Precious Water

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					Precious Water
A celebration of 27 years of Egyptian-Dutch Cooperation
Precious Water

    A celebration of 27 years of
   Egyptian-Dutch Cooperation


                  Publisher    APP, Advisory Panel Project on Water Management
       Idea and Supervision    APP Central and Supporting Offices
    Interviews & Copywriter    Leslie Skyrms Wohlwend, Amycus Business Communications
                               Tel. 00 1952 9382767
               Illustrations   APP and Alterra-ILRI archives
                               Water Boards Project
                               Fayoum Water Management Project
                    Design     J. Tahitu (Team Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing, Alterra)
                   Printing    Drukkerij Modern, Bennekom, The Netherlands
            6   Welcome to Precious Water
                An introduction by the chairmen

            8   Nuts, bolts and a mission
                How the Panel works

                A bilateral triumph
                Charter member explores Panel successes

           22   Looking back, looking forward
                Minister discusses past and future water issues

           28   A wild 27-year ride
                Embassy officials chart Panel's evolution

           32   Panel expertise and enthusiasm
                A successful member brings more than a title

           38   Maintaining a delicate balance
                Water Management in the Fayoum Depression

           44   Ensuring user involvement; cost recovery
                Water boards at the district level

           50   Updating ancient traditions
                Gender issues in the Water Sector

           56   Sustaining an 'invisible' resource
                Management of groundwater issues

           62   Investigating unconventional sources
                The Panel tackles quality issues

           66   Changes in water technologies
                The Panel and 27 years of technical advice

           72   Expanding habitable lands
                The Panel's role in Egypt's Mega Projects

           76   Accomplishments big and small
                Dutch Panel member answers our questions about water

           80   Appendix
           80   Panel phases
           81   Panel membership
           83   List of selected projects
           84   List of abbreviations/definitions
    Welcome to Precious Water

               by the

Dear Readers:

We are proud to be initially presenting       also all those who have worked on the
this publication at the 2003 World Water      projects. We view the cooperation as a
Forum in Kyoto. It is a celebration of a      kind of friendship, even a family. It is
unique 27-year cooperation, namely the        because of this successful-professional
Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel on Water        and personal-partnership that we are
Management. This partnership has              convinced that our cooperation will
contributed to many viable solutions to       continue forever. It's simply imperative for
the myriad water problems that Egypt has      us.
faced over the last quarter century. And,
we believe, it can serve as a model for       The urgency of careful water
other countries considering partnerships      management is being driven forcefully
to tackle this important issue.               home all over the world. Parts of the
                                              Middle East and Africa are facing
The title of this publication reflects our    terrifying droughts, while this summer
commitment to the resource we have            sections of Europe were under water.
worked so hard to preserve. Water, of         Egypt and the Netherlands are,
course, indicates the Panel's focus for       unfortunately, all too familiar with these
these many years. The choice of precious,     phenomena, having dealt with them
perhaps, takes more explanation. But it is,   ourselves many times in the past. Yet

we feel, the appropriate word to explain      these disasters only underscore that we
our attitude towards our work. For            are all a long way from solving the
precious has connotations of nobility and     world's water crisis. And reaffirm the
reverence, both accurate descriptors of       importance of our continued cooperation
how we view water.                            in providing sustainable water resources.

And so we get the title of this booklet:      We hope these pages will help you better
Precious Water.                               understand the issues the Egyptian-Dutch
                                              Advisory Panel on Water Management
Our Panel has concerned itself with           has faced over the years, as well as the
managing, measuring, testing and              solutions we have devised.
conserving this cherished resource, which
continues to be so vital to Egypt's very      We wish you happy reading.
existence. In this booklet we'll examine
some of the highlights of our                 Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid and Jan Faber
phenomenally successful partnership-          Co-chairmen of the Egyptian-Dutch
development of a Groundwater Sector,          Advisory Panel on Water Management
establishment of water boards,
organisation of a Gender Focal Point, etc.    February 14, 2003
And we'll talk to several Panel members
and advisors.

Beyond the results we have achieved, we
are proudest of the relationships that
have developed among the people of
Holland and of Egypt over the years. This
has not only involved Panel members but


     1.   Dr. J.P.R.A. Sweerts (Representative            12.   H.E. Dr. M. Abu Zeid, Chairman (Minister of
          Rabobank, Netherlands Water Partnership)              Water Resources and Irrigation)
     2.   Dr. Magdy Salah El Deen (Ass. Director APP      13.   Eng. Hussein El Atfy (Undersecretary for the
          Central Office)                                       Minister's Affairs)
     3.   Dr. W. Wolters (APP Supporting Office)          14.   Dr. A. Ahmed Goueli (Secretary General
     4.   Dr. Samia El Guindy (Director APP Central             Council of Arab Economic Unity)
          Office)                                         15.   Drs. H.J. Tankink (Managing Director, Industry
     5.   Dr. Tarek Morad (Senior Programme Officer,            Department, Ministry for Economic Affairs)
          International Co-operation Department)          16.   Dr. Shalan Nasr Shalan (Director SWERI,
     6.   Ir. C.D. van der Wildt (Project Director              Representative MALR)
          International., Ministry of Transport, Public   17.   Eng. Yehia Abdel Aziz (Director of Water
          Works and Water Management)                           Boards Project)
     7.   Dr. Tarek Sadek (Director of the National       18.   Dr. M. Bahaa El Deen (Head of the MWRI
          Water Resources Plan Project)                         Planning Sector)
     8.   Mr. P. Flik (Head, International Co-operation   19.   Dr. Fatma Abdel Rahman Attia (Head MWRI
          Department)                                           Groundwater Sector)
     9.   Ir. J. Faber, Co-chairman (independent          20.   Mr. R. Havinga (First Secretary, International
          advisor)                                              Co-operation Department)
    10.   Ir. J. Boeve (Representative Union of Water     21.   Eng. Hussein Elwan (Head of the MWRI
          Boards)                                               Irrigation Sector)
    11.   Drs. C.J. Kalden (Secretary General of the
          Ministry for Agriculture, Nature Management
          and Fisheries)
Nuts, bolts and a mission

How the Advisory Panel
Project works
              Managing the requests of a dozen Panel members in two
       countries, scores of consultants and advisors from around the
     world and a host of ministers and other stakeholders is no easy
           task. Yet the three-person Secretariat of the Advisory Panel
         Project (APP) for Water Management manage to do just that
      with quiet efficiency. Dr. Samia El-Guindy and Dr. Magdy Salah
     El-Deen staff the Egyptian Central Office. Dr. Wouter Wolters of
    Alterra/ILRI, the International Institute of Land Reclamation and
                    Improvement provides support from the Dutch side.

