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'Egypt has entered water poverty era': Irrigation Minister

The minister's comments come days after Cairo signed a Declaration of Principles with the Nile basin countries over the contested Ethiopian dam, feared to affect Egypt's water share

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Mar 2015
Hossam Moghazi
Egypt's minister of irrigation and water resources Hossam Moghazi (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's minister of irrigation and water resources said on Saturday that his country has entered "an era of water poverty," with a current yearly shortage of 23 billion cubic metres, state news agency MENA reported.

Hossam Moghazi said that Egypt's current yearly consumption of water amounts to nearly 83 billion cubic meters while its share of Nile water stands at 55.5 billion cubic metres. Egypt receives an additional four billion cubic metres from rain and groundwater.

"Egypt has entered the era of water poverty," Moghazi said in a ministry event to celebrate the international day of water. "We have to rationalise consumption so we are accountable to Egypt's agricultural, industrial and drinking water needs," Moghazi added.

Last week Egypt signed a declaration of principles with the Nile basin countries Ethiopia and Sudan, where they agreed on broad guidelines over Ethiopia's contested dam, feared to affect Egypt's water share.

While local media reports hailed the Egyptian president's visit to Ethiopia and the "historical" tentative agreement, some critics say the declaration of principles acknowledged the Grand Renaissance Dam as an incontestable fact and stripped Egypt of potential channels for further negotiation.

The presidency insisted that the declaration of principles protects Egypt's water rights and is consistent with international laws. The document is not binding.

A company to conduct technical studies on the effect of the dam is expected to be picked by the three countries soon, after months of bidding and delays.

Ethiopia's 6,000 megawatt dam, of which 40 percent is already complete, is set to be Africa's largest and it is feared that it may negatively affect the Nile share of the downstream countries: Egypt and Sudan. 

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sirak
29-06-2015 01:51pm
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Who has the approvement power
Ethiopia doesn't need approval from Egypt for her Development plan and Implementation within her territory. We Ethiopian Need the Blue Nile Water for drink & irrigation and to generate power as far as it is economical.But We haven't an intension to hurt our brother in Egypt.the two Country should discuss on sharing of their own resource to the other because resource available in one country may not found in other.Think compensation.It is the only solution.
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12



Jo
28-04-2015 02:30am
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Water engineer
Egypt should start tapping from the 100,000 billion meter cube water in the Nubia aquifer before the Lybians wastes it all. Enough water for Egypt to use for 60,000 years! Stop wasting money bribing African countries so they do not build dams or irrigate from the Nile, use your money for submersible pumps powered with Solar. Then sit back and have a cup of coffee!
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11



Chahira
31-03-2015 02:26pm
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Water solution
Seawater desalination, it's one of the solution besides I hard that Singapore they did desalinate the sewage water into clean water
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10



Getta-Hun
30-03-2015 10:03am
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"Water Poverty" vs. "Food Poverty"
The Egyptian Minister has declared that his country is now in "an era of water poverty". The Ethiopian Government, on the other hand, has been struggling to alleviate- and even eradicate- what it calls "food poverty". These two countries should work together to overcome the challenges- 'poverty' of one or the other kind- facing their respective peoples. After all, aren't Egypt and Ethiopia the "Children of 'Abbay'(Nile)"?
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9



Sherif Shehata
29-03-2015 11:14pm
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Save life
Hello,you can do better if you go outside of your office to see the truth about how much water we waste each day.Egypt needs to have a new technology system to save water.Egypt need to improve and develop a new water system.It is already the public are paying lot of money for water and service so Mr Minister where is our service,most of the water pipes underground are leaking and the public are paying for water never used.you need to take all your responsibility for that and to sort out all the issues now before it's too late.Egypt will build new Cairo and the water is the key.we need to use underground water for Agriculture,washing and this water will be recycle.Fresh water for eating and drinking,when the rain season comes we need to save more water in the Nile,lakes by pumping water from our roads better than left to dry and to build drain system for the cities have lot of rain,to think how to used sea water for living.Don't cry for me Egypt I am still your Son.God save Egypt.
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8



