An Economic Study of Water Scarcity in Egypt and How to confront it
Keywords:Water Scarcity, water poverty, The Renaissance Dam
A drop of water equals life. Therefore, the problem of the study lies in the low water share of Egypt, which in turn affects the Egyptian agricultural sector. This is in addition to the decrease in the per capita share of water, which reached the level of water poverty amounted to about 500 m3. The study conspicuously aims to identify the size of the Egyptian agricultural sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product and foreign trade, and its role in food security and the provision of raw materials for various industries. This is in addition to studying the factors that lead to the growth of the phenomenon of water poverty, as well as trying to address the most important proposed solutions to confront it and study the potential repercussions of building the Renaissance Dam Egypt's share of the water.The study showed that during the sixties, agricultural foreign trade constituted most of Egypt’s trade. Then, its role began to decline with the increase in exports from other industrial sectors until Egypt became an importing country for most of the main food commodities, especially wheat, which led to a deficit in the Egyptian agricultural balance that amounted to about 9700 million pounds in 2000. Besides, it rose to about 30131 million pounds in 2010 and then to 89260 million pounds in 2018. The percentage of agricultural exports in relation to the total exports in 2014/2015 was about 22.8%, declining to about 18.7% in 2017/2018. The study concluded some of the factors that lead to the growth of water poverty in Egypt and the most important solutions to confront it. The most important of these factors is the increasing population growth and the high demand for food, dependence on water-consuming crops
such as rice and sugar cane, “climate change and global warming, which leads to reducing the amount of water coming into Lake Nasser, decreasing rainfall in northern Egypt, the Renaissance Dam and its repercussions, the deterioration of water quality due to factory waste, fertilizer and pesticide residues, which make it difficult to reuse the water because it contains a high level of pollution. The study recommends decreasing the dependence on water-consuming crops and the cultivation of export crops that have the highest economic value and the least consumption of water. Replacing traditional methods with modern irrigation methods that save water and use it in horizontal expansion and line canals and drains, as well as renewing drinking water networks to eliminate the quantities of wasted water and maximize the use of groundwater, rain and reduce the risk of floods, adopting the concept of virtual
water when developing the future strategy for the agricultural sector, in order to adopt water-saving agricultural production systems.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.