In a desert country where 80,000,000 people are living off the water supplied by the river Nile… Egypt is facing a water crises.
The Nile has always been the life blood of Egyptian society and it’s importance can be dated back to the time of the Pharaohs.
Egypt gets almost all of its water from the Nile. The quality of the river water is seriously threatened by untreated industrial and agricultural wastes, sewage, and municipal waste-water. In addition, the Aswan High Dam, which was completed in 1970, has reduced the flow of the Nile and trapped the nutrient-rich silt, which once fertilized the country’s farmland, behind it.
To compensate for the loss of the silt, farmers make more use of chemical fertilizers, which add to the water pollution. To increase crop yields they use modern herbicides and pesticides, which also contribute to the pollution. Furthermore, the reduced flow of the river increases the concentration of pollutants in the remaining river water. The reduced amount of silt deposited in the Nile Delta has caused the delta to shrink, resulting in coastal erosion that threatens the lagoons that are important sources of fish. Finally, year-round irrigation, using the water impounded behind the Aswan High Dam, causes salts to accumulate in the soil, leading to the loss of some agricultural land.
Read More: Countries Quest
The Aswan Dam, completed in 1970 is being blamed for the loss of farmland, causing many traditional farmers to seek alternate employment in order to survive.
In a related story… Hundreds of people in the Egyptian town of Menoufia have fallen ill after drinking contaminated water raising further concerns over the Egyptian water crises.
Many experts from around the globe fear that water will become the “new oil”. Clean drinking water is a basic right and it has been speculated that wars will rage in the future over who owns the water supply.
In some parts of the world massive desalination plants are being built to meet the demands of an ever increasing population.
Egypt is expected to spend some $393.8m per year on building and operating desalination plants by 2016 according to Desalination Markets 2010.
Read More: Prlog.org