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Minister of irrigation warns of water scarcity
Courtesy: Laura Cugusi

Water Resources and Irrigation Minister, Hossam Moghazy, warned on Saturday that Egypt is experiencing a shortage of water, caused by an increase in consumption for irrigation and industrial purposes, amounting to 23 billion square meters yearly.

Moghazy said that each individual in Egypt consumes around 620 square meters, 380 square meters less than the international average of 1000 square meters per person, and yet water is still scarce.

He added that water shortages will only worsen in the coming years due to a constantly increasing population.

The ministry plans to collaborate with countries of the Nile Basin to exchange expertise and technical support in finding solutions to the crisis.

Moghazy stressed the importance of swamps, which he said contain quantities of water that could meet the needs of all the Nile Basin countries, according to privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.  

The minister is expected to head the Egyptian delegation in tripartite negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, due to recommence Monday in Khartoum.     

The 6,000-megawatt Renaissance Dam, which heads a 63-billion cubic meter reservoir, is expected to generate three times the electricity generated by the Aswan High Dam and hold twice the amount of water held in Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake.

Egypt fears that the dam will affect its access to water. Ethiopia claims this fear is unfounded after studies conducted by a 10-person International Tripartite Commission, including Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian experts, confirmed that Egypt’s water access will not be greatly affected.