 A Panel with rich expertise                  have PhDs and extensive backgrounds in
 The APP has six Egyptian and six Dutch       water-related fields. El-Guindy specialises
 members. Egypt's Ministry of Water           in water-quality issues. She has worked
 Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) selects      with the Panel since its beginnings in
 the Egyptian members while the Royal         1976 and has been full-time Director of
 Netherlands Embassy approves Dutch           the Central Office since 1992. El-Deen is a
 members. All members are selected based      biologist and his background includes
 on Egypt's current needs in MWRI and the     extensive research on the effects of
 water sector at large. Every member          salinity and pollution on fish. He became
 brings a high level of expertise to the      Assistant Director of the Central Office in
 Panel. 'Wise selection of Dutch Panel        1997. And Wolters, a civil engineer who
 members is behind the APP's success of       has been acting as Supporting Office of
 the last several years', says El-Guindy.     the Secretariat since 1999, has worked
 'They are experts in many different fields   extensively on water projects in Egypt,
 of experience and they head or share in      India, and at the International
 big organisations in the Netherlands. This   Waterlogging and Salinity Research
 helps them to give relevant advice on the    Institute in Lahore, Pakistan. This
 different issues. '                          familiarity with water issues serves them
                                              well in their work for the Panel.
 Support staff with rich
 expertise                                    The Secretariat, the Panel and
 Like the Panel members, the Secretariat      MWRI
 brings impressive credentials to their       The Secretariat provides a crucial link
 work. El-Guindy, El-Deen and Wolters all     between the Panel and Egypt's Ministry of
     Water Resources and Irrigation. The           Office do the (preliminary) rankings and
     Central Office is responsible for gathering   then we discuss those with the Minister'
     all the issues the Panel will discuss. And    says El-Deen. 'We give him everything-the
     this cannot happen without input from         priorities and our proposed ranking of
     key MWRI members. 'We begin our work          issues so he can highlight which are most
     by having a meeting with all concerned        important. He has a wider vision of what
     parties in the Ministry', explains El-Deen.   needs to be accomplished.
     'We meet them to collect the crucial
     water resources management issues that        Adds El-Guindy: 'I think it's very important
     require elaboration at Panel level. We also   that the chairman of the Panel is the
     meet with the Dutch team leaders of the       Minister himself. The Minister has been
     projects the Ministry is involved in and      the chairman for a long time and was a
     collect feedback from them. We talk to a      Panel member long before he became
     lot of the people concerned and each of       Minister. He can present any issue in the
     them gives us two or three topics they        Ministry to the Panel. He is also the
     feel deserve further study. The Secretariat   Minister so he is powerful and can make
     acts as a central point where we gather       things happen when they need to. He is
     and disseminate all information and           one of the success factors behind the
     knowledge, so it's always available when      Panel.'
     it's needed.'
                                                   Racking up the air miles

     El-Guindy considers this one of the           Once priorities are set, the Secretariat
     Secretariat's key functions. 'We              produces a Preparatory Document for the
     coordinate between all the ongoing            Panel. 'We forward everything to the
     Egyptian-Dutch projects in the Ministry',     Panel Members in Holland', reports El-
     she says. 'I think the most important thing   Deen. 'About a month later we fly to meet
     we do is selecting the issues and also        them and discuss how they can contribute
     providing a good link between the             to the issues that have been raised. They
     Ministry, the whole water sector and the      give us feedback on our needs, problems,
     Panel.'                                       etc.

     Setting priorities                            'We stay in Holland for quite some time
     The Panel cannot tackle every issue at        to prepare a yearly work plan based on
     once, of course. So El-Guindy and El-Deen     the discussions we've had with the
     spend considerable time setting priorities    Egyptians, His Excellency, and the Dutch
     for the Panel. Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid,          Panel members. After we finish the work
     Minister of MWRI is also crucial in this      plan we submit it to the Minister and the
     process. 'The Central and Supporting          Royal Netherlands Embassy for review and
approval. After His Excellency the Minister    Following up on
and the Royal Dutch Embassy approve it         recommendations
we start planning our yearly activities-       The Secretariat's work is never done. In
consultancy missions, meetings, etc.'          addition to writing and distributing
                                               meeting minutes to the appropriate
Panel meetings                                 people, it is responsible for making sure
The Panel meets as a whole once a year,        things happen. El-Deen explains: 'after we
alternating between Egypt and the              finish the Panel meeting we always have
Netherlands. The five-day events include       quite a few recommendations. The
three days of meetings, one day for a          Central Office looks at what these
Panel workshop in which matters are            recommendations mean and what will be
addressed more thoroughly and one day          required to accomplish them. We write an
for an excursion to view a local water-        action plan to implement each Panel
management project.                            recommendation so we know who is
                                               going to do what. We bring the
'We know ahead of time what will be            recommendation to the concerned parties
presented in the Panel meetings', says El-     and we keep them on track (based on the
Deen. 'We may have a consultant present        action plan). And we get feedback.'
something or members of the Egyptian
delegation. Then there's a counter-            Coordinating Panel workshops
presentation from the Dutch side in which      Panel workshop sessions are also a vital

they share their experience and                part of the annual meetings. Here Panel
background on the same issue. They also        members roll up their sleeves and discuss
give advice on how to tackle related           topics in-depth. For example, at the next
problems from different angles.'               Panel meeting, a Dutch consultant will
                                               assist with a workshop entitled 'From
The Panel does more than hear                  Pilot to Policy'. The consultant is
presentations. 'It's also a time for           responsible for helping prepare an
discussion', reports El-Deen. 'This is very    agenda and will facilitate the workshop.
important since it's vital for Panel           Local consultants will also be on hand to
members to share their experiences and         make presentations and elaborate on
ideas.'                                        certain issues.

