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Egypt And Water Crisis Issues

4592 words (18 pages) Essay in Environmental Sciences

11/05/17 Environmental Sciences Reference this

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Water is an essential resource that humans demands on In order to live, some countries are affected by the water crisis due to three important resources the scarcity of usable water, drought, and water pollution. Egypt faces water crisis mainly water pollution, which is one of the major problem facing the global circumstance, one of the causes to the water pollution problem is that it is not actually illegal to dump pollutants into water bodies. (Caroline, 2009)

In my research paper I will be explaining why was Egypt hit by water crisis describing its causes, effects, and solutions, I will also be using four types of methodology descriptive, statistical descriptive, analytical, and data.

Egypt has signed an agreement with other 10 countries to share the Nile river water that provides fresh water for agriculture, industry and human consumption. Egypt not like any other country which is located at the end of the river system allows it exploit massive control over how countries up-stream uses the Nile’s water resources. Due to the high growth of population and climate change the share of water will be reduced. (Cathcart, 2007)

Another problem that Egypt might be facing soon is the share of water between Egypt and the Nile basin states. In the beginning of 2010, several states that are located on the Nile River signed an agreement among them for a redistribution of Nile waters, and by that they threatened Egypt’s uneven share based on previous treaties. In Egypt’s poor areas people travel a really long distance to just get clean water and when they get there they maybe shortage of water so they will start fighting over the clean water .(barsoum, 2007)

Body

Several facts that have hit Egypt with water crisis first of all Egypt maintain legal and political position on Nile water crisis. The main objective of the study is to analyze the crisis of the Nile Basin, and its effect on Egypt. As it, influence the relation between the ten countries falling aside the Nile River.

Literature review

Eleiba, 2011 explained the new agreement for the redistribution of the Nile water signed by several Nile basins countries. By this new agreement they threatened Egypt’s uneven share based on previous treaties. Participant states argued the need for a greater share of Nile waters to drive domestic development. Egyptian prime mister of irrigation and water resources also said at the time that there must be consensus among all Nile states to amend any standing arrangement. Upon the new agreement that was signed Egypt and Sudan weren’t involved and it was a shock for the prime minister because the agreement put an end to the assurance of signatory states towards Egypt. Egypt sent a report to the national security agency and the ministry of foreign affairs to aid us on this false agreement that Egypt didn’t sign to but unfortunately no action was taken. But Egypt’s legal advisor moahamed sameh amr said that they had more than one problem blocking the accomplishment of the framework agreement by foundation countries without the contribution of Egypt and Sudan. Both counties maintain the old status quo of them using the biggest percentage of the water as stipulated in two colonial agreements they signed with the British in 1929 and 1959. Egypt has a right to use about 75 percent of the water while Sudan has 11 percent and the rest of the seven countries share 14 percent. (Eleiba, 2011)

After that we will see that Water pollution in Egypt reached complex stage, a report by the Egyptian ministry of environment has indicated that Egypt had reached a drinking water pollution problem which is a complex stage. This resulted from the Nile river which suffered from pollution particularly from canals branching from it, these pollution are caused by swage from cities, towns and, epically from direct and indirect waste produced factories, Egyptian ministry of environment stated that there was lack of cleanliness services over the past years. The problem of water pollution is very complex due to including the lack of enormous investments to get rid of pollution, plus wide number of laws and bodies organization water resources has blocked solution to the problem. (George, 2009)

The drought problem now according to Ibrahim Abou Ouf, an Egyptian Member of Parliament, Egypt will face severe water shortages by the year 2025 and portrayed the crisis as a possible drought, the Water Research Center of Egypt announced

The report which was issued by the Egypt’s Water Research center stated that 60% of farms would not be receiving any water due to the limiting of water supplements.

