Securing Water Resources for Egypt: A Major Challenge for Policy Planners
The combined effect of rapid population growth and increasing living standards in Egypt has led to an increase in the demand for food. Food deficits in Egypt are increasing at an alarming rate. The total population of Egypt increased from around 71 million in the year 2006 to around 91 million in the year 2016. It is expected that Egypt’s populations will continue increasing to count about 120–150 million by the year 2050. The high population growth rate will exaggerate problems associated with water sector allocation.
On the other hand, the structure of the Egyptian economy is presented by three main sectors, agriculture, industry, and services sectors, where both public and private sectors are participating in them. The GDP (global domestic product) per capita was used as an indicator of economic status. GDP in Egypt has been fluctuating during the period 2006–2016 from a maximum of 7.2 in the year 2008 to a minimum of 1.8 in the year 2011.
The need for bringing new lands into production has become an urgent must. Reclamation of new lands is not only constrained by the land resources but also by the availability of water resources which is already scarce. Moreover, there is a substantial increase in the rate of domestic and industrial water requirements.
In the light of these facts, it has become imperative to make the most beneficial use of the country’s limited water resources. Ensuring the availability of water supplies for all uses is the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI). In meeting this responsibility, MWRI has identified various opportunities for increasing the usable supply of water and/or improving the deficiency of its utilization, as it will be discussed in the following sections of this chapter.
KeywordsClosed systems Population growth Water balance Water demand Water quality Water security opportunities Water supply
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