After the discussions, each Panel member       El-Guindy considers the Panel workshops
submits his or her recommendations and         critical for the APP's success. 'The Panel
conclusions. The Secretariat collects these,   workshops are very important because in
types them up and submits them to all          them we raise issues from the bottom,
meeting participants. 'The Panel doesn't       from the project level, to the decision
really take decisions', says El-Deen of the    makers at the top', she says. 'We raise
process. 'Instead they review the ideas,       issues and discuss them in-depth in these
then talk together to come up with a           workshops. We also invite international
definitive recommendation. By the end of       consultants and national experts to give
the five-day meeting, every                    their vision and advice.'
recommendation has been reviewed and
refined by all the Panel members.'             Helping to build teamwork
                                               and trust
                                               Not everything at Panel meetings is hard
                                               work and intense deliberations. Every
                                               meeting, the members also take time for
     a one-day excursion to review water            groups for a number of different
     management in the field. Such excursions       activities', explains El-Guindy. 'For
     also create an opportunity to learn more       example, we may use them to draft terms
     about each other. Although not primarily       and conditions for consultancy missions.
     social, El-Guindy believes they serve an       Or such a group might be asked to review
     important function.                            results once a mission is completed.

     'When you have all these activities', she      'We also use working groups to help
     says, 'you build an atmosphere in which        prepare the action plan which allows us
     Panel members can talk freely and express      to implement Panel recommendations.
     their ideas and vision in a relaxed setting.   We meet with people within the Ministry
     It also allows friendships to be built.'       and others who will discuss how a drafted
                                                    Panel recommendation might be
     These relationships extend beyond the          implemented. This involves Ministry
     Panel members themselves to encompass          people and certain others from outside
     various advisors and staff members.            the Ministry.
     'When we started with the Egyptian-Dutch
     cooperation many years ago', continues         'Task forces are like working groups. But
     El-Guindy, 'we had some very young             while a working group is responsible for
     Dutch engineers who started as associate       coming up with certain ideas,
     experts. Over the years, these associates      recommendations, TORs, etc., a task force

     have become important consultants in big       is asked to prepare a document on a
     firms. Many people in the Ministry know        particular topic-a report or something like
     them and have friendships with them.           that.'
     When they come to Egypt to carry out a
     consultancy mission it's easy to have trust    Communicating with other
     because many of those involved have            stakeholders
     known each other for a long time. These        Another key responsibility of the Central
     consultants also know the Egyptian             Office is providing information to other
     situation and the Egyptian atmosphere          interested parties. 'We communicate with
     and this makes it much easier to               other stakeholders by disseminating our
     implement the work. We, for instance,          reports to the concerned ministries and
     still appreciate very much the co-operation    people', says El-Guindy. 'We also invite
     we had with Mr. Van Aart, who worked           them to our Panel workshops and general
     with us in the Secretariat for about 17        workshops. And we include them in some
     years. We can also not forget the people       of our working group meetings and
     who mainly initiated the Panel, Dr. El         discussions. We also sometimes contract
     Gabaly, Dr. Osman El Ghamry and Mr.            them as local consultants to help with
     Schulze of ILRI.'                              certain issues in which they have
     Ad hoc sessions and task force
     meetings                                       General workshops involve key people
     The primary work of the Panel is to            from MWRI or other ministries and serve
     provide recommendations and a policy           a larger purpose than mere PR.
     framework for water-management
     projects. The Central Office works with        'The general workshops are very
     MWRI and other ministry officials to make      important', says El-Guindy. 'We use them
     sure the Panel recommendations are             if we need to discuss certain topics in
     carried out. 'We use ad-hoc working            greater detail at the technical level. The
Panel workshops are always at the policy
level. But in the general workshops we
discuss particular technical aspects.'

Abu-Zeid selects many of the workshop
topics. 'He has strong opinions on what
needs to be addressed', says El-Guindy.
'He selects the most-important issues
facing the Ministry.' Last year, for
example, MWRI had a general workshop
on food security in conjunction with            Finding consultants and
Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture.                following up results
Information derived from these                  The Central Office is heavily involved in
workshops is funnelled back into Panel          finding consultants and following up on
activities. And Panel members are asked         their work. 'We review the terms of
to make further recommendations based           reference for all new consultant missions,'
on what comes out of the general                says El-Deen. 'And we play a role in
workshops.                                      finding out the most suitable consultant
                                                for any consultancy mission from the
Consultancy missions                            Egyptian side.
Many Panel recommendations are

implemented via consultancy missions.           'Wouter Wolters is our equivalent on the
The Ministry hires consultants to perform       Dutch side. So he would be responsible
studies, help with research, come up with       for finding consultants in the Netherlands.
alternatives for particular problems,           Our work complements each other. We
conduct Panel, Ministry or external             prepare the TOR, review it carefully and
workshops and more. El-Guindy: 'We use          send it to Wouter. He reviews it again and
international, Dutch and Egyptian               we all discuss who is going to be the
consultants, depending on the topic. For        suitable candidate for the consultancy
example, when we had the workshop on            mission. Then we follow up with the
food security, we hired an American             consultant when he is finished. We review
consultant who had international                his report and follow his progress.
experience in that field. She facilitated the
workshop and also spoke on optimum              An efficient and effective team
water use and food security. In another         Although the responsibilities of the APP
workshop, (like the upcoming one on             Central Office and Supporting Office are
pilot projects) we might hire a Dutch           many, the three-member team manages
consultant.                                     to meet them. Says El-Guindy, 'it takes
                                                more than mere dedication to make Panel
'Sometimes we're requested by sectors in        activities run smoothly. 'The supporting
the Ministry to elaborate on a certain          office is strong and we share our work',
issue or to solve a problem. In the North       she says. 'We work well together as a
Sinai project, for example, we are having       team and this also adds to the Panel's
problems designing land drainage in an          success.'
area that has a difficult topography. In
this case, we contracted a Dutch
consultant. He came and studied the
problem, presented alternatives and gave
his recommendation on the best solution.'
                                                                 A bilateral

