Innovative Adaptation Pilots:

Egypt

Increasing Water Efficiency through Drainage Water Reuse

As an arid country Egypt faces the challenge of meeting an increasing demand for water resources with a limited availability of freshwater. The pressure has been intensified by a high population growth and climate change will further exacerbate the vulnerability that results from water scarcity.


Objective

In its National Climate Change Adaptation strategy the reuse of drainage water was identified as one the most promising measures and is further explored in ACCWaM’s pilot project.

It pursues the objective of enhancing water resource efficiency through the re-use of drainage water for irrigation.

 

Implementation

The implementation of the pilot project takes place in the Damanhur Governorate in the northern Delta. In this area the farmers are constrained by a shortage of irrigation water and in response drainage water is unofficially pumped for irrigation.  This implies water quality problems and high energy consumption.

Addressing these shortcomings drainage water will be re-used by mixing it with fresh irrigation water under controlled conditions. The involvement of water user associations and responsible water authorities as well as technical and socio-economic studies ensure the consistency of the project. The experience at this site will be the basis for an upscaling strategy.

Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation is the main partner in this innovative adaptation measure. ACCWaM supports the planning, implementation and monitoring of the project. The Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) provides technical advice and strengthened as a regional advising institution in climate change adaptation.

 

Results & Impacts

The controlled re-use of drainage water for irrigation reduces the energy input and water quality concerns that arise from the unofficial drainage water usage. Increasing the discharge in the irrigation canals through reuse reduces the farmers’ vulnerabilities and contributes to distribution justice.

 

Expected outputs of the project are

  • A pumping station that adds drainage water to the irrigation canals increasing the water supply, securing adequate water quality, improving the water use efficiency and reducing energy consumption due to unofficial individual pumping.
  • Training workshops on operation and maintenance for employees who work with the pumps.
  • Guidelines for further upscaling of drainage water reuse based on monitoring and additional studies. As an arid country Egypt faces the challenge of meeting an increasing demand for water resources with a limited availability of freshwater. The pressure has been intensified by a high population growth and climate change will further exacerbate the vulnerability that results from water scarcity.

An agreement between the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) and ACCWaM has been signed on 16th May 2013 to formally state the common objective, the related activities and the respective responsiblities of the innovation pilot.

This timeline for the Egypt Innovation pilot summarises the preparations and implemented steps of the project.

 

Background Information:

Case Study ACCWaM Egypt (English)

KfW Climate Factsheet Egypt (German only)

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