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Egypt approaching water scarcity line, Irrigation Minister warns

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Hani Sewilam said that the per capita share of water in Egypt has declined, approaching water scarcity, with a large gap between resources and needs.

Sewilam pointed out that the limited water resources and rising population’s needs are being dealt with through major projects to reuse agricultural wastewater, in addition to importing agricultural products.

These include relying on water desalination in agriculture, he noted, especially since the agricultural sector is considered the largest consumer of water resources, with the trend towards intensive food production using the same unit of water.

During his participation in the activities of the International Desalination Association Summit, held in Spain under the title “Water and Climate Change,” Sewilam said that the Middle East and North Africa region, especially Egypt, faces great challenges in the field of water.

Rising population needs

The population in this region increased from 100 million in 1960 to more than 450 million in 2018, he explained, and is expected to reach more than 720 million by 2050.

Sewilam said that about two-thirds of the region’s population lives in areas suffering from water stress, which is reflected in the high demand for water and the low citizen’s share of it.

He added that the Middle East and North Africa region has only one percent of renewable fresh water on the planet, making it the most water-stressed region in the world, as there are 14 countries out of 17 that suffer from the most water stress globally, making up the top six countries.

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