          Charter member
          explores Panel successes

     In the beginning the Advisory Panel Project was a bit of an experiment.
     The first cooperation of its kind in Egyptian history. Now, 27 years later,
        it's a proven success. Wouter Hulsbos, a charter member who retired
      last year after 25+ years on the Panel, has a unique perspective on the
       Egyptian-Dutch partnership, which was formed to help resolve Egypt's
         water challenges. It was only logical for Hulsbos to be on the Panel
         from the very beginning. When the Panel started in 1976 he already
       had several years of experience working in Egypt. From 1961 to 1964,
          Hulsbos was manager of the FAO project that established drainage
      criteria for Egypt. He was part of the first World Bank mission to Egypt
           in the early '70s. He also worked on salinity problems in Iraq and
     Pakistan. Below the Dutch drainage and irrigation expert discusses the
                                                   Panel's trials and triumphs.
Taking a chance on bilateral                   runs through Egypt for about 1,500
cooperation                                    kilometres from the Sudan border and
No discussion of the Panel would be            there are no branches. So it's a rather
complete, says Hulsbos, without a look at      unique situation. On the other hand, it's
its unique character. 'The Panel was one       nearly the Rhine because it has
of the first, maybe the first bilateral        approximately the same yield and
project in Egypt', he reports. Egypt           discharge capacity as the Rhine. We Dutch
started to look outside its borders            are used to these amounts of water. There
because it recognised the importance of        is something familiar to the Dutch about
efficient land drainage to combat              the Nile.'
potential salinity problems. These
problems were strongly aggravated by           But, he adds, a touch of humility is
intensive irrigation after construction of     necessary when discussing Dutch
the High Aswan Dam. 'From the                  contributions. 'Irrigation goes back 5,000
beginning Egypt realised that the              years in Egypt', he says. 'How can we the
drainage problem was critical', says           Dutch with experience of say 500 years at
Hulsbos. 'Everyone was concerned that          most contribute to solving these problems
this was not just a problem, but one of        in Egypt?
the main problems facing Egyptian
agriculture, and therefore, the Egyptian       ‘Yet I think we can’.

                                               'The present water supply system in Egypt
By any standards, the bilateral experiment     doesn't date back 5,000 years. It's less
has been successful, says Hulsbos. 'The        than 200 years old. Egypt started with
Panel has grown into a unique and              perennial irrigation in the time of
efficient instrument of bilateral              Mohammad Ali, early in the 19th century,
development', he says. 'From an advisory       after Napoleon. Before that it was always
panel on drainage it has evolved into a        basin irrigation, a form of controlled
panel on full water management. In             flooding. In addition, there was enough
effect, with the participation of embassy      water. There was no need to figure out
representatives in the Panel meetings, it is   how to deal with scarce water. Egyptian
a platform for discussing the whole water      farmers are used to working with water.
sector approach, including land                It's been passed from father to son for
reclamation. To me it's a mystery why this     many generations. But the farmers are not
efficient and flexible organisation has not    used to handling the problems they are
been copied for other countries. There         facing with modern efficient water use.
have been attempts for a panel in              And this also holds true for the Ministry
Pakistan but so far these have not been        of Irrigation, which needs to adapt its
successful.'                                   organisation to be able to cope with new
                                               problems in water management. That's
There's something about that                   why we dare to say we can contribute.
river                                          But I think some modesty is required.'
Hulsbos says the nature of the Nile made
the Dutch logical partners in the Egyptian     A magnet for powerful people
initiative.                                    The importance of the Panel's work
                                               attracted high-level people from the very
'The Nile is a very special river', he says.   beginning. Charter members included the
'It's the longest river in the world and is    director of Egypt's Drainage Research
one of the few that runs south to north. It    Institute (DRI), the chairman of the
     Egyptian Authority on Drainage Projects       Mahmoud Abu-Zeid succeeded El-Gabaly
     (EPADP), Undersecretaries of State in the     and continues to chair the Panel. 'Abu-
     Ministry of Irrigation, the director of the   Zeid has been very important in the
     Dutch International Institute for Land        further development and success of the
     Reclamation and Improvement (ILRI), and       Panel's activities', says Hulsbos. 'In 1997,
     professors from universities in Cairo,        he became Minister of Water Resource
     Wageningen and Delft. Leading the             and Irrigation and he decided to remain
     prestigious pack was Mustapha El-Gabaly,      chairman of the Panel. In my opinion this
     a professor at Alexandria University and      demonstrated that Abu-Zeid valued the
     former Minister of Agriculture for Egypt.     Panel very highly. He didn't want to leave
     'There was a huge amount of money             it to someone else. He wanted to do it
     involved in the nationwide drainage           himself.'
     programme', remembers Hulsbos.
     'Egyptian money but also international        A leader with an international
     money. The first World Bank loan was          reputation
     already around $50 million. So that           'Abu-Zeid has wide international
     helped attract the interest of powerful       experience', adds Hulsbos. 'He is known
     people.'                                      practically all over the world in the water
                                                   sector. He has performed many functions
                                                   internationally. He is generally accepted
                                                   as an authority and much appreciated, I

                                                   would say.

                                                   'Under his leadership in the last five years
                                                   the Panel has started to organise
                                                   workshops-mostly one-day workshops
                                                   before the Panel meetings. Officials from
                                                   different ministries and other
                                                   organisations attend these workshops.
                                                   Through these workshops the Panel's
                                                   effect has spread beyond the Ministry of
                                                   Irrigation to other organisations. Thanks
                                                   to Abu-Zeid's efforts the Panel has
                                                   become known throughout the whole

     Powerful personalities,                       Patience and dialogue-part 1
     powerful leaders                              Hulsbos says this strong guidance often
     El-Gabaly served as Panel chair for 12        came in handy. 'I know of only three
     years until his death in 1988. Hulsbos says   conflicts that are worth mentioning in 25
     he was a powerful force on the Panel and      years', he says, 'but we were able to
     got it started on the right course. 'His      resolve all of them because of patient and
     weight counted with the directors of          effective leadership.' The first concerned
     EPADP and DRI', says Hulsbos. 'These          the early relationship of the directors of
     were independent directors and you            DRI and EPADP, or as Hulsbos also refers
     needed somebody of some weight to get         to it, the conflict between research and
     them together to talk about certain           implementation. 'In the beginning the
     problems.'                                    people from research (DRI) and the
people from implementation (EPADP) only      Patience and dialogue-part 2
talked to each other during the Panel        Early EPADP-DRI tension led to a second
meetings', he recalls. 'So the Panel         conflict on the Panel, when DRI developed
provided an advantage from the start. The    a modified rice drainage system. With a
representatives of EPADP and DRI on the      traditional system, it is difficult to drain
Panel were forced to discuss problems        both rice and non-rice crops without
and policies during the Panel meetings. In   wasting water. The modified rice drainage
public!'                                     system alleviates this problem, even when
                                             the two kinds of crops grow side by side.
This forced dialogue eventually led to       DRI had used the modified system on a
more coordination between the two            pilot basis and proved it worked better.
organisations. 'In the beginning EPADP       But for several years, EPADP refused to
was reluctant to implement the findings      implement the system more widely.
of DRI's research', recalls Hulsbos. 'DRI
would say we have concluded on the           'They still doubted the system would
basis of experimentation that you should     work', says Hulsbos. 'The system increased
do this and this. EPADP doubted them so      costs by about 5 percent over the
much that they said, "no, no, no. The risk   traditional system. EPADP said, "We
is much too big for us. We can't do that."   cannot bear the increased cost." This
                                             modified system also needed crop
'On the other hand, DRI did not always       consolidation, which required the