Increasing pollution will be one of the main reasons of the shortage of water facing Egypt. The rapid increase in population in Egypt, moreover miscarriage, absence of good management of water distribution and water pollution will be expected as the main reasons for the shortage. During the summer of 2010 Egyptians take to streets to protest water crisis (Ouf, 2007)

The methodology included in this paper is descriptive which describes the causes of water crisis in Egypt and the agreements with the Nile basin countries. Second type of methodology is statistical descriptive I will be using indicators to show the economic effects of the water crisis on the Egyptian economy. Third type of methodology is analytical I will analyze the impact of the water crisis and how it influences the potentials of the Egyptian economy and discussing different solutions. The fourth type of methodology is data where the total consumption of water in Egypt has risen to 17%, the share of Egypt they consume 55.5 billion Cubic meters of waters year

the main problem is people consider the water when it is being polluted that it is spoiled by anthropogenic which is effected by human activity or does not contain the support of human use, we have other sources that cause to water pollution like storms, volcanoes and earthquakes these phenomena changes the quality and the ecological status of the water.

We have two types of water that they are likely to be contaminated but they are naturally, the first type is surface water consists of the rivers, lakes, and oceans covering most of the earth’s surface. The second type is groundwater which is considered a pristine resource has been shown to be subject to considerable contamination from toxic chemicals. Groundwater is water beneath the earth’s surface in soils or rocks, or in geological formations that are fully saturated. Some contamination maybe be considered accidental the product of unintended and unexpected waste migration to water supplies, a portion of the contamination was deliberate. Watercourses were simply a convenient place to dump municipal or private swage and industrial wastes. Along the shoreline of many lakes or rivers, pipes dumping human or industrial wastes directly into the water a common occurrence before laws limiting this activity were enacted ad enforced.

Water crisis hits Egypt due to two main things water pollution and drought, I will give an example about how water is being polluted in Egypt In one of the articles that I found is talking about the lake temsah in suez . Lake Temsah is at a point where nearly all the waste waters are discharged like public agriculture and industrial this lake is connected to the Suez Canal and of course by that we will see that petroleum oil will be passed that are being produced by the Arab gulf to the rest of the world. The Temsah Lake is a major source of fishing because it serves the area of Ismailia which is a tourism site where the industries flourishes. There have been many complaints and it caused a great affect to the fishing and the tourism industries due to the high level of pollution happening to the lake. For the people living in Brulus on the Nile delta they only have a large puddle of drinking water which is contaminated, fury and desperation took place in Brulus and they went to the streets protesting about the contained water, one of the protestors said “We have to use this water, we have no choice. Dead dogs and donkeys are thrown into this water. It’s very dirty yet. We use it for drinking, to wash our clothes and dishes.” According to the UN tens of thousands of people die each year in Egypt from water borne diseases or dehydration. Not only people are suffering from water even the crops they are dying from thirst, the farmers are not producing enough crops and it puts the farmers in a critical situation which they are falling in debt due to bad harvest, farmers can’t sleep at night because of thirst and they have no option except to ask God for help. One of the parliament members Hadeen Sabbahi said: “There is a hidden and ignored thirst problem in Egypt. The protests here brought light to the problem. “How can a country that has the Nile River suffer like this? A glass of clean water is a basic right of all citizens.” (barsoum, 2007)

Now I will shift to the drought problem When the high damn was first bulit in 1964. After 6 years the reservior called lake nasser was full. A predict of 90,000 people were put out of place and more than 5,000 square kilometers of land was flooded. The only everlasting grazing areas of the Ababda and the Besharin were gone under water and the remains of their lands have suffered from a decade’s long drought. This lead to a decrease in the wealth of the bedouin and the Ababda and the Besharin were one of poorest people in Egypt. In 2007 the Egyptian government and the World Food Program started agricultural projects to present the bedouins an option to life in the desert.

The drought problem now according to Ibrahim Abou Ouf, an Egyptian Member of Parliament, Egypt will face severe water shortages by the year 2025 and portrayed the crisis as a possible drought, the Water Research Center of Egypt announced

The report which was issued by the Egypt’s Water Research center stated that 60% of farms would not be receiving any water due to the limiting of water supplements. The factors causing this drought is the Increasing pollution will be one of the main reasons of the shortage of water facing Egypt. moreover miscarriage, absence of good management of water distribution and water pollution will be expected as the main reasons for the shortage. (ouf, 2007).

The citezines living in poor area could not take it any more so it lead the to protest in the streets. On the 28th of July 2010 there were thousands of people protested in Cairo upon the government to try to make the government aware of the severe water crisis that is affecting the livelihoods. We will find that the water consumption has increased over time and the reason behind this is the irrigation method these protest are some ways the government’s reluctance to relinquish its current share of River Nile water.

