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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 383; doi:10.3390/su8040383

Issues and Challenges in Spatial and Temporal Water Allocation in the Nile Delta

1
Alterra, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Central Directorate for Water Resources, National Water Resources Unit, c/o Ministry of Water resources and Irrigation, Corniche El Nil, Imbaba, 12666 Giza, Egypt
3
Irrigation & Hydraulics Department of the Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, 1 El Sarayat Street, Abbasseya, 11566 Cairo, Egypt
4
Planning Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Imbaba, 12666 Giza, Egypt
5
Water Resources Management Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [208 KB, uploaded 19 April 2016]

Abstract

“Egypt is a gift of the Nile,” wrote Herodotus, and indeed, without the Nile there would be no Egypt as the world knows it. Egypt is mainly dependent on the flow in the Nile River (with an agreed share of 55.5 BCM) and it receives about 1.3 BCM rainfall annually (mainly along the north coast). The overall water use efficiency is already high, due to e.g., water scarcity and reuse of drainage water. Egypt’s water resources are managed by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), with agriculture as by far the largest user of irrigation water, with a share of about 85%. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the major issues and challenges in the spatial and temporal allocation of water, in relation to a free cropping pattern and the characteristics of the irrigation system. We conclude that the current world-wide call for “crop-demand-based precision irrigation supply” will not be easily attainable in Egypt. Instead, “water security” in the form of “guaranteed or agreed” water supply may be a preferred water allocation aim for various reasons, including lack of large storage possibilities, impossibility of fine-tuning supplies in the system, and the needed capacity to deal with (future) droughts. Although the paper concentrates on technical issues, it is increasingly realized that the challenges are not only of a technical nature and that there is a need for integration of policies as well as a need to establish effective science–business–policy interfaces at the national level. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation system; spatial and temporal water allocation; crop-demand-based water supply; drought; agriculture; integration of policies; water scarcity irrigation system; spatial and temporal water allocation; crop-demand-based water supply; drought; agriculture; integration of policies; water scarcity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolters, W.; Smit, R.; Nour El-Din, M.; Sayed Ahmed, E.; Froebrich, J.; Ritzema, H. Issues and Challenges in Spatial and Temporal Water Allocation in the Nile Delta. Sustainability 2016, 8, 383.

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