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
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.