Institutional and Social Innovations in Irrigation Mediterranean Management
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ISIIMM project: Case studies synthesis - Egypt

  • Author : ISIIMM Egypt
  • Year : 2008
  • Language : English
  • Type :    report
  • Document ID :    634
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The River Nile is the main source of life in Egypt. It is the source of almost all fresh water in the country because about 95% of the fresh water available for all uses comes across this
source. The quota of water resources allocated for Egypt from all the Nile water resources is
fixed at 55.5 billion cubic meters annually according to the treaty of 1959 with Sudan. Other
water resources, whether conventional or non-conventional, including recycling of
agricultural drainage and waste water, “raised the whole water supplies to 72.15 billion m3 in
2000 and are likely to raise it to about 84.5 billion m3 in 2020” (Allam, 2001:584).
Cultivated lands in Egypt amount now to about 8.929 million feddans in both old and new
reclaimed lands. This area is distributed on around 3.718 millions of holdings (farms) with an
average farm size of 2.4 feddans. This aggregate area includes about 2.173 million feddans,
constituting about 227 thousand holdings in the new lands with an average farm size of 9.6
feddans (Agricultural Census: New Lands, 99/2000:2). However, the total area of reclaimed
lands reached about 3.24 million feddans during the period 1952 to 2003/2004 according to
CAPMAS (2005). Until the nineties of the last century they were almost all concentrated in
the fringe of the Nile Delta as shown in figure 1. Further, it is planned to add 3.4 million
feddans of reclaimed lands to agriculture by 2017 to meet the challenges of population
increase and consequent escalating demand on food and other agricultural products (Strategy
of Agricultural Development in Egypt until 2017, 2003, p. 31). These expected expansions
of cultivated lands impose further pressure on the limited water resources available now in

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EURO-MEDITERRANEAN Regional Programme for Local Water Management
ME8/AIDCO/2001/0515/59763-P 016
Agropolis, France