Egypt, The Netherlands & Water
Egypt and the Netherlands have a long-standing relationship for over 40 years concerning water. In 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding between Egypt and the Netherlands was signed to express our joint interest in further development of a long-term balanced cooperation on water. Therefore, the Netherlands is involved in a variety of activities in Egypt.
Egyptian and Dutch water management issues are equally enormous and complex. Twice a year, Egyptian and Dutch government experts gather to discuss policies concerning sustainable water management. This is coordinated by alternating sessions with the Egyptian and Dutch ministers for water.
Coastal zone management
Coastal erosion is an important issue in both Egypt and the Netherlands. Although both countries face different challenges on the coastline, prevention is better than accepting the high risks of flooding or loss of land. Together with Egypt, the Netherlands is searching for which measures are best to implement and where, creating mutual learning experiences.
Transport over the Nile river is beneficial to create a more sustainable logistics network in Egypt. The pressure on the road network is too high while the natural conditions of the Nile river offer potential for transport. Together with the related authorities in Egypt, the Netherlands is researching this potential and seeking opportunities to revive river transport on the Nile.
Water and agriculture
Food security in relation to water is one of the largest challenges that Egypt is facing and will face in the future. Global climate change will influence existing eco-systems, the high population growth in Egypt will increase the competition for available land and water, and the construction of the GERD in Ethiopia will affect Egypt’s share of the Nile water.The agricultural sector currently uses 80% of the Nile water. Water efficiency is of great importance to reach sustainable water management in agriculture. The Netherlands is sharing her knowledge for optimizing agricultural practices, like water efficient greenhouses which use only 4 liters of water for the production of 1 kg of tomatoes (versus 250 liters in traditional open cultivation in Egypt). This is done by the promotion of an approach named ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ (CSA). CSA is an approach to transform and reorient agricultural development under the new realities of climate change. Its principal goal is food security and development, while productivity adaptation and mitigation constitute the pillars necessary to achieve this goal, with involvement of all stakeholders.