Fourth Cairo Water Week kicks off on Sunday

Ahram Online , Mohamed Soliman , Sunday 24 Oct 2021

Egypt is set to launch on Sunday the fourth edition of Cairo Water Week (CWW), the annual event that aims to spread awareness on water issues and promote innovation to face the most pressing water-related challenges.

Sailboats championship
Sailing teams participating in the Martyr Zakaria Kamal Championship for Sailboats that kicked off in Egypt on Friday. The competition, which is part of the fourth edition of Cairo Water Week 2021, aims at spreading awareness among youth and children on the importance of the River Nile. (Photo: the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is due to deliver the opening speech of the event, which will run from Sunday to Thursday under the title "Water, Population and Global Changes: Challenges and Opportunities."

Hungarian President János Áder and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly will also address the CWW's attendees, according to the event agenda.

The five-day gathering is organised by the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources in cooperation with partners from regional and international organisations, as well as national institutions, authorities and ministries.

The irrigation ministry said a wide participation of ministers, official delegations and senior officials in the water sector will attend the occasion alongside host of scientists, representatives of international organisations and institutes and civil society organisations from different countries of the world.

An expo featuring modern irrigation technologies, smart irrigation and water reuse methods is scheduled to be held on the sideline of the event, with the participation of 34 companies.

The event also includes competitions to choose the best three-minute presentation of masters or PhD thesis, and the most innovative idea to rationalise water consumption.

Egypt, as one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, is paying special attention to water issues.

Egypt needs 114 billion cubic metres (bcm) annually, but it receives an average of only 60 bcm, mainly from the Nile River in light of the very limited amounts of rainwater and groundwater in the desert.

Egypt is working on filling the gap through the reuse of agricultural wastewater and groundwater, in addition to importing food products that would otherwise consume 34 bcm of water annually to produce.

In a previous statement by Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati, he explained that Egypt overcomes water scarcity by importing 54 percent of its virtual water, which is the embedded water required to produce commodities, and reusing 42 percent of renewable energy.

Egypt has drawn up a strategy for its water resources through 2050, at a cost of up to EGP 900 billion (about $57.3 billion), according to Abdel-Ati.

The strategy is based on a four-pronged National Water Resources Plan, which runs through 2037 and is based on rationalising water use, improving water quality, providing additional water resources and creating a climate suitable for optimal water management.

Many projects are being implemented to increase the capacity of the water system to deal with challenges, including wastewater treatment, seawater desalination, rehabilitation and lining of canals and switching from surface to modern irrigation systems in agriculture.

In September, Egypt inaugurated the Bahr Al-Baqar triple-treated water treatment plant in Port Said, at a total cost of a cost of EGP 20 billion (about $1.3 billion).

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