lucky
29-03-2015 03:14pm
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A small scale idea...
Build a water tower.. that is a lot higher than sea level... this increases pressure of water that comes out.. and as it comes out.. it siphens the sea water in.. powerless.. the sea water that exits tower. is piped to a solar heated chamber.. that could use a float lever to open pipe when more water is needed and shuts piped water when full to keep water pressur. There should be pipes on top of chamber to allow evaporation to leave to an underground water condensation collection. its cooler underground. This is where fresh water is. Don't know what to do with salt yet... :/ it would work for farms ...
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7



Abiy Yilma
29-03-2015 11:57am
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No threat to Egypt dueto GERD
Nile is a transboundry river with 85% major contribution from my country, we are constructing a big dam on the nile with almost reasonable and scientific approach with out threating the nation of Egypt and Sudan in any way,the flow of water to the down stream Egypt has not a significant negative effect interms of amount instead it will be a permanent silt dam for Sudan and Egypt, but Egyptiaan must to exploit their ground water deposit,rain water and apply desalinisation technology to expand source of water options beyond Nile....God bless Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan
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6



Kristian P. Olesen
29-03-2015 11:08am
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Raise water efficiency more than 1200%
Substainable Increase Sandy Soil's productivity 4 times by using NanoClay Technology, and saving 66+% irrigation water, prevent over irrigation by full field capacity. The result is a new method (now patented) for irrigating minerals into the soil: 1.2% (9.2 ton/ha) treated unique mix of natural clays gives, better effect than 100% (812 ton/ha) applied in the old traditional way. Huge aggregates are created. 66% water saved of the total amount of the water used in the field. Wheat germination increased from 70 to 100%, yield increased to 416%. Conclusions and recommendations Experience from 2009 to date, at Ismailia research station, Agricultural Research Center, Cairo, Egypt shows this to be: The best and cheapest method in sandy soils for creating aggregates, saving 66+% irrigation water, increasing yield 416% and stopping sandstorms by plants/trees.
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5



lucky
29-03-2015 08:47am
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There is another option...
What happened to the past announced desalination plant... you are not counting the ocean water that is plentiful. Evaporation. then cooled should produce crystal clear water... you also have plentiful sunshine... you have sand to produce reflecting glass.. also containers painted black absorb heat faster.. also salt water has a lowered boiling point... less energy needed to evaporate it. Count all your blessings...
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Kristian P. Olesen
30-03-2015 09:25am
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There is another option....= in addition to NanoClay
Reverse osmosis desalination is the best option when needed, but the NanoClay technology must be used in order to use 1/3 of the normal irrigation water requirement.
Kristian P. Olesen
30-03-2015 09:22am
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There is another option....= in addition to NanoClay
By utilizing the the NnaoClay Technology one can irrigate 2/3 more area
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Dave
29-03-2015 01:41am
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Water Technology specialist
Egypt has geothermal, wind, solar & two water sea sources to develop much more water than ever for diversification. Water originally comes from Ethiopia's mountains. Dams work by sending water downstream. This Minister should be replaced for lack of technical knowledge. Climate change will raise water levels. Britain has no legal right to give away Ethiopia's water any more than they can give away Colorado River water to Mexico. Britain meddled too much in Africa and other nations. Egypt has huge potential for growth and regional leadership. Israel used desalination to irrigate their dry land into lush agriculture. More profit and less water than cotton. Treaty signed and this Minister must think "technology and progress".
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Kristian P. Olesen
30-03-2015 09:32am
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Water Technology specialist
One must allways look for the best and most economical option for getting the required amount of water. From the cheapest Nile water to the most expensive reverse osmosis. But for Egypt it is properly a good option to get all the Nile countries to optimize their use of the Nile water. By using the NanoClay Technology all the countries will have a surplus compare to todays situation of 66+% before one starts the expensive reverse osmosis systems of course with the solar power the economy is a bit better.

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