Egypt faces drinking water shortage because of Nile pollution

Posted in: Water Contamination
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Photo Credit: REUTERS/Nasser Nuri
A man collects water from a canal beside a dead donkey on the Nile Delta north of Cairo, March 18, 2008.

Article courtesy of Walaa Hussein | March 6, 2014 | ALMonitor | Shared as educational material

Nile water no longer meets cleanliness standards. Because of the Nile pollution crisis and its impact on drinking water, citizens are worried about the quality of their drinking water. Cleaning the Nile’s water requires opening up the valves and releasing extra water, especially during winter when the Nile’s water flow decreases. The Rosetta branch, which is one of the Nile’s two branches and passes through the Nile Delta down to the Mediterranean Sea, has the highest pollution level, with increasing concentrations of ammonia and dissolved salts. Low levels of water in the Nile, especially during winter when less water is discharged from behind the High Dam; the presence of fish farms on the Rosetta branch; and some villages disposing their waste directly on the agricultural banks, which drains into the Rosetta branch are responsible for the pollution. It is no longer possible to release more water into the Nile, to wash away the pollutants into the sea, because the increased demand by the growing population has caused water to be scarce. Egypt is among the countries below the water poverty line and that it relies on the Nile for its essential needs. Egypt is forced to release water from Lake Nasser’s strategic reserve in addition to the daily quota during some emergency cases when the government gets reports that the pollution level went above the allowed standard and for fear that the water quality at drinking stations will be affected, otherwise people will die as a result of the water pollution. Read more here:

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