Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty said that Egypt is facing an acute water shortage crisis, regardless of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) construction.
Abdel Aaty said in an interview on private TV channel Al-Hayat that the crisis is mainly triggered by the decreasing individual share of water stemming from the increasing population throughout the years.
“Egyptians consume much more water than their share in the Nile water,” he said. “Egypt consumes about 80bn cubic metres a year, and its annual share is only 55bn cubic metres.”
The deficit is filled by using other water resources, such as rains in the North Coast, groundwater, and the reuse of agriculture waste water, according to Abdel Aaty.
Regarding the construction of GERD, which is about 70% complete, he noted that there is no need to worry about water issues in Egypt, because there are simulation models for all dams constructed on the Nile.
The cabinet is currently preparing an alternative agricultural plan to adjust to the water shortage.
The new strategy bans the export of rice and limits the space of rice fields to 700,000 acres, instead of 1.1 million acres, limiting agriculture’s water consumption. The strategy also aims to increase the number of plastic greenhouse fields, treat sewage water, and develop field irrigation tools to increase water efficiency.