There were other cities also included in the protest such as minya there were 600 people went and sat in front of the irrigation ministry in Cairo due to the lack of water they are facing. During the previous years there have been protest about the shortage of water but in 2010 it has been more extraordinary. One engineering student from Cairo college riad aldamk was working on a project and he said that “Egypt’s total water consumption had increased by 17% in the last five years, according to studies conducted by the college. Hotter summers were partly to blame.”

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) also stated that by 2017 we will face a massive decline of 15.2billion cubic meters from a required 86.2 billion cubic meters to a projected 71.4 billion cubic meters. Egypt consumes 700 cubic meters of water per year and the average consumption of the 15 countries is 1000 cubic meter, the CAMPAS also said that the loss of water comes from agriculture and the blame goes to the irrigation method because they lose about 8-17 billion cubic meter of water per year which is enormous. To help the irrigations system the Egyptian government went on an agreement with the water user association (WUA). During 1984 the water user association (WUA) was established and is one of the measures associated with the IIP project. The irrigation improvement project (IIP a major nation-wide program accepted out by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the USAID, World Bank and other donors since 1984. Their job is to improve the efficiency of the water and farms level. This program aims to save freshwater by reducing losses on farm level. The WUA also helps the farmers to be involved on how to improve water delivery system and of course that requires them to play a role to ensure efficiency operation and maintenance. The Egyptian government issued law 213 in 1994 where WUAs were defined as ‘legal private organizations at the mesqa level in the improved irrigation systems, owned and operated by their members for their own benefit in the old lands’. The same also introduced the Water Users Unions, (WUUs) which are applicable for the New Lands. The WUA and the IIp are related together and by that they have certain functions.

The main functions of WUAs as described within the IIP are:

Participation in planning, design, and construction of improved mesqas.

Operation, maintenance, and follow-up of the improved mesqas.

Improvement of water use activities on the mesqa level.

Identification of roles and responsibilities of the mesqa’s head and setting up rules to resolve conflicts.

Establishment of linkages for coordination with other agriculture and irrigation concerned agencies.

Establishment of linkages for coordination with other WUAs.

Development of financial resources in order to improve operation and maintenance.

Participation with higher-level organizations of the branch canal and cooperation with the district engineer.

Water pollution in Egypt reached complex stage, a report by the Egyptian ministry of environment has pointed out that Egypt had reached a drinking water pollution problem. This resulted from the Nile river which suffered from pollution particularly from canals branching from it, these pollution are caused by swage from cities, towns and, epically from direct and indirect waste produced factories, Egyptian ministry of environment stated that there was lack of cleanliness services over the past years. The problem of water pollution in is very complex due to including the lack of enormous investments to get rid of pollution, plus wide number of laws and bodies organization water resources has blocked solution to the problem. (Aldamk, 2010).

Egypt the Nile basin, though, is in the trusteeship of 11 civilizing and ethnically various African nation states, four of which (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda), have very serious national interests tied up in the river. The river Nile flows in Egypt through Lake Nasser, an artificial lake created by the building of the Aswan High Dam., Egypt’s capability to manage the annual flooding of the lower Nile river valley through the building of dams and the construction of irrigation systems. Due to global climate change by the year 2020 around 250million people are to be exposed to water shortage Local food supplies are predictable to be negatively precious by decreasing fisheries resources in large lakes due to rising water temperatures, which may be exacerbated by continued over-fishing. Towards the end of the 21st century, projected sea-level rise will affect low-lying coastal areas with large populations. The cost of adaptation could amount to at least 5-10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (Cathcart, 2007)

Another problem that Egypt might be facing soon is the share of water between Egypt and the Nile basin states. An emerging water crisis is emerging between the 10 Nile Basin countries depends on the 6741kilometre stretch Nile River; Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.

