IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE

IN EGYPT

    


The Aswan Dam was constructed in Upper Egypt in 1902 with a capacity of 1000 million m3, which was raised in height in 1907-12 to increase its capacity to 2500 million m3 and again in 1929-23 to store 5000 million m3 of water.

The climate is extremely arid to semi-arid with precipitation ranging from 200 mm near the Mediterranean coast to practically zero, in the south of Cairo. The Upper Egypt is virtually rainless. The weather is cool from December to February; temperatures are high from April to October, reaching 42oC in May. In July, the Nile floods and the weather becomes damp. In Lower Egypt, especially the coastal belt, the climate is predominantly Mediterranean. The Cool Season is from October to April and the summer begins in May. About 86% of Egypt is classified as extremely arid.

The Drainage Network comprises major and minor drains, field tile drains and drainage pumping stations. Field water management through rotational deliveries and reuse of drainage water for irrigation are some of the achievements of the irrigation sector in the country. The groundwater lifting is largely done using animal and diesel or electric power. Reclamation of saline/alkaline soils near the fringes of the delta, removal of aquatic weeds from canals and drains and evaporation control from the reservoirs are some of the problems the country is attempting to resolve. Adequate laws relating to irrigation and drainage have been enacted. The country has an International Agreement for use of the waters of the Nile River with Sudan, which was being extended to cover countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi. The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation looks after the water development and management activity in the country. The National Water Research Center, the Water Management Research Institute and the Drainage Research Institute are some of the academic institutions in the irrigation and drainage sector.