gear its priorities to the problems of       cooperation of the farmers and the
EPADP. So El Gabaly and later Abu-Zeid       Ministry of Agriculture. There was doubt
very patiently discussed and mediated        about the water savings. They said there
between the chairman of EPADP and the        was a risk of resalinisation. All these
director of DRI. Now there are excellent     arguments could easily be refuted. But
relations between the two organisations      again it took patient dialogue and
and things work much more efficiently.'      discussion. Personality and pressure also
     played roles. The (Panel) leaders had to be    advantages outweighed the concerns.
     skilled at mixing patient dialogue with the    'This huge national programme required
     right amount of pressure at the right          an implementation capacity that could
     time.'                                         only be obtained by the machines',
                                                    remembers Hulsbos. 'In addition, the
     Patience and dialogue-part 3                   output of a machine was of much better
     El-Gabaly and Abu-Zeid also helped             quality than the hand-laid systems.
     mediate problems that arose when the           The machines also facilitated the
     Panel worked on efficiently reusing            introduction and use of plastic pipes. Of
     drainage water. 'This reuse involved the       course training had to be provided for
     development of an extremely complicated        machine operators, mechanics and other
     mathematical model', says Hulsbos. 'At         staff.'
     the start it wasn't clear how much time
     and money it would take to develop this        Possibly the largest land
     model. But we gradually realised that it       drainage project in the world
     would take many more years than                Such hitches are, perhaps, to be expected,
     originally planned and much more               since Egypt has been involved in
     money. Both the Dutch and Egyptian             completing one of the largest-if not the
     Panel members were very uneasy about           largest-drainage projects in the world.
     the situation. It also gave rise to some       'The Panel has played a small but, in my
     friction between the Egyptian and Dutch        opinion, essential role in the planning and

     staff of this reuse project.'                  implementation of this nationwide land
                                                    drainage project', says Hulsbos. 'This is a
     Again, patient discussions provided the        project of immense size, covering the
     solution. 'After many separate meetings-       whole of the Nile Delta and the Valley, an
     not a few, but many-and more money, the        area of seven million acres, which is
     mathematical model was completed and           roughly the size of the Netherlands.
     the Egyptian staff was trained to use it.
     But the project gave grey hairs to some of     'The original planning was to complete
     our Panel members, including me.'              this around the end of the last century.
                                                    This was not fully achieved, but that's not
     Surviving political pressures                  uncommon for projects of this size.
     An early outside problem arose when, at        An important side effect is that Egypt is
     the start of its activities, the Panel         now internationally recognised as one of
     supported the use of drainage machines         the leading countries for drainage of
     that replaced the hand-laid system then in     irrigated lands. Increasingly other
     use. 'Egypt had lots of labour available in    countries, especially those from the
     the late '70s when we did this', says          Middle East, are looking for Egyptian
     Hulsbos. 'One machine, well operated,          experience in this field.'
     replaced about 300 labourers. These
     machines had to be imported from               Setting priorities
     Europe or elsewhere for hard currency.         Possibly one of the Panel's most difficult
     People raised the question: "is                challenges in the early years was setting
     introducing all these machines justified at    priorities. 'The Egyptian government and
     the expense of these manual labourers?"'       the World Bank needed justification as to
                                                    why these huge amounts of money were
     Although the political ramifications of this   being invested in these projects', recalls
     man vs. machine debate might have been         Hulsbos. 'The economic justification was
     nasty, in the end Egypt accepted that the      not easy. There was little doubt that the
                                                    average economic return of land drainage
in Egypt was high-between 15-25 percent.       something to be said for that approach, of

We had already known that for some             course.'
time. But the precise, detailed information
for separate areas was difficult to obtain     Growing up, not out
because there were so many factors             When the panel started there was an
involved in yield increases. At the same       ongoing discussion in Egypt about
time we were improving drainage,               whether to increase production by
farmers were using better seeds, planting      improving existing lands (vertical
other crops, improving irrigation              development) rather than increasing
procedures, and using more efficient ways      production by expanding into new lands
of working the land. So it was really          (horizontal development). 'Drainage was
difficult to say that the yield increase was   an obvious means of vertical
only due to drainage.                          development', reports Hulsbos. 'This was
It was also difficult to set priorities for    much more efficient than reclamation of
drainage of the different areas based on       new lands. In Egypt there are only very
economic justification. Consequently, the      few possibilities to reclaim land in the
programme of the national drainage             Nile Valley or Delta so reclamation means
project was based on practical                 mainly developing desert areas. There
considerations, such as available              have been plans since the '60s to reclaim
infrastructure, pumping stations and main      areas using water that became available
drains. In effect, the programme started       once the Aswan Dam was online. But it
near Cairo and proceeded from there to         was quite clear that in case of money
the coast. The most difficult places are       shortages-and water projects require so
near the coast. The rice areas, the saline     much that you are always short of money-
areas, the most salt-affected lands are all    land drainage had a very high priority.
near the coast. So the programme started       Drainage gave a much better return both
with the easy projects-and there's             in terms of money and production
     increase. The latter was especially             'Water for industry and drinking water are
     important because Egypt had started to          both top priorities, but agriculture
     have to import grain since it was no            accounts for about 85% of the total use.
     longer self-supporting. The national            So it's clear that as water becomes scarcer
     drainage plan was formulated based on           agriculture will suffer. There is an
     this higher priority in vertical                immediate need for more efficient water
     development.'                                   use, starting with the improved operation
                                                     of the Aswan reservoir, but also including
     Turning the attention outward                   minimising transport losses, improving
     Times have changed since then. A key            irrigation systems, treatment and reuse of
     difference is the increased population.         wastewater and developing groundwater.
     'When we started the Panel there were           The Panel has been concerned with all
     about 30 million people. Now nearly all         these subjects.
     the Old Land has been provided with a           'It's been a logical progression. You go
     drainage system. In the meantime, the           from drainage, which is nearly completed,
     population has grown to nearly 70               to related water management, to reuse of
     million. So, the priorities have changed.       drainage effluent to water quality and
     You will always be in need of a drainage        then to water scarcity.'
     department with a certain budget,
     because you have to maintain the system.        Democratic water
     But the country and the Panel are               management

