Regional Knowledge Network on Water


Egypt is a transcontinental country located in the northeastern corner of Africa and southwestern corner of Asia, bordered by the Gaza Strip, Israel and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west. It has a total land area of 1.002.000 km2 and a population of 88 million people.

The general climate of Egypt is dry and hot, with mild winter season and rain over coastal areas. Data collected by the Egyptian Meteorological Authority and local universities for the period 1961-2000 indicate that there is a general trend towards an increase in temperature, with increases in the number of hazy days, misty days, turbidity of the atmosphere, frequency of sand storms and hot days.

About 97% of Egypt's population lives on the Nile Valley and the Delta, an area representing about 4% of Egypt's total area. This yields an average population density of 1,435 persons per km2 making it the fifteenth most populous country in the world. [1]

The total fresh water budget in Egypt is estimated at about 58 billion m3 per year, with a total annual consumption of 78 billion m³. Agriculture consumes around 85%, leaving the rest for drinking water (9.5%) and industrial use (5.5%). This consumption leaves a difference of about 20 billion m3 which is covered by recycling agricultural drainages and other treatment options.

The annual per capita share of fresh water is less than 650 m³ per year which is already lower than the "water poverty" index of 1000m³ per capita per year. Considering the expected population growth, this value is estimated to become 350m3 in 2040. 

Traditional and non-traditional water resources found in Egypt:



Available water resources (km²)

Nile Water (including Jonglei)


Groundwater (Nile aquifers)


Groundwater (in desert and Sinai)


Drainage reuse in delta


Savings due to changes in cropping patterns


Irrigation improvement


Waste water use


Flash flood harvesting





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