Mai Samih examines how a joint initiative between the government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation will help reuse waste water for urban and agricultural uses.
While construction work proceeds on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia continue regarding its possible effects on Egypt, the government has been racing against time to find alternative solutions to Egypt’s water needs alongside the ongoing negotiations between the two countries.
Egypt is one of many countries trying to save its water resources in order to avoid any future lack of supplies. One approach is to treat more waste water. According to the United Nations World Water Development Report for 2017, of 22 Arab states, 11, including Egypt, have adopted legislation permitting the use of treated waste water for various purposes, with the percentage of untreated waste water in low-income countries recording 46 per cent in 2015.
During a recent press conference in Cairo organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank entitled “Promoting Sustainable Investment in Egypt’s Food Security”, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati talked of a four-pillar approach the ministry is implementing to deal with the scarcity of water.
[Photo by Water Alternatives | Flickr]