Egypt’s House of Representatives approved, on Tuesday, the new Water Resources and Irrigation Law, after weeks of discussions.
The law aims to improve the management of water resources and achieve equitable distribution to beneficiaries, as part of the national water resources plan, according to Mohamed Abdel Atty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation.
This aims to enable the ministry to maximise the use of the country’s limited water resources, and to deal with the challenges facing Egypt’s water sector.
Abdel Atty said that the law’s articles aim to facilitate the beneficiaries’ interaction with the ministry’s agencies, organise the water distribution process, and protect the course of the River Nile and its bridges.
At the same time, it will protect water resources, the waterway network, installations, equipment, and irrigation and drainage properties.
It serves to protect facilities against the dangers of torrential rains, covered drainage networks of all forms encroachments, and the rational use of groundwater to preserve it for future generations.
The law also aims to activate water user associations, and enhance the possibilities of private sector participation. This will see the private sector assume the responsibilities of managing, operating, and maintaining parts of irrigation and drainage systems, as well as facilities, under specific conditions.
In addition, the law will prohibit any work that negatively affects the natural course line of the Egyptian shores is also included in the law.
Abdel Atty clarified that provisions have been made to make it possible to legalise the status of violations located outside the River Nile’s sanctuary area. This covers lands privately owned by the state or others, or elements established in the restricted area of the river course and existing before the date of issuance of this law.