Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty met on Monday the agriculture, irrigation, and water resources committee in the Senate, in which he shed light on the threats to Egypt’s water security.
He particularly highlighted the dangers of overpopulation, climate change, and unilateral measures taken by the Ethiopian side regarding its Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The minister pointed out that Egypt’s renewable water resources are limited to 60 billion cubic metres annually, most of which comes from the waters of the Nile River, in addition to very limited amounts of rainwater and deep groundwater in the deserts.
He further explained that Egypt’s water needs amount to about 114 billion cubic meters annually with a deficit of about 54 billion cubic metres annually, and that gap is filled by reusing water, and Egypt imports agricultural crops equivalent to about 34 billion cubic metres annually.
Moreover, Abdel Aty explained that the ministry is implementing many major projects as part of the National Water Resources Plan until 2037 that aim to increase the capacity of the water system to deal with water challenges with a high degree of flexibility and efficiency.
It also aims to achieve many goals such as rationalising water use, maximising the return from the water unit, modernising and developing the water system, adapting to climate change, and achieving sustainable development for agricultural development projects.
With regard to the current status of the talks on the Ethiopian dam, Abdel Aty said that Egypt showed flexibility during the negotiations in order to reach a just and legally binding agreement related to filling and operating the dam.
He further stressed that Egypt has never obstructed development in the Nile Basin countries as it is already implementing several projects including dams and water projects in the region.