Egypt is facing the water crisis nowadays: Egyptian officials say they currently have about 570 cubic meters (150,000 gallons) of water per person per year – hydrologists consider the country as facing water scarceness if supplies fall lower than 1,000 cubic meters per person per year. Industrial development also threatens the quantity and quality of water supplies in Egypt, exacerbating the existing issue of shallow groundwater pollution from synthetic chemicals and improper use of fertilizers and pesticides. The United Nations predicts that Egypt could be water scarce by 2025 (“Egypt’s Water Crisis”).
Assuming sustained population growth and considering desert land reclamation projects and the fact that more than 50 percent of cereals consumed are already imported, Egypt is unable to satisfy its food demand by relying on irrigation water from the Nile (Radwan, 129). To overcome the shortage, the government relies on water reuse techniques, particularly for irrigation. However, local users in Egypt are unlikely to allow the reuse of wastewater for domestic use, let alone for drinking purposes.
Moreover, it is not practical to use such treatment methods. In addition, inadequate treatment and reuse of treated water of low quality can lead to soil pollution, as well as contamination of the surface water and groundwater (Wagdy).
I think that IWSH should partner with MANTECH Inc., a Canadian company distributed in Egypt that specializes in manufacturing innovative water quality analysis systems that help industrial facilities, laboratories and utilities deliver clean, safe water and protect the environment. I suppose that the partnership should start with discussing Egypt’s wastewater treatment and discharge, and how to lessen the degradation of lakes’ water quality caused by the discharge.
Both companies should commit themselves to expanding the use of natural methods like wetland and soil aquifer treatment techniques, which are proven to be highly productive and cost-effective. By helping to improve irrigation and agricultural practices, they can help close supply and demand gaps. In some cases, the ability of farmers to provide food and fiber to a growing world has been undermined by prodigious irrigation practices intended for an earlier period (Walton). Addressing pollution, improving distribution infrastructure, holistically managing ecosystems, improving water catchment and harvesting, recycling wastewater would be the steps to prolong water sufficiency in Egypt. Additionally, dealing with the coming era of water scarcity would entail a significant overhaul of all forms of use, from individual usage to large corporate supply chains, such as El Sewedy Electric Co, which manufactures and sells integrated energy products and services in seven energy segments.
I would also endorse looking out for startups, because nowadays they can be effective and not too expensive. There is a great startup company named Altered, they make products, such as nozzles that reduce water usage by 98%. They constantly improve and develop their products to make them better and reach a wider audience, so it would be great for IWSH to partner with them to provide their products to Egyptian households, and thus lessen the water usage. Another startup company is Solar Water Solution, a Finnish company that recently installed Namibia’s first solar-powered desalination facility, plagued by drought. The startup has built the only desalination plant requiring zero maintenance costs, because it is run entirely on solar power with no batteries required (Marc, “The Quest for Clean Water”). The plant is capable of providing an outstanding drinking content of over 10,000 liters of water per hour, according to WHO requirements, and the water can be used for irrigation purposes, too (Marc, “The Quest for Clean Water”).
Holding Company for Water and Wastewater is a part of the Egypt’s Government Industry, which is responsible for water and wastewater treatment operations at its subsidiaries in Egypt. The company offers drinking water treatment and wastewater disposal services, and provides drinking water purification, desalination, and distribution; wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal; and sludge treatment services. IWSH and HCWW could think about strategies for usage of emerging technology for irrigation in desert areas, desalination of groundwater and brackish, or utilization of groundwater for artificial fishponds. With the partnership of both companies, the sanitation strategy for Egypt could include three elements: a) a link to adequate wastewater treatment for clusters of towns and villages; b) a linkage to an intermediate collection system with primary treatment; and the possibility of a connection to a local wastewater treatment plant; and c) local sanitation (“Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Programme”). Additional important factor helping awareness of sanitation in Egypt is hygiene promotion. There is a possibility to develop an integrated approach to hygiene promotion with local government institutions (“Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Programme”)
There is a danger that Egypt will see changes in its water supply source, which up to now has been supplied to 95 per cent of the river Nile. This is due to the construction of the Renaissance Dam project in Ethiopia, as well as the challenges of climate change. This opens up a market opportunity for business establishment within alternate water supply sub-sectors such as groundwater, irrigation, and seawater desalination. With the recent development of the Ethiopian Dam and a growing understanding of climate change, the government of Egypt has been providing a number of long-term plans for future water supplies, including a sufficient budget for public private partnerships, thus IWSH can certainly be a perfect potential partner.