Wageningen University and Research Centre

Alterra assists Egypt to reform the water sector


A consortium of Euroconsult Mott MacDonald in association with Alterra, Nelen & Schuurmans and Capacity Building International (Egypt) has recently won the 2 million euro Europe-Aid contract ‘Support to the National Water Resources Plan – Phase II’. The objective of this project is to support the important reform programme of the Egyptian water sector.

In Egypt, being an arid country largely depending on the Nile flows, water management is of particular importance. Without a proper management water will soon become a constraining factor in the socio-economic development of the country. Therefore the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) has since many years developed water policies and guidelines for this management. These policies and guidelines are dynamic in nature to allow for changing conditions. 

MWRI has issued its first National Water Resources Plan in 2005, in which Wouter Wolters was also involved: “This plan laid out the features of strategies, measures and executive plans till the year 2017. The plan was based on the concept of integrated water resources management and was developed in close cooperation with other concerned ministries and a wide range of stakeholders.” 

The specific objectives of the second phase of the National Water Resources Plan include amongst others an update of the existing National Water Resource Plan (which ends in 2017) and an extension into the framework of the 2050 vision. It also includes the development of regional water resource plans in 6 governorates with sustainable water management, the protection of public health and the environment, and ensuring the economic activity benefits for all Egyptian people. The first phase of the project will start this January and has a contractual duration of 2 years. Alterra will provide the team leader and various ‘non-key experts’. 

According to the Middle-East core unit of the Alterra-CALM team this new acquisition also nicely fits in with other water and climate related projects. Wouter Wolters: “We are already involved with Euroconsult Mott MacDonald, Deltares and some local Egyptian consultants in the ‘Enhanced Water Resources Management Project’. That project started in January 2014 and has a duration of 2.5 years. It is co-funded by the World Bank and builds on the synergy between water management improvements as identified in the various World Bank financed programmes.”

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