Egypt steps up motion as risk of water shortage looms

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Egypt has began to take actions at varied ranges to deal with 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 Resources, stated that the Egyptian state is dealing with main challenges within the water sector, given the restricted water assets 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 completely different ranges to deal with the water shortage disaster, together with the implementation of a venture for the rehabilitation of water canals and the rehabilitation of water drains. The two different tasks include selling the usage of fashionable irrigation techniques and good irrigation techniques in agricultural lands, to make sure an optimum administration of water assets 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 price for the farmers and maximizing crop productiveness by 30%-40%. He indicated that there are different tasks, together with the wastewater therapy crops, in addition to flood management and rainwater harvesting tasks. Some 1,800-kilometer (1,118-mile) lengthy canals have been rehabilitated as far as a part of the rehabilitation and lining venture, he stated.

Ghanem’s statements got here at a time that tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia are escalating, particularly after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated May 31 that his nation will construct greater than 100 small and medium dams within the new fiscal yr in numerous components of the nation. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry responded in a assertion saying that such an announcement “reveals once again Ethiopia’s bad intentions when it comes to dealing with the Nile River and other international rivers that it shares with neighboring countries, as if they were its own, subject to its sovereignty and harnessed to serve its own interests.”

On June 6, former Egyptian Foreign 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. 

Speaking 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 nations. He added that the Egyptian authorities are towards any unilateral motion taken by any of the upstream nations with out bearing in mind the pursuits of the downstream nations.

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

Commenting on the challenges dealing with Egypt within the water sector in gentle of the poor water assets, he defined that the speedy inhabitants development, along with extreme local weather adjustments, together with elevated temperatures and the rise within the Red Sea water stage, include a serious risk to the Nile Delta. He defined that 97% of Egypt’s renewable water assets 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 reach an settlement on how to manage the GERD after the completion of the dam’s development, and on the quantity of water Ethiopia will launch from the dam in periods of drought, to stop 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 acknowledged that Ethiopia’s unilateral move to provoke the second filling of the GERD in July and August will scale back the water share provided 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 you can cope with droughts, with the purpose to safe the wanted stream of water for generations and for many years to come back.

He concluded by saying that there’s presently as much as 3.eight billion cubic meters of water saved within the GERD reservoir, and that the operation of 13 generators requires nearly 18 billion cubic meters in storage water, not 74 billion cubic meters as Ethiopia claims. He stated 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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