Egypt’s irrigation minister heads to US for UN 2023 Water Conference

Aya Salah , Monday 20 Mar 2023

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sewilam headed to the United States on Monday to participate in the UN Conference for the Midterm Review of the Water Decade, which is scheduled to be held in New York City 22 to 24 March.

Egypt to participate in the UN 2023 Water Conference on 22-24 March


Sewilem stated that Egypt’s participation in this “important” conference comes as part of its efforts to mobilise the international community to support water issues, given that the global water challenges negatively affect many countries worldwide, especially developing countries.

During the conference, Sewilam is scheduled to discuss the action plan of the Adaptation in the Water Sector initiative, which was launched by Egypt during the most recent UN Climate Conference (COP27).

The minister will also hold many bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference with ministers and senior officials from countries as well as regional and international organisations concerned with water.

The United Nations General Assembly declared in 2018 that 2018-2028 would be the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development.

In the mid-term review conference, which overlaps with World Water Day on 22 March, countries will review their progress in implementing the decade’s goals, identify the obstacles facing them and develop innovative ways to support their implementation.

Egypt, one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, is paying particular attention to water issues. It has held five editions of Cairo Water Week to address related challenges.

Egypt needs 114 billion cubic metres (bcm) annually, but it receives an average of only 60 bcm, mainly from the Nile River, in light of the minimal amounts of rainwater and groundwater in the desert.

Egypt is working on filling the gap by reusing agricultural wastewater and groundwater, in addition to importing food products that would otherwise consume 34 bcm of water annually to produce.

Egypt has drawn up a strategy for its water resources through 2050 at a cost of up to EGP 900 billion (about $57.3 billion).

The water issue is also included in its recently issued National Strategy for Climate Change 2050.

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