     focusing more attention now on saving           As the number of water-related projects
     water by improving water management             has increased, the Ministry of Irrigation
     and water quality and developing new            has been hard-pressed to keep up. So
     water resources and new lands in the            privatisation of parts of the water system
     Sinai and the western desert. The so-           is also a current hot topic, says Hulsbos.
     called Mega Projects aim to increase the        'The Panel has been very concerned with
     crop area by 25%.'                              how it can advise on ‘privatisation’ of
                                                     parts of the water system. One result is
     Coping with competition                         the implementation of water boards,
     Hulsbos says the Panel's drainage               which are needed for various reasons',
     programme progress has brought other            says Hulsbos.
     issues to the fore over the years. Once the
     drainage system was well underway, the          'But I think the water boards are only a
     Panel tackled systematic reuse of the           first step in increasing the involvement of
     saline and polluted drainage effluent. The      the farmers and other water users in this
     Panel ‘sponsored’ projects that mixed new       sector. Stakeholder involvement will also
     Nile water with polluted effluent, thereby      be critical when it comes to making water
     saving billions of cubic metres of water,       use more efficient.
     which could be used for irrigation. This
     was the Panel's first water-quality activity,   'In Holland, we have had a similar kind of
     a concern that would become increasingly        development. Our democratic system of
     more important to Egypt as competition          water management has existed since the
     for water grew. 'Since the early '90s it's      Middle Ages. Our water boards were
     been clear that water scarcity is an issue',    founded in ancient times to organise local
     says Hulsbos. 'As the population                farmers in their struggle to protect
     continues to increase, so will competition      themselves against the threat of the sea.
     between the various users: industries,          These water boards were originally
     municipalities and agriculture.                 private and later partially taken over by
                                                     the government.
'In Egypt you have exactly the opposite        staffed by people who know and
situation in the water sector, since the       appreciate each other. It is also flexible
government currently does everything           and has been able to accommodate
and the intention now is to bring it to the    questions the government has raised on
water users. But still we can learn from       various occasions.
each other. Our intentions are the same.       'Egypt is facing a number of old and new
We have to bring the right amount of           problems of great magnitude in the water
water of the right quality at the right        and land development sector and the
place and in the right time. The ICID          Panel can assist in finding ways and
Congress in The Hague proposed this goal       means to face at least some of these.
worldwide in 1993. In Egypt a great effort     Among these problems are the drainage
is being made.'                                of newly reclaimed lands, the conjunctive
Future of the panel                            use of groundwater and surface water in
Although both countries have, from time        the Valley and the Delta, the development
to time, questioned whether the Panel          of extensive groundwater resources in the
should continue, Hulsbos is emphatic           desert, the prevention of water pollution,
about the group's usefulness. 'The Panel       and water purification and re-use. It is
has grown from a drainage panel to a           clear that there are many reasons to
panel concerned with all aspects of water      continue with the Panel as long as there is
management', he says. 'It has also grown       a bilateral cooperation.'
to be a rather unique and efficient

instrument for bilateral cooperation. It
consists of a small but stable organisation,
                                         back, looking

     Minister discusses past

     and future water issues
              Fact: Many countries are currently facing
              severe water crises, particularly developing
              countries in arid climates such as Egypt.
              Fact: Just 6-8% of the total rainfall over the
              Nile Basin is now being harvested. The irony
              of these twin facts is not lost on Dr.
              Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, Egypt's Minister for
              Water Resources and Irrigation. Neither is
              the urgency of the situation they represent.
              Nor the challenges and opportunities this
              situation brings.
Lost rainfall in the Nile Basin                Expanding water needs in the
Abu-Zeid has been on the Egyptian-Dutch        region
Advisory Panel Project on Water                This enormous waste of water capacity is
Management for over 20 years, and the          a more critical problem than ever. In the
Panel chairman since 1989. The 12-             past, Sudan and Egypt, who are furthest
member Panel-six Egyptians and six             downstream, were the countries most
Dutch-advises the Ministry for Water           dependent on the Nile for water. 'In the
Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) on ways        rest of the countries they could rely on
to conserve Egypt's water resources. Abu-      rainfall and other rivers', explains Abu-
Zeid lists improving water management          Zeid. 'They didn't have the means or the
on the Nile as a top priority-for the Panel,   need to develop Nile water. But now their
for Egypt and for the Nile Basin Initiative.   needs are increasing, among other things
                                               because they are becoming more
The Nile Basin Initiative seeks to resolve     industrialised and have larger
water issues facing the 10 countries that      populations.'
line the river's banks. The limited
availability of water is attributable to a     Egypt shares in these two trends, with a
number of factors. Plants rob the Nile of      population that has increased rapidly in
some of the 1,660 billion cubic meters of      the last two decades and expanding
rain that fall in the basin each year. This    development. But Egypt has been at the
problem, called evapotranspiration, is         forefront in water development among