In 1999, The Nile Basin countries created the NBI Nile Basin Initiative. Consequently, many disputes created between Egypt and Sudan occurred. Besides, there were many challenges from the other countries on the validity of the agreement. The other countries argue that the agreement was not fair, and that it was assigned during a colonial period, but now Africa is independent. Now, Egypt and Sudan did not want to join the agreement with the other countries. Besides, five countries (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania) signed an agreement in May without the rest of countries. However, the rest of the countries do not depend on the Nile, but for Egypt and Sudan, the Nile River considered their whole life. From here, the disputes emerged. However, the countries signed the agreement and trying it begins it. Besides, they gave the other countries -Egypt, Sudan, Burundi, and Democratic republics Congo-a chance one year in order to join the agreement. Nevertheless, this agreement needs a minimum of six countries to sign. Thus, Democratic Republic Congo and Burundi seemed to be silent about what they plan, but Egypt and Sudan disagreeing about this agreement. In addition, the minister of water Kamal Ali Muhamed decided to stop the cooperation with the NBI as a result of the agreement. (E. Sokari, July 2010)

The Nile River is about 3.35 million KM2. Agriculture is the main activity for the people in the Nile Basin. Most of the people in the upper and lower Basin were pastoralist. The upper riparian included Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo that they have a small use of the Nile as well as generate a hydro-electric power. But Egypt and Sudan located in the lower that used the river widely for irrigation and generate hydro electric power. The upper riparian supply the Nile Water to the lower riparian(K. Abraham, 1997).

Egypt considered one of the riparian that use the Nile River greatly. This is because of its historical, geographical and economic situations. Most of the Egyptian people are farmers so they depend on the Nile River in order to live and about 98% of the population lives in the Nile River. The Nile is considered the source of life for all Egyptian so; Egypt made good relations with Ethiopia because 86% of the Nile water originates in Ethiopia (K. Abraham, 1997).

After the 1929 agreement between Egypt and Britain, Egypt started to build a huge dam and barrages without asking the Upper riparian. Arsano stated that the Egyptian government desired to control the all the Nile water, during the 19th and the 20th century, by restoring the Nile water into the dams during the floods and this led to increase the security for permanent irrigation(K. Abraham, 1997).

After the 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan without including the other Nile Basin countries, Sudan get about 18.5 billion Cubic meters but Egypt get 55.5 billion Cubic meters of waters and the high Dam was build that helped in increasing the cropped areas by 103 million acres and helped in generating more hydro electric powers. After this agreement Egypt neglected the need of others upper riparian. Moreover, the new investment of Sinai and Khraga/Dakhala water creations projects were made without any discussions with the upper riparian. Egypt started to make more projects in Sinai and new artificial lakes which led the upper riparian to take actions to use the water of the Nile (K. Abraham, 1997).

The second country that uses the Nile water greatly is Sudan. Sudan started to build many dams to protect water for irrigation. In 1925, the first dam was build on the Blue

Nile in Sudan called Senna Dam and Jebel Awlia Dam was the second Dam was built on the White Nile in 1937. After the 1959 agreement, the Rosaries Dam was built on the Blue Nile, which helped in storing about 2.4 billion cubic meters km2. Moreover, in 1962, the Khasim-el Gerba Dam was founded and helped in increase the cultivated areas in Sudan (K. Abraham, 1997).

One of the main problems of conflict is associated with the equitable sharing of the resources of the Nile River water; Ethiopia is the supplier of the Nile River water but it used a very small share of it. K. Abraham stated that the other upper countries had the same problem as Ethiopia. On the other hand, Sudan considered itself as the main beneficiary of this water. It found that the use of the Nile river water did not depend on law but upper countries said that Egypt and Sudan supplied nothing of it but using most of it.

The upper riparian use a very small amount of the Nile River water although they are the suppliers of the Nile Water. Arsona stated that the Nile Basin upper countries want to use some of their resources of the Nile River water but the lower countries (Egypt and Sudan) are going to use more Nile water above their needs. Arsona stated that the water problem increased because of increasing the population rate sharply and each Nile Basin country want to use its water resource to the maximum. This level that each country needed are higher the level of available water resources. The lower riparian used about 65.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile water in the agriculture projects. This amount I 12.26 billion cubic meter more than the total available water resource in the Nile basin (K. Abraham, 1997).

According to Arsona ” This is a clear indication that when all riparian come up with their respective national water master plans the available water resources and national demands will be at irreconcilable variance.” (K. Abraham, 1997).

