Challenges and Opportunities in Egypt's Integrated Water Resources Strategyby Mona El-Kady,
Abstract: Egypt's Nile irrigation system is a very complicated, old operated, continuously expanding system. It may be also described as a highly productive irrigated agriculture system. In the near future, water availability will be a serious limiting factor due to the increase of population, the industrial development, and agriculture expansion. In the past, Egypt's irrigation system has been considered as a one-source system receiving its water as surface water from the Nile River. All management and operation policies and strategies were mainly considering only managing Nile water quantities. The issues of water quality and environment protection has received limited attention in the overall water resources planning and policies in Egypt. Lack of understanding of environmental conservation issues as well as lack of a relatively clear picture of the water quality situation in the country, are in part, a reason for this. Presently, Egypt's MPWWR through, the NWRC is targeting an integrated water resources strategy considering all sources of water including the Nile River (surface) water, or it is ground water, or it is drainage reuse water. The strategy should make sure of the optimum use of all the water resources in an integrated way. The integrated water resources strategy is counting on the management not only of water quantities but also water quality. It deals with providing the entire nation with its different needs of water for agriculture, industrial, municipals, navigation needs as well as conserving the environment. This paper will discuss the challenges and opportunities in developing and implementing the integrated water resources policies.
Subject Headings: Water resources | Water quality | Irrigation systems | Water conservation | Developing countries | Surface water | Irrigation water | Africa | Egypt | Nile River
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