Local authorities in Cairo launched on Wednesday an initiative to rationalize city residents’ water usage, claiming that inhabitants use too much water in the form of unnecessary spraying of streets and washing cars with excessive amounts of water in addition to ineffective irrigation procedures.
In a press statement, Cairo governor Atef Abdel Hamid warned against wasting water, pointing out that authorities will apply the law against violators.
Chairman of the Water and Sanitation Company notified the Cairo governor six months ago about the fact that the daily amount of water wasted in Cairo alone stands at about one million cubic meters, Abdel Hamid said.
“The amount of waste is very large at a time when we need every drop of water,” Abdel Hamid added.
“The total water share of Cairo governorate stands at 55 billion cubic meters per year since the revolution of 1952 when the [population] of Egypt was about 20 million citizens. We were rich at that time […] but now the per capita water share stands at 600 cubic meters per year,” said Abdel Hamid.
The average share of an individual must be limited to a maximum of 1000 cubic meters per year, he pointed out.
Abdel Hamid said that Egypt has now reached the stage of “water scarcity,” which is worse than “water poverty” the criteria for which is 800 cubic meters per year.
Local authorities in Egypt’s over 20-million strong capital have called on public institutions and the private sector to repair water faucets and monitor water waste. Authorities say that they will also take legal action against other forms of water waste criminalized by the law such as washing cars with excessive water and spraying streets with water. The two phenomena waste water and lead to the erosion of sidewalks and paved streets by time, he said, pointing out that water waste is punished by a fine ranging between LE5,000 to LE10,000 and, in some cases, imprisonment.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm