Egypt should be prepared to cope with “water scarcity” caused by Ethiopia’s disputed Grand Renaissance Dam project, said the head of the country’s national water company.
“There is a scarcity in water due to the Renaissance Dam, and we have to be ready for it,” Mahmoud Raslan, head of the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water, told al-Assema satellite TV in a phone call, noting that 25 percent increases to water bills have been enforced since the beginning of January. He said water supply rates had been unchanged since 1995.
Egypt has been at odds with the Ethiopian project, announced in 2010, fearing it could harm its historical share of Nile River water. Ethiopia had repeatedly assured Egypt on its water security. Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa are currently discussing technical studies to assess potential effects from the undertaking of the dam project.
Statements by the water company chief come hours after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the state can no longer afford to subsidize potable water supplies.
"Inform citizens that they are receiving water for a quarter of its real cost, and that the state can no longer continue to provide it this way,” Sisi addressed officials during a visit to follow up on a number of citizen projects in the 6 October suburb west of Cairo.
"As officials, and as Egyptians in general, we need to be vigilant to rational consumption, we should not complain that water and electricity (bills) are expensive,” the president stated.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm