Achieving almost 100% water service coverage in Egypt’s urban areas

Achieving almost 100% water service coverage in Egypt’s urban areas

# Public Sector # Urban Planning # Water Supply # Water Resouces # Overseas # Urban Environment # Middle East # Africa

Solving water shortage in Cairo by supplying water from the Nile

Egypt is known as one of the desert countries, and about half of its population live densely in the Nile Delta, which spreads around the capital city of Cairo. The water quality of the Nile River and groundwater are getting worse and decreasing due to rapid urbanization, and there is an increasing need for purified water from the Nile River and delivering it to various regions. Since the late 1980s, we have developed water treatment plants and water distribution facilities to deliver water from the Nile to the people, and improved the operation and maintenance capacity of the water service organization and its staff.

  • Northern water distribution reservoir (30,000 m3) designed by YEC

  • Mahara El Cobra water purification plant designed by us (35,000m3/day)

Strengthening management capacity of water distribution in the Nile Delta

We designed and constructed a water treatment plant with a capacity of 35,000 m3/day in Giza City, starting from the prediction of water demand in new residential areas in 1994 and this was our first action to develop water supply in Egypt. Giza City has already been urbanized, so the main challenge was how to build a treatment plant on the small site. We designed reservoirs and distribution pipe networks, and supervised their construction to deliver water from the water treatment plant to the suburbs of Giza City in 2000 and 2005. In addition, we designed a reservoir with a capacity of 30,000 m3 and supervised the construction behind the Giza pyramid complex considering its location and landscape.

After the water supply project in Greater Cairo, the main water supply problems were shifted to the local cities. In local cities, groundwater shortage and salinization occurred due to an excessive use of groundwater. We supported to solve these problems by purifying water on the Nile and distributing it to new areas. We also designed two water treatment plants in the two cities, which were located downstream of the Nile, and supervised the construction from 2007 to 2009. Furthermore, in the local cities, there was a new problem that they could not operate and maintain the treatment plants properly.

Therefore, we firstly conducted capacity development on operation and maintenance of Sharqiya Potable Water and Sanitation Company (SHAPWASCO), which is in Sharkia Province in the northern part of Cairo and focused on improving operation of the water treatment plant and management of water distribution. Secondly, we implemented the project to expand our activities across the Nile Delta region. As a result of these assistances, the water service coverage in the urban areas of Egypt almost reached 100%, and there no longer was any need for the Japanese government to support the water supply sector of Egypt.

  • Guidance on operation and maintenance

Project Details

    Project: The Project for Improvement of Management Capacity of Operation and Maintenance for Water Supply Facilities in Nile Delta Area
    Client: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)