First Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Ragab Abdel-Azim at the 4th Session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers - Press photo
CAIRO - 14 October 2018: Egypt adopted a four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity that resulted from climate change and the increased consumption, said First Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Ragab Abdel-Azim.
This came during Abdel Azim's speech at the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, held on Sunday, Oct. 14 on the sidelines of the First Cairo Water Week.
Egypt’s 2050 strategy boils down to improving water quality, developing water resources, rationalizing consumption and creating a good environment to implement this strategy, he added in the speech that was given on behalf of Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Atti.
Egypt suffers a water shortage crisis amid an increasing consumption rate, he added, noting that 79 percent of Egypt’s resources come from outside its borders.
Abdel Azim said that the country has taken several steps to start implementing this strategy via reducing rice cultivation areas by more than 30 percent.
On May 21, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified new amendments to Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966, per which the government will determine the areas to cultivate certain water-intensive crops, such as rice and sugarcane, amid the water shortage crisis in order to rationalize water usage.
The deputy minister said that Egypt also focused on using solar energy in irrigation systems, adding that the Egyptian government signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on using solar-powered irrigation systems in sites depending on underground water.
Egypt’s first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Sunday, Oct 14 under the auspices of President Sisi, aiming at increasing public awareness of water rationalization for sustainable development amid a state of water shortage.
The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater.
In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.