Water Reuse Study

Detailed description of project:

In Egypt, irrigation is applied on 99.8% of cropland and thus a crucial resource for domestic agricultural production. The major part (95%) of all Egypt’s irrigated agricultural lands receives water from the Nile River. The total area equipped for irrigation is approximately 4 million hectares; 85% of this area is in the Nile Valley and Delta. All drainage water in Upper Egypt, south of Cairo, flows directly back into the Nile and irrigation canals. The drainage system there consists of open drains that are run by gravity. In the Delta Region, pumps are used along the course of the drains to lift water at terminal points. Approximately 5 out of 14 km3/yr of the total agricultural drainage water are reused for irrigation. However, the quality of drainage water is adversely affected by uncontrolled non-point sources of sewage and waste disposal into drains.

The objective of the study was to assess current water reuse guidelines for irrigated agriculture in Egypt and their impact in terms of enforcement by:

  • Reviewing the existing reuse guidelines, enforcement practises and programme strategies of the existing legal framework (guidelines and directives);
  • Assessing the underlying causes of domestic pollution of drainage canals together with groups potentially most at risk from wastewater reuse in agriculture.


Type of services provided:

  • In-depth review and synthesis of the policy and legal framework related to drainage water and water reuse at country level;
  • Stocktaking exercise and stakeholder consultation;
  • Gathering of information from farmers regarding the socio-economic and cultural background of the resident population;
  • Analyzing the present impact of law enforcement measures;
  • Identification of lessons learnt (both positive and negative);
  • Documentation of models to be scaled-up (opportunities) in law enforcement, provision of conclusions and recommendations;
  • Recommendation of new studies to be carried out to cover areas or sectors that are not being addressed by the existing laws but very relevant for environmental protection in Egypt;
  • Organization and moderation of a workshop with stakeholders to validate the findings of the report.
German International Cooperation
12/2013 – 03/2014
Contract value: 38,035 €