Growth of population is not only the main problem but it is one of the main factors, another other significant factor of this water issue that there is no a legal mechanism on the base of which water sharing could be made and regulated. The current agreements are bilateral as well as excessively support lower riparian. K. Abraham stated that the difficulty of the water issue of the using and sharing an equal amount of the Nile water (K. Abraham, 1997).

According to K. Abraham, “The difficulty of water problem is using and sharing an equal amount of the water; this amount is highlighted by a lot of agreement such as 1902 Anglo- Ethiopia agreement and the water agreement between Egypt and Sudan without Ethiopia in 1929 and 1959 and Ethiopia did not find an available amount of water to use. The increase in the population rate in the Nile Basin countries led to increase the pressure on the Nile water.” (K. Abraham, 1997).

Actions taken by Egypt In the beginning of 2010, several states that are on the Nile signed an agreement among them for a redistribution of Nile waters, and by that they threatened Egypt’s uneven share based on previous treaties. Participant states argued the need for a greater share of Nile waters to drive domestic development. Egyptian prime mister of irrigation and water resources also said at the time that there must be consensus among all Nile states to amend any standing arrangement. Upon the new agreement that was signed Egypt and Sudan weren’t involved and it was a shock for the prime minister because the agreement put an end to the assurance of signatory states towards Egypt. Egypt sent a report to the national security agency and the ministry of foreign affairs to aid us on this false agreement that Egypt didn’t sign to but unfortunately no action was taken. But Egypt’s legal advisor moahamed sameh amr said that they had more than one problem blocking the accomplishment of the framework agreement by foundation countries without the contribution of Egypt and Sudan. First of all the incomplete agreement between the Nile basin countries since the they didn’t not meet legal requirements, most importantly the text of Article 14b residues under discussion, which pertains to Egypt’s privileges to river water according to previous international agreements. Authorized committees had agreed to follow a consensual not a mainstream decision-making model, as is the rule for adopting resolutions. Most importantly the agreement was signed and this leads to a clear contravention of standing rules since it was opened for signatures before reaching consensus. The fact that some source countries have already signed unilaterally is a breach of procedure. Amr has stated I an important question: “How can we reach out to these countries at a time when they are drafting agreements against Egypt’s interests? This cooperation will not be fruitful because of them.” concerning the legal consequence of source countries unilaterally signing the agreement without upriver states, Amr clarified that according to international law the agreement is not obligatory except for on its signatories, and that they alone are responsible for its stipulations. This means that legal action is confined to the signatories and anyone else is considered a third party, even if they had participated in the negotiation process. At the same time other countries cant cross the line of the international rules before notifying any development project they are willing to make therefore Egypt must take notice or be consulted before any country of upper river are willing to take action. The director of the centre for African studies and research has stated that the relation between the source countries and the other country that are upriver in particularly Egypt is fractured. He also added that Ethiopia has played an aggressive role and despite of Cairo’s policies it will be hard to change this role. The Ethiopians regularly maintain Egyptian imperialism.

Conclusion:

In my point of view water pollution cannot be solved if they have found one it would be that much of a problem or Hassel, the Egyptian government has taken the aid of the water user association (WUA) in order to improve the management of water distribution and the failure of the agriculture and irrigation system by doing only this step we can solve water crisis in Egypt because the irrigation system wastes about 8-17 billion cubic meter of water a year and the Egyptian government consumes 55 billion cubic meter of water per year. In order to make some different in this prospective we have 3 major categories education, laws and economics.

By education u make people aware by the problem and how they can try to solve it. Like in Britain when they suffered from catching illness from polluted water and they formed and organization called surfers against sewage to make the government and water companies to work and clean up. By law the government has to put rules against polluters and sanctions against factories that produce pollution and each country should have a certain amount of pollution it should produce. By economics they all think in economics the best way to fight pollution is to do something called polluter pays principles its exactly the same like laws who ever creates pollution should pay for it and to clean up for what he did.

Outline

Introduction

Literature review

Water pollution

Causes of water pollution and drought in Egypt

Effects of water pollution and droughts in Egypt

Solutions to water pollution and drought in Egypt

Conclusion

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