As part of the Water Support Reform Programme- Phases I and II, the EU Water Talks were held and attended by around 150 experts, officials and academics to discuss different water projects within the country. The event was funded with 200 million Euros by the EU.
In order to improve the (waste) water situation in Egypt, the participants were looking at best practices and applications of existing projects. A special focus was laid on joint integrated investment planning in wastewater sector, National Rural Sanitation Strategy (NRSS) of Egypt, innovative strategies towards enhanced wastewater reuse techniques, inclusion of desalination option along the Egyptian coastlines, inter-ministerial coordination and Institutional capacity building in the water sector.
By combining the knowledge of academics with the application experience of working experts, solutions for the existing problems are hoped to be found. Egypt’s main challenge is the increasing water demand caused by the growing size of population, as well as it has to decrease the number of people without sanitation which are counted to be 40 million at the moment.
In accordance to the new National Water Resource Plan 2005-2017, the EU-Water talks are held with the focus on four main areas: Desalination as a means for covering service gap; EU support to the National Rural Sanitation strategy; EU support to the National Rural Sanitation Programme and utilizing innovative techniques for wastewater reuse.
The goal of the Water Support Reform programme, which after the successful first part was extended another period from 2011 to 2015, is to reach the Millennium Development Goals, setting the goal to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development as well as Ministry of Finance are involved in the EU funded project, which is, next to the National Water Resource Plan 2005-2017 also supposed to support the newer Water and Wastewater Sector Development Policy (WWSDP).