especially pronounced in the Nile              Nile Basin countries. Both the APP and
Equatorial Lakes sub-basin. More               MWRI have spearheaded this progress.
rainwater is lost to regular evaporation
and groundwater seepage.                       Thousands of years of solving
                                               water problems
                                               Egypt has been largely agricultural since
                                               the beginning of time. Dependent on the
                                               Nile, it has also become quite good at
                                                           controlling the river, which
                                                           provides virtually all of its
                                                           water. In 1976, the Dutch and
                                                           Egyptians joined forces to
                                                           tackle drainage, the most
                                                           pressing water issue then
                                                           affecting productivity of the
                                                           land. 'At the time it was
                                                           considered a priority for Egypt',
                                                           remembers Abu-Zeid. 'We
                                                           gained experience working
                                                           together and we soon realised
                                                           that just improving the
                                                           drainage would not solve the
                                                           problem. We had to look at the
                                                           way we were using water,
                                                           agriculture being the major use
                                                           in the world and in Egypt. We
                                                           also developed a pair of
                                                           programmes to look at water
     management, the problems we were               reducing pollution and managing water
     having in that respect. If you look at the     resources. And it continues to work at
     whole history of the Panel, I think you'll     making new sources of water available.
     see we've had achievements in a wide           'We need to improve availability of water
     variety of areas with respect to efficient     for both Egypt and all the other Nile
     water use.'                                    countries', says Abu-Zeid. 'Until we
                                                    achieve this we have to live with limited
     A gradual focus on water                       water resources. So we must learn how to
     quality                                        use what we have efficiently. We also
     At a certain point in the Panel's work, says   have to reuse and recycle water that is
     Abu-Zeid, water quality became a priority.     currently lost to the system because of
     'We realised that we had a set amount of       mismanagement and misuse. We have to
     water to work with (set by treaty with         train ourselves to use lower quality water,
     Sudan in 1959)', he says. 'Pollution was       water with higher salinity, maybe
     cutting into the amount of available           different qualities of water for different
     water. We have had to learn to live with       uses and different crops. For example, we
     less water and water of different qualities.   don't have to use high-quality water for
     The Panel has been attracted to these          growing trees or washing cars or streets.
     issues. About 10 years ago, we started to
     concentrate more on water quality and          'And we have to watch for loss of
     the monitoring of water. Together we           resources due to environmental impact-

     started a most effective monitoring            the pollution of resources from various
     programme. This involved training              sources. We have to prepare ourselves to
     people, establishing monitoring sites and      avoid pollution. This involves awareness
     implementing improvements. We started          programmes, training, management,
     with drainage water and irrigation water       treatment-all this comes into play when
     and then we moved to groundwater. Now          talking about avoiding pollution. These
     our monitoring system covers drains,           are the priorities: live with less water,
     canals, groundwater and even the river
     itself-this last programme was with
     Canadian donors. This monitoring system
     allowed us to find out how much water
     we had in different parts of the system,
     the water quality and the most serious
     pollutants that we had to deal with.

     'At that time we established standards
     and regulations for monitoring and
     controlling water. One of the results was
     development of groundwater maps,
     which show how much water we can use
     in different places. It also reports the
     quality of the water and suggests ways
     we can maintain this quality.'

     A continuing need for
     Egypt has made some progress in
with lower-quality water and try to avoid     new emphasis will be shared water
more pollution.'                              resources. We have to work closely with
                                              the nine other countries we are sharing
Educating government                          the Nile with. We have to agree on a
officials and the public                      strategy to develop the water in the Nile,
Abu-Zeid recognises that these problems       which is not used efficiently in the upper
are more than the Ministry and its            Nile countries or in Egypt.
officials can handle alone. They will also
have to be embraced by the general            'These changing needs have led to the
public and other government agencies.         Nile Initiative. We have already outlined
'These are all environmental issues,          projects that will interest all the countries.
actually', he says. 'To solve them will       We are now working at the study stage
involve training the people and educating     for different projects. The World
all water users-in the farms, in the          Community has agreed to provide us with
industries and factories, in houses, in the   $140 million to carry out the studies that
streets. We will also have to work with       are required to design and outline the
the policy-makers to convince them that       projects. That alone could take five years.
this is the top-priority issue. And we have   Through the studies we would like to find
to approach the media to talk about the       out which projects will benefit the most
negative effects of polluting the water.      countries. We have agreed that we will
We're talking about quite a                   not start projects unless they benefit at

comprehensive programme of training           least two countries and cause no harm.
and educating.'                               These are the basic things we have agreed
                                              to in our work.'
A focus on the Nile Basin
Initiative                                    Egypt's and the Panel's
The temporary solution is clear, but so is    leadership roles
the long-term priority. Abu-Zeid: 'Another    The Egyptian-Dutch cooperation on water
                                              issues has provided strong support for the
                                              Nile Basin Initiative. This is something that
                                              the other Arab-African countries, as well
                                              as world funding agencies, have

                                              'The Council of Ministers of the Nile Basin
                                              chose Egypt as the lead country to
                                              implement the capacity-building
                                              programme for the 10 countries of the
                                              Nile Basin', says Abu-Zeid. 'The Dutch
                                              government is also contributing to Nile
                                              initiatives in different areas. Holland
                                              elected to provide training capacity. So
                                              the money for that is going to come from
                                              the Dutch government and Egypt is going
                                              to provide the technical assistance. We
                                              have already started some joint training
                                              courses in water management, drainage
                                              and river hydraulics.'
     Centres of training excellence                 rainfall, but is still not available to the
     'UNESCO has also selected the national         people in the communities and villages
     Training Centre in Egypt to be a centre of     because they have no facilities to pump
     excellence for training about water            this water or to treat this water. And, of
     resources for the African and Arab             course, the cross-boundary water issues
     worlds', continues Abu-Zeid.                   are identified as problems.

