APA- Cairo (Egypt) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stressed on Saturday in Cairo that the flow of Nile water will be confined only inside the territory of Egypt and will never go beyond the country’s borders.
President Mubarak told reporters after inaugurating a key road in Cairo that he gave directives to the government for better use of water resources in the country and expanding sea water desalination projects.
Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif noted that his government had installed several projects to desalinate sea water in coastal governorates to save Nile water.
On the other hand, Housing Minister Ahmed Maghrabi said that about 11 water desalination stations will be inaugurated in coastal cities next year.
Experts expect Egypt’s water needs will exceed its resources by 2017 due to continuing rapid population growth.
Egypt’s water needs will reach 86.2 billion cubic meters in 2017, while its resources will not exceed 71.4 billion cubic meters. The population of Egypt is currently about 76 million people.
Egypt’s water resources amounted to 64 billion cubic meters in 2006, including 55.5 billion cubic meters, or 86.7 percent, from the Nile River.
It is expected that by 2017 the 80.5 percent of water resources in Egypt will come from the Nile River.
The country depends heavily on the river due to the scarcity of rainfall.
It should be recalled that since May 2010 five Nile Basin member states namely Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda have signed an agreement dubbed “Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework” to seek more water from the river.
The framework “establishes principles governing the use, management, development and conservation of the Nile Water resources and details the rights and obligations of Basin States.”
Egypt (55.5 billion cubic meters i.e. 75%) and Sudan (18.5 billion cubic meters i.e. 25%) oppose this agreement as they have the river’s lion share thanks to a 1929 agreement.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi are yet to take a stance regarding the controversy.