Country page

Droppy

Every country page is divided into several sections:

  • Origin: Where does the drinking water come from? What lakes or rivers are there? How often does it rain?
  • Availability: Does the country have plenty of drinking water or is it scarce?
  • Infrastructure: How widespread is access to safe drinking water and sanitation? What condition are pipes and sewers in?
  • Water usage: What is drinking water in this country used for? How much does every person use per day?
  • Projects: What projects regarding drinking water (supply or demand management) are planned, on-going or completed in this country?
  • Opportunities and threats: What are the biggest problems facing this country in the future? What is being done to solve them?
  • Norms and regulations: How is drinking water regulated? Are there efficiency standards for water-using appliances?
NextClose

Edit info

Droppy

Click on the Edit button to change the content of the page you're viewing.

PreviousNextClose

Add media

Droppy

When editing a page, you have the opportunity to upload photos, files (supported formats: PDF, .doc, .xls, .ppt) or embed videos you would like to share with others. Click on "Add new media" in edit mode to do so.

Please note: you must own the copyright or be allowed to upload the file for free use by others.

PreviousNextClose

Compare countries

Droppy

You can compare up to three countries at a glance by clicking on "Country Comparison".

PreviousCloseClose
 
 

Egypt

The Nile River is Egypt’s main freshwater source, supplying more than 50 billion cubic metres every year. This represents 97 per cent of the country’s renewable water resources, which stand at a total of 56.8 billion cubic metres per year 1.

Groundwater aquifers
Other freshwater sources are aquifers supplying groundwater, and precipitation along the Northern coast. The four major groundwater systems in Egypt are the renewable Nile Aquifer, Moghra Aquifer and Coastal Aquifer, as well as the non-renewable Nubian Sandstone Aquifer.

According to an Action Plan on Water Management by Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, municipal water is diverted from two sources: surface water which supplies about 83 per cent of total municipal demand; and groundwater, which supplies about 17 per cent 2.

Desalination in Egypt
Due to the high costs involved, desalination plays only a minor role in supplying water in Egypt.
Report Content

Does the country have plenty of drinking water or is it scarce?

Availability

Egypt is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world
Egypt has one of the lowest rates of internal renewable freshwater resources per person on the planet, according to the World Bank. In 2011, the rate was 23 cubic metres per person; it has been steadily declining since the 1980s 1.

Total freshwater withdrawal per person (at 973.3 cubic metres in 2000, the year with the latest available figures from Aquastat 2) exceeds total (internal and external) renewable freshwater availability per person (694.2 cubic metres in 2011)3. This means:
  1. Egypt is a water-scarce country with less than 1,000 cubic metres of renewable freshwater per person and year, according to a widely used United Nations indicator 4
  2. Egypt is dangerously close to (or has already started) overexploiting its water supply
  3. Water recycling is used to increase Egypt’s supply
Rainfall levels
Annual rainfall in Egypt averages about 18 mm. The northern coast receives about 150 mm of precipitation per year. In southern Upper Egypt, Sinai, and along the Red Sea coast rainfall may occur once every three years 5. Other sources, such as the World Bank, put average annual rainfall in Egypt at 51 mm 6. At any rate, with such little precipitation agriculture depends heavily on irrigation.

Due to its prohibitive costs, only a small part of Egypt’s water supply is provided by desalination. Most plants are located in tourism areas to supply water for holidaymakers. More desalination plants are planned along the Red Sea coast.
Report Content

How widespread is access to safe drinking water and sanitation? What condition are pipes and sewers in?

Infrastructure

According to WHO figures, in Egypt access to an improved water source was 99 per cent in 2011, while access to improved sanitation was 95 per cent 1.

Egypt’s water infrastructure
The Holding Company for Water and Waste Water provides some details about Egypt’s water distribution networks on its website: the network has 107,000 kilometres of pipes in total. There are 239 wastewater treatment plants. All affiliated companies together produce 25 million cubic metres of potable water per day, and serve 75 million citizens 2.

Water loss through leakage
The average leakage rate in Egypt was estimated to be 28 per cent in 2010. Average water loss per km of pipe the same year was relatively high at 39 cubic metres 3.
Report Content

What is drinking water in this country used for? How much does every person use per day?

Water usage

What projects regarding drinking water (supply or demand management) are planned, on-going or completed in this country?

Projects

Egypt is currently undertaking an Integrated Sanitation and Sewerage Infrastructure Project funded by a World Bank loan. The aim is to improve sanitation and wastewater collection, treatment and disposal in rural areas near the city of Alexandria.
    Report Content

    What are the biggest problems facing this country in the future? What is being done to solve them?

    Opportunities and Threats

    Plans to build a large Nile dam in Ethiopia have led to fierce verbal responses from the Egyptian government, which claims the country’s water supplies will be at peril if construction goes ahead.

    More people will need more water

    The pressure on Egypt’s already scarce water supplies is going to grow more intense. With a relatively fixed amount on the supply side, a growing population and rising urbanisation will lead to increased demand. According to government projections, population numbers will reach almost 100 million by 2025 1.

    Cutting food imports: requires more water for agriculture
    Egypt is the world's biggest wheat importer, and the government  would like to change this. More food should be grown in Egypt. However, this would require more water for agriculture - water that would be lacking elsewhere 2. This dilemma has not been addressed yet.

    Funding gap
    Government also expects water-related costs to triple in the next fifteen years, which will be too much for the public purse to cover 3. Hence there is a looming funding gap for investments in Egypt’s water infrastructure.

    Polluted water
    The quality of potable water is another reason for concern. In its Water Management Action Plan, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation points out that since agricultural drainage water is recycled and reused, and since many sanitation facilities are poorly developed, pollutants remain in the water 4.
    In the United Nation’s Human Development Report 2006, higher-than-expected incidence rates for diarrhoea and Hepatitis A in Egypt are blamed on pollution from untreated sewage spilling into the Nile 5.


    Report Content

    How is drinking water regulated? Are there efficiency standards for water-using appliances?

    Norms and Regulations

    Under the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement between Egypt and Sudan, Egypt's share of the Nile flow is set at 55.5 cubic kilometres per year while Sudan's is at 18.5 cubic kilometres per year.

      Report Content

      Authors

      17:25, 07 Jul 2014watersaving.comSwitzerland
      close

      Country comparison

       

      Add country