contribute to an optimization of water consumption and maximization of return of water models, whereas decreasing the preliminary value for the farmers and maximizing crop productiveness by 30%-40%. He indicated that there are different initiatives, together with the wastewater therapy vegetation, in addition to flood management and rainwater harvesting initiatives. Some 1,800-kilometer (1,118-mile) lengthy canals have been rehabilitated as far as a part of the rehabilitation and lining venture, he mentioned.

Ghanem’s statements got here at a time that tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia are escalating, particularly after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed mentioned Could 31 that his nation will construct greater than 100 small and medium dams within the new fiscal yr in several components of the nation. The Egyptian International Ministry responded in a assertion saying that such an announcement “reveals as soon as once more Ethiopia’s dangerous intentions in terms of coping with the Nile River and different worldwide rivers that it shares with neighboring international locations, as in the event that they have been its personal, topic to its sovereignty and harnessed to serve its personal pursuits.”

On June 6, former Egyptian International Minister Nabil Fahmy instructed an area TV channel that the course of the occasions factors to an inevitable conflict between Egypt and Sudan on the one hand, and Ethiopia on the opposite. 

Talking to Al-Monitor by telephone, Ghanem revealed particulars about Egypt’s response to the water shortage drawback, the repercussions of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the challenges dealing with Egypt on this discipline. He defined that Egypt has constructed and continues to construct dams in cooperation with the Nile Basin international locations. He added that the Egyptian authorities are in opposition to any unilateral motion taken by any of the upstream international locations with out considering the pursuits of the downstream international locations.

He affirmed that Egypt insists on reaching a binding authorized settlement on the GERD filling and operation, and opposes any unilateral measures that will hurt the pursuits of Sudan and its personal.

Commenting on the challenges dealing with Egypt within the water sector in mild of the poor water sources, he defined that the fast inhabitants development, along with extreme local weather adjustments, together with elevated temperatures and the rise within the Crimson Sea water degree, encompass a serious risk to the Nile Delta. He defined that 97% of Egypt’s renewable water sources come from exterior its borders, which prompted the state to take many measures and insurance policies to extend water productiveness and effectivity. 

Alaa Zawahiri, a member of Egypt’s technical committee for the GERD negotiations, instructed Al-Monitor that Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan should attain an settlement on how one can handle the GERD after the completion of the dam’s building, and on the quantity of water Ethiopia will launch from the dam in periods of drought, to forestall water scarcity in Egypt or Sudan.

He defined that Egypt faces the specter of a scarcity of water flowing from the Nile River within the subsequent few years. He warned that drying up the center part of the GERD from which water flows to ensure that Ethiopia to embark on the elevation works required for the second stage of filling will considerably have an effect on Egypt and Sudan.

Zawahiri said that Ethiopia’s unilateral transfer to provoke the second filling of the GERD in July and August will cut back the water share equipped to Egypt from 22 billion cubic meters to solely 2 billion cubic meters. He added that Egypt and Sudan search a transparent and binding settlement on the GERD’s filling and operation and on how one can cope with droughts, with the purpose to safe the wanted movement of water for generations and for many years to come back.

He concluded by saying that there’s presently as much as 3.8 billion cubic meters of water saved within the GERD reservoir, and that the operation of 13 generators requires practically 18 billion cubic meters in storage water, not 74 billion cubic meters as Ethiopia claims. He mentioned that Ethiopia is attempting to retailer giant quantities of water on the time of the flood to generate electrical energy when the flood season ends.

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