Using water from the Nile more efficiently
Title: Water and Wastewater Management Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, MALR; Ministry for Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, MoHUUC
Overall term: 2019 to 2021
The Nile accounts for 85 per cent of Egypt's nationwide water needs for all aspects of life. Experts fear that the effects of climate change and increased water use in the countries along the upper reaches of the Nile will lead to future water shortages in Egypte. The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) anticipates that in the medium to long term, the Nile will be able to meet only 75 per cent of the country's water needs. Inefficient management and use of water will then lead to a deterioration in living conditions and social and economic development prospects. This applies equally to irrigated agriculture and urban and rural water supply, as well as wastewater management.
Conditions for reducing losses and more using water more efficiently are improved, taking climate change into account. This applies to irrigated agriculture in selected areas of the Nile Delta as well as to general water supply and wastewater management.
In the field of irrigated agriculture, the project is working to reduce water losses and to make more efficient use of water at farms. In selected districts, the project is introducing mechanisms to plan water demand in tune with climate protection. Operation and maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure are to be improved. The project is also establishing complaint management centres that serve as points of contact for small-scale farmers. In this way, details for contacting responsible authorities are communicated transparently so that problems with the water supply can be reported promptly and more water-efficient farming practices can be disseminated more widely. Smallholders receive support for improving agricultural production, for example, training in farming methods that use water more efficiently. The project works together with cooperatives, the extension services and the Water Users Organisations (WUO).
To improve water supply and wastewater management, the project cooperates with the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater and its subordinate companies throughout the country. Here, too, there are plans to reduce water losses. It is also planned that charges for major customers will increase, energy will be saved and sewage sludge used to generate power. This is designed to protect scarce water resources and at the same time generate more revenue for the utilities. The project is also working to standardise processes in the companies. This makes internal processes more transparent and less susceptible to corruption. The project empowers civil society groups to provide households with information on using water economically.
Finally, the project plans to incorporate training courses on efficient and effective water use into the education system: in this way, impacts are available in the long term and are firmly mainstreamed.