23-9-2014. Source: EU Neighbourhood Info Centre

The issue of water scarcity has been at the centre of the EU-Egypt Water Talk co-hosted by the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt and the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in Alexandria. In all, 150 experts, academics, senior civil officials and project managers from donor agencies took part, discussing joint integrated investment planning in the water sector, improved practices in water resources management, master planning the irrigation and drainage network for more efficient use of water resources, and the role of water awareness in changing water use habits and water saving.

Ambassador James Moran, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt, said: “I firmly believe that water holds the key to sustainable development.” Moran said EU-Egypt cooperation in the water sector “stretches over a wide portfolio of programmes covering 9 Egyptian Governorates and total direct grant funds of nearly €300 million in six different programmes.”

The EU has supported overall institutional reform and sector reform through the two phases of the Water Sector Reform programme, with an overall budget of €200 million as a direct grant disbursed to the Egyptian National Treasury in exchange of agreed reform benchmarks in the sector.

EU-Egypt water talks are funded by the Water Sector Reform Programme-II (WSRP-II). Following the success of WSRP-I, both the Egyptian government and the European Commission agreed to allocate an additional grant of €120 million as phase two of Egypt’s WSRP (WSRP-II) to take place between 2011 and 2015, and be disbursed on the basis of a new set of jointly agreed reform benchmarks. The overall objective of the WSRP-II is to support the Egyptian government in its reform programme of the water sector in accordance with the objectives of the National Water Resource Plan 2005-2017 (NWRP 2005-2017), and of the recently adopted Water and Wastewater Sector Development Policy (WWSDP).

Press Release: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/press_corner/all_news/news/2014/eu-water_talks_en.pdf