Effects of Climate Change on Egypt’s Water Supply

  • Gamal ElsaeedEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


Egypt is plagued by a water shortage as well as water resource management issues. Egypt, as a developing country, is at particular risk for being unable to provide clean drinking water and adequate sanitation systems for citizens, ensure sustainable irrigation, use hydropower to produce electricity, and maintain diverse ecosystems. The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency report notes that Egypt’s fresh water budget runs a deficit: supply, which comes from the Nile (95%), precipitation (3.5%) and ground water (1.5%) is less than current demand. Egypt has available fresh water reserves of 58 billion m3, but an annual water demand of about 77 billion m3. This deficit is met through recycling treated sewage and industrial effluent (four billion m3) and recycling used water, mainly from agriculture (eight billion m3). An additional four billion m3 is extracted from the shallow aquifer and three billion m3 comes from the Al Salam Canal Project. Egypt is therefore in a situation where it must plan for several different future scenarios, mostly negative, if climate change results in increased temperatures and decreased precipitation levels. Even in the absence of any negative effects of climate change, Egypt is dealing with a steady growth in population, increased urbanization, and riparian neighbors with their own plans for securing future water needs. All of these will require Egypt to put water resource planning as a top national security priority.


Egypt Climate change River Nile Water resources Nile basin 


  1. 1.
    Agrawala, Shardul, Moehner A, El Raey, My Conway D, Van Aalst M, Hagenstad M, Smith J (2004) Development and Climate Change in Egypt, Focus on Coastal Resources and the Nile, Working Party on Global and Structural Policies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Conway D (2005), from Headwater Tributaries to International River: Observing and Adapting to Climate Variability and Change in the Nile basin. Glob Environ Chang 15:99–114Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Egypt Second National Communication Report by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), May 2010Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hulme M, Conway D, Kelly PM, Subak S, Downing TE (1995) The Impacts of Climate Change on Africa, SEI, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kim U, kaluarachchi JJ, Smakhtin VU (2008) Climate Change Impacts on Hydrology and Water Resources of the Upper Blue Nile River Basin, Ethiopia, Research Report 126, International Water Management InstituteGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Strezpek KM, Yates DN, El Quosy DED (1996) Vulnerability Assessment of Water Resources in Egypt to Climate Change in the Nile Basin, Climate Research 6: 89–95Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Strezpek KM, Yates DN, Yohe G, Tol RJS, Mader N (2001) Constructing “Not Implausible” Climate and Economic Scenarios for Egypt, Integrated Assessment 2: 139–157, Integrated Assessment SocietyGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    UNEP (2005), Facing the Facts: Assessing the Vulnerability of Africa’s Water Resources to Environmental ChangeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, ShobraBanha UniversityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations