Although Egypt’s per capita share of water declined to 570 m3 per year in 2018, the per capita average of produced pure water rose 8.6 percent in 2018, said the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Monday.
In the annual bulletin of drinking water and sanitation statistics in 2016/2017, CAPMAS said the per capita share reached 112.1 m3/year in 2017/2018, comparedto 103.2 m3/year in 2017/2016.
CAPMAS announced an increase in the total quantity of produced pure water by 9.9 percent in 2017/2018 as it reached 10.8 billion cubic meters, comparing to 9.8 billion meters.
The agency attributed the increase of produced water to the increasing number of different water stations; the number of pure water stations produced from surface water (Nile River) is 1,101 plants, producing 9.7 billion m3. Meanwhile, pure water stations produced from wells water reached 1618, producing 1.1 billion m3. Desalination water stations reached 44, producing 0.5 billion m3.
Despite the government’s efforts to save every drop of water as the country faces water scarcity, 98.4 million Egyptians still live under the poverty water line by 50 percent, below the international line of 1,000 m3.
Egypt suffers from an annual 21 billion cubic meters gap between water consumption and production. The consumption reached 110 billion cubic meters, while Egypt currently has 60 million cubic meters annually, announced Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atti in October 2018.
To mitigate water shortage, the government increased the number of treated sewage water stations by 3.8 percent to rise to 432 in 2017/2018 from 416 stations in 2016/2017, the bulletin said, adding that the quantity of water produced from treated sewage reached 4.6 billion m3 last year, comparing to 4.3 m3 in the previous year.
Last year, Egypt announced the construction of the largest sewage water treatment plant to face water shortage that could affect around 0.5 million people in Sinai.
Egypt has entered into a diplomatic and political battle with some Nile basin countries over its share of the Nile water. The disagreement started in 2010, when five Nile basin countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda) signed the Entebbe Agreement, per which the two 1929 and 1959 deals conducted during British colonization can be relinquished.
The two deals had allocated 80 billion cubic meters of Nile water to Egypt (55.5 billion), and Sudan (18.5 billion); they also granted Egypt the right to veto against projects that can be established in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan that may cause harm to its share.
Moreover, Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. The tributary feeds 80 percent of the Nile’s water to downstream states.