Egypt is facing a situation of increasing water scarcity. This is due to various reasons and includes climate change, increased crop water requirements but also population growth and the growing industrial demand for water. Solutions to the increasing water scarcity in Egypt are challenging and need robust water diplomacy.
The EU funded Water and Environment Support project (WES) will therefore assist Egypt in the development of financing mechanisms allowing the private sector to be involved and to improve water network management and resource efficiency at the on-farm level. The aim of this new WES activity will therefore be to contribute to increase agricultural water productivity.
According to WES Team Leader Professor Michael Scoullos, “the rapid population growth plus the increased demand from industry in the country is creating a serious situation when it concerns water It is not a crisis yet and with this activity, we hope to contribute to prevent the situation becoming critical. This activity will hence focus on water networking management for farmers. It will also work on how the gap in funding for modern irrigation techniques, which will help to save water, can be narrowed with contributions from the private sector or with financing from the banking sector.”
Dr Walid Hakiki, Head of the Central Department of Water Resources and Studies of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and WES Focal Point for Egypt, said during the online kick off meeting that “Egypt is indeed facing lots of challenges when it comes to water resources. The demand for water is growing while there are only limited, and even threatened, resources. In top of that, climate change is exacerbating to the problem. We therefore already have started a program for irrigation modernisation that will help to reduce water losses and raise water productivity, including the identification of financing resources. This project will therefore have an added value for us and build on what has been carried out so far.
WES experts Kees Lakerveld and Khaled Sayed of WES consortium partner HaskoningDHV Nederland will now start with the first task of the activity to review existing financing mechanism together with a review of public private partnerships in the sector. Secondly, the team will review a number of case studies. Their findings will then be discussed during a one-day consultation workshop with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.