Presented by Dr. Asmaa Kamal Mourad in Kapita Selekta Lecture Class

Issues that has been addressed by Dr. Asmaa are water resources, management and situation in Egypt, stakeholders and also transboundary problems which occur in the water management system. Started by nature geography, population density and distribution of Egypt citizen, we can imagine how egyptian manage they water resources. Egypt has an area over 1.000.000 km2 which mostly covered by desert. The total number of people in Egypt is 94 million people in 2014 and increases 2,3% every year. The total area for agriculture activity is 120.000 km2 which is defining as cultivated (64%) and cropped area (33%). Agriculture is the main activity of Egyptian people because 20% of total national product and 80% export earnings are come out from agriculture sector. So, it is important to know the irrigation system and water management in Egypt.


Water Resources

Nile is the main river which used as main water resources (55 BCM annually) shared by eleven countries including Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, EntrΓ©e, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Two mine tributaries are White Nile and Blue Nile and 85% of the water coming from Ethiopian Plateau. Egypt is an arid or semi arid country so has 18 mm/year on average rainfall number (1,8 BCM annually). Desalinization of sea water  (0,1%), groundwater from nile system and deep aquifer (6,2%) are provide a small amount of water. To promote the sustainable water management, groundwater (8,6%) has been renewable, also water from agricultural and sewage drainage (12,9%) are reuse using appropriate technology.

picture8Water Situation

Agriculture spend 85,9% of water and being the biggest consumer of water than the other sector. About 2,9% of water loss is come from evaporation,  9,1% household uses, 1,8% industry and 0,3% navigation. Human population increases every year and water availability decreases which generate scarcity.  The short term impact is the decrease of agricultural lands.

Water Management

Based on the scarcity of water resources, wastewater and sewage sludge preferably to be non-potable water sources which is need management. In rural area, about 60% are covered by wastewater collection and treatment facilities which is higher than rural areas (15% only). Most of wastewater treatment capacity is relatively small (78%) on average 12 MCM/day. Water treatment involves two types of process: physical removal of solids and chemical disinfection. Water treatment system also use biological process : activated sludge and oxidation pond system. Sludge is treated using anaerobic digestion, thickening method followed by drying. The climatic and soil conditions in Egypt strongly favor the use of sewage sludge for land application / reclamation (agriculture or cultivating land).


Stakeholders is the ones who providing the finance and leading the management which are consist of governmental, private, civil society, international, donors and society at large. Governmental sector is integrating many ministry to work together in water management, but mainly water project is come from ministry of water resources and irrigation (MWRI), ministry of agriculture and land reclamation (MALR), and ministry of housing utilities and new communities (MHUNC). All of stakeholders have responsibilities to develop more resources, manage and increase efficiency of existing resources. Stakeholders also have to measure and program the water quality include financial incentives, awareness campaign, environmentally friendly agricultural methods, coordinate investment and control the use of fertilizers.

Transboundary Problem

Because of sharing river, Egypt have many transboundary problems : Millenium Dam / Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Jonlei Canal and Congo-Nile River Linking. Water availability reduces temporary (two times water lost) due to the filling of the dam and evaporation from the dam. Dam system could lead to a permanent lowering of the water level in Lake Nesser meaning lowing the produce of hydropower. To support river water quantity, Egypt government made a big project called Jonglei Canal to increase around 6% from Egypt’s current supply started in 1978 and it was stopped in 1989 by SPLA because of political problem. Another problem is linking the Congo – Nile River which would provide Egypt with 95 BCM annually. Linking the congo river is difficult due to the fact that the construction would be more complicated (need a number of canals and a huge dam) and there are some legal problems (prohibition of transferring river waters) that resist the project.


All picture are taken from Dr. Asmaa Presentation Material



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