Assiut’s new aqueduct project will provide over 3,000 job opportunities during its construction and 300 full time jobs once it is complete, according to an official statement published on the Ministry of Agriculture’s page by Irrigation Authority President Mohamed Beltagy.
Beltagy added that the project will improve the irrigation system for over 1.6m acres of land and will serve 18 million Egyptians over 5 different Egyptian governorates.
Beltagy’s announcement came in light of the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Mutalib’s visit to the several hydroelectric stations. The minister was accompanied by the Governor of Assiut Major General Ibrahim Hammad in order to supervise the latest implementation developments.
The aqueduct and hydroelectric water plant project is said to cost around EGP 4bn.
The ministerial statement said that the project implementation has “exceeded expectations”, as 26% of the project is already finalised. The project is expected to be complete in 2017.
The hydroelectric water plant is said to generate 32 MW (megawatts) of clean electrical energy, according to the project’s executive director, Ahmed Karrat.
Meanwhile, a report issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) discussed the water governance in the Arab Region and Egypt.
The report, titled “Water Governance in the Arab Region: Managing Scarcity and Securing the Future”, stated that Egypt and Syria draw heavily on reused irrigation drainage waters. It added that a long-term policy and comprehensive monitoring are needed to improve the efficiency of drainage water reuse and limit its polluting impact.
It added that the expected cost of for the required investments in water and sanitation services is $4,484.4m while the estimate value of the benefit is over EGP 11,073.6m. The rate of return on the investments in the water projects will be around 147% with the average annual rate of return being 13.4%.
The report also mentioned that Egypt mainly relies on surface water to meet the escalating demand of the public.
On the impact of the Aswan dam, the report said “the dam has generated annual net benefits of at least 2 percent of Egypt 1997 GDP, according to economic model estimates.”
“But the dam has also reduced soil fertility by preventing the nutrient-rich sediment from replenishing Nile Delta and Valley agricultural lands,” the report said, adding that “Evaporation has reduced water levels in the dam’s reservoir [lake Nasser] by about 5 percent of the Nile’s total flow.”
Recently, several water related project have been signed with the latest being between the Ministry of International agreement and several European bodies. The newly signed agreement, Programme II (IWSP II) aims to improve water and wastewater services. The project will be jointly financed, with Germany’s KFW being the lead financing institution, and will cost around €303m.
The European Development Partners will contribute €209m, 69% of the total cost, while the Egyptian government will provide €94m, the remaining 31%.
Another water related project is going to be implemented by a consortium of three international companies. The consortium, led by Egypt’s Hassan Allam Sons Construction and also including Passavant-Roediger, a subsidiary of Dubai’s Drake & Scull International (DSI) and Accioma, a Spanish private infrastructure, renewable energy and water services company, signed a AED 545m contract to expand the Gabal Al Asfar Waste Water Treatment Plant (GAAWWTP) on the outskirts of Cairo.