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Egypt's Nile quota too low: Minister

Spokesman at water resources ministry says Egypt requires extra 7 billion cubic metres of water than it takes from Nile River each year

Bassem Abo Alabass, Monday 14 Jan 2013
Views: 1169
Nile water
Egypt faces an annual 7 billion cubic meters of water (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s quota of water from the Nile River is not enough, a spokesperson at the water resources ministry told Ahram Online by phone on Monday.

Khaled Wassif confirmed what Water Resources Minister Mohamed Bahaaeddin said on Saturday in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Wassif told Ahram Online that Egyptians currently consume roughly 62 billion cubic metres of water per year from the Nile River, but the official quota is 55.5 billion cubic metres.

“We are handling the 7 billion cubic metres gap in annual water consumption through water-recycling methods,” he explained.

In May 2012, the Egyptian National Planning Institute stated that Egypt would need nearly 50 per cent more Nile water by 2050 to cater for an estimated population of 150 million people.

According to Xinhua, Bahaaeddin repeated Egypt’s refusal to sign the Entebbe agreement with the Nile Basin countries regarding the reallocation of Nile water.

“The Entebbe agreement is useless without the signatures of Egypt and Sudan,” the State Information Services has quoted the minister as saying telling Xinhua.

Egypt is a member in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), a partnership of Nile states aiming to share the river's socio-economic benefits and promote regional security.

Nine countries are involved in the initiative: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bahaaeddin said the Egyptian government was looking forward to the partnership with Ethiopia regarding the $4.1 billion-Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region, which will be completed by 2015 and generate 6000 mega watts of electricity.

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15-01-2013 03:09pm
Rationality in resource sharing
For years the Nile water abundantly and unfairly used by two countries only, especially by Egypt ignoring the upstream countries. This time for sure is , over and over. Do you expect Mr. minister Egypt should live at the expense of poor Ethiopian who are witnessing the water resources at their gate but not able to use it. This seems snatching his bread to sustain another life. Is it a question of whose live is greater than others?? I think fairly speaking nobody's life is higher than the other life. The best thing for the circumstance is to come to the table for genuine discussion and no wants confrontation. If it comes at the last resort nobody will retreat, and the result would be disaster for both. Come to your sense Mr. minister!
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14-01-2013 11:27pm
Water is more precious than oil
Maybe the best strategy is to become more efficient in the recycling process. By recycling water, Egypt will be able to sustain itself. Additionally, Egypt needs to make sure that its agricultural industry is extremely efficient in its use of water. The big problem is the growth in population. First it will be the water that is under pressure, and next will be more and more resources. There needs to be a push for people to stop having all these kids. Egypt needs a 2 child policy.
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15-01-2013 06:20pm
200 percent right
You said: "...Egypt needs a 2 child policy." And you are 200 percent right! To put children in this world means to carry responsibility for them and their future. But this word seems to be a foreign word to so many people... From where the work, the bread, the school places (and of course clean water) etc. will come from in the future? In the rural areas there are already unemploymentrates from about 50 percent... Responsibility is also the magic word with all the natural resources. Isn't this written in Quran??? This country will implode sooner or later. Not any word about this from the actual government...

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