Egypt is constructing a huge water treatment plant to better face future threats of shortages, president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has said.
The development comes even as Ethiopia forges ahead with the construction of a mega hydro electric dam on River Nile which Egypt says will greatly affect its shares of the waters.
The move to build the water treatment plant is therefore seen as a strategy by Egypt to cushion itself in case of water problems in the future.
“We are only doing what we need to do so we can solve a potential problem,” said Sisi on state television.
“In order to use water efficiently, we are building a plant. We are aware (of every eventuality) and are prepared” to face them, he added.
Egypt relies almost totally on the Nile for irrigation and drinking water.It banks on treaties from 1929 and 1959 which grant it 87 percent of the Nile’s flow, as well as the power to veto upstream projects.
In November last year, Egypt called on the World Bank to intervene on the dam that is being built on the Nile.
Ethiopia maintains that the Grand Renaissance Dam’s construction will not reduce Egypt’s share of the river. It insists the dam is needed for development saying it will continue with its construction.
Once complete, the Grand Renaissance Dam will be the largest hydropower facility in Africa (about 6 000 MW) – nearly triple the country’s current electricity generation capacity – and represent a potential economic windfall for the government.
Egyptian has emphasized the need for reaching a fair deal on the Ethiopian dam saying its water rights and interests come first. Now in its seventh year of construction, The Ethiopian dam has faced a myriad of challenges but the country promises to soldier on with the project.
According to media reports, the Grand Renaissance Dam is almost 60% complete.