Egyptian Minister of Housing Assem al-Gazzar announced on Sunday that his ministry has set up a plan to rationalize water consumption and maximize the use of available water resources, as part of government efforts to preserve Egypt's drinking water.
The minister explained that the plan includes the provision of alternative sources of drinking water, through desalination of water in the coastal governorates, and establishing stations for the extraction of underground water.
The plan also seeks to minimize drinking water losses in all areas, through rationalization of water consumption and the use of special pieces on taps to save water, alongside developing a plan to educate citizens to rationalize consumption.
Another facet of the plan is re-using treated wastewater in some crops, through expanding the construction of sewage treatment plants in Upper Egypt and raising the efficiency of treatment plants.
Twenty-three desalination plants are in construction, in addition to 58 existing ones, he pointed out. Gazzar explained that 26 wastewater treatment plants have been completed in Upper Egypt and 26 other plants are being constructed, to be completed by the end of 2019.
Gazzar said that a document was signed to rationalize water consumption, which includes all ministries with their affiliated institutions, to implement technology produced by the Arab Organization for Industrialization to save water consumption.
He explained that this technology works with water flow control technology and pressure controls. This cutting-edge technology has been tested in some government institutions and utilities, and results showed it saved about 45 percent of consumption.
Gazzar said that the Ministry of Housing is cooperating with some private sector companies in establishing agricultural projects or forests irrigated from treated wastewater.
He mentioned examples of economically beneficial crops such as the cultivation of mahogany trees for use in the wood industry, used in the manufacture of home furniture.
Gazzar pointed out that there is a pilot farm in al-Jabal al-Asfar, with an area of 300 feddans that is being irrigated with treated wastewater produced from the al-Jabal al-Asfar treatment plant, which will cultivate of many trees, including trees for wood, oil trees for bio-fuels, and medicinal oil trees.