     'I guess there is general recognition from     'Another problem is lack of coordination
     international institutions in different        between the different parties working-
     countries that Egypt can help with             different ministries, different institutions.
     capacity building and training of              And also there's the question of lack of
     institutions and scientists in the Arab-       funds to respond to water issues, like
     African countries.                             water pollution, water facilities and so
      'We're proud of that. And of the fact         The Vision Report concluded that 26
     that we are now conducting programmes          countries are facing water shortages at
     jointly with Dutch institutions for the        this time. Many of these countries are in
     other African countries. Together with the     the developing world and will continue to
     Dutch Research Institute, we have begun        have to contend with increasing water
     training specialists in Africa. We have also   needs. Yet the problems are likely to
     established a one-year diploma jointly         spread, leading to water shortages in 66

     with Cairo University and the Ministry to      countries by 2025.
     train Nile Basin countries in international
     legal issues related to water. We are also     The future of the Panel
     involving Dutch experts in this training. So   The fact that Egypt and its neighbours still
     there are several training programmes          face myriad water issues bodes well for
     going on now that all fit under the New        the continuation of the APP. It's not a
     Nile Initiative Capacity-Building              given, but Abu-Zeid is confident that the
     Programme, for which the Dutch                 partnership will continue far into the
     government is contributing $24 million.'       future. 'The present Panel programme is
                                                    set to end in 2004', he says. So we've
     World water issues                             started to think about the future of the
     Abu-Zeid himself is a renowned water           Panel. Is it good that we continue? And
     expert. He is President of the World Water     we have found out from different people
     Council, which studies global water issues     that both our countries agree that it is a
     in different regions. The Council's findings   model that has proved to be successful
     came together in A Vision for World            and needs to be continued.
     Water Environment for the 21st Century.
     'About 12 to 16 scientists were involved in    'The environmental area is of interest to
     the different studies and different areas',    both countries, and how water can fit into
     says Abu-Zeid. 'We finally came up with a      larger environmental policies. We are
     list of seven water issues facing the world.   already talking about many subjects that
     These are governing water wisely, valuing      will form the programme for the future. '
     water, sharing water, managing risks,
     securing the food supply, protecting           Future financial arrangements
     ecosystems and meeting basic needs. This       Still, there are details to be worked out.
     last point refers to the fact that water       Abu-Zeid: 'one of the great challenges is
     might be available in terms of rivers and      how the Panel will be financed in the
                                                    future. We would like to develop new
partnerships between the Egyptian            have also had suggestions that we jointly
institutions and Dutch institutions that     contribute to support travel, research, etc.
have been working together for many,         For example, when the Dutch members
many years. These partnerships may mean      come to Egypt, we could cover their costs.
starting some self-financing. The Egyptian   And when we come to the Netherlands
government has already agreed that its       they could do the same.'
financial contribution would increase in
time. We are ready to contribute more
monetarily to the work of the Panel. We
                                                                         A wild
                                                                         27-year ride

                  Embassy officials chart

                  Panel's evolution
           Like any long-term partnership, the     A need to improve agriculture
                                                   The Panel owes its very existence to a
     Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel Project has
                                                   fortuitous convergence of events. In the
 seen its share of ups and downs in the last       beginning there was Egypt's need.
        27 years. That it's weathered the many     Construction of the High Aswan Dam
                                                   (completed in 1967) initially gave Egypt
      changes so well speaks to its solid roots,
                                                   the means to increase agricultural
     excellent leadership and effective ways of    production. Instead of one crop per year,
      working. Peter Flik and Dr. Tarek Morad,     farmers could plant at least two. This
                                                   intensive cultivation, however, caused
      both senior officials in the International
                                                   drainage and salinity problems. 'We
      Cooperation Department of Cairo's Royal      needed an accelerated programme of
      Netherlands Embassy discuss reasons for      drainage to accommodate the
                                                   agriculture', says Morad. 'The kings of
                    the Panel's lasting success.   drainage happened to be the Dutch. After
                                                   all, they drained the sea.'
The Netherlands was receptive to the idea       project activities. And this was true from
of assisting Egypt in tackling its drainage     the very beginning.'
issues. The country, moreover, had the
expertise and means at hand. 'We had            The impact of the Minister
just made all the polders in the                Today the Panel focuses on policy
IJsselmeer', recalls Flik. 'We had been         discussions and implementation issues as
doing a lot of work, but this had tapered       well as institutional matters. The water
off. So we had the capacity available to be     issues are also broader, encompassing
of assistance. Egypt's need and the             drainage, irrigation, water management,
Netherlands' expertise fit neatly together.'    conservation and more. And, particularly
                                                in the last 10 years, the Panel has shifted
Moving with the political                       its focus to integrated water resources.
winds                                           Attention is both on quantity and quality
But there was a third factor that               of these resources.
contributed to the eventual partnership.
The political winds were blowing that           Flik says that Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid,
way, recalls Flik. '1973 was the oil crisis',   current chairman of the APP, brought
he says. 'It was quite important for a          about this continuity and shift in
country like Holland to have an active          emphasis. When he first began his stint as
presence in the Arab world. So I think it       chairman, Abu-Zeid was also chairman of
was, on the one hand, the meeting of a          the National Water Research Centre. Later

technical drainage need, and, at the same       he became the Minister of Water
time, a political opportunity there in the      Resources and Irrigation. 'When Abu-Zeid
aftermath of the oil crisis. It was wise to     became the Minister', says Flik, ' he was
start up a programme in Egypt.'                 confronted with even wider issues of
                                                planning and institutional change. He
'It was', adds Morad, 'very much a win-         considered it an advantage to have
win situation.'                                 sparring partners (on the Panel) with
                                                whom he could discuss such subjects.'
Technical advice and policy
seeds                                           The Panel in 'crisis'
The joint organisation was originally           About twelve years ago, the Dutch
called the Drainage Advisory Panel and          Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to have
the official history contends that originally   doubts about continuation of the Panel.
the Panel was totally focused on                According to Flik, the Ministry considered
technological advice, only gradually            the Panel to be a project and felt that a
shifting to the policy-making body it is        'project' that had gone on for so long had
today. Morad only partially agrees with         probably run its course. The Dutch
this perception. He acknowledges the            selected an extremely critical but
technical nature of much of the Panel's         knowledgeable person to evaluate the
early activities, but adds that the seeds of    Panel's activities. After talking to people,
policy-making were firmly established           assessing the Panel's accomplishments
from the beginning. 'The Dutch certainly        and seeing the Egyptian's appreciation of
wanted to transfer technology and               these efforts, the evaluator wrote a
knowledge to Egypt', says Morad. 'On the        positive report and warmly recommended
other hand, the Panel was active in             extension of the Panel. He also
initiating activities and proposing these       enthusiastically proposed himself as a
for funding. You can't exclude the policy       new Panel member. His report convinced
matters from the process of identifying         the Dutch Ministry that the Panel should
     A new kind of Dutch Panel                       A shift towards planning and
     member                                          conservation
     Dutch Panel membership was always               As water issues have become more
     related to the issues dealt with. 'In earlier   complex, the Panel's priorities have
     years', recalls Flik, 'the membership           shifted along with its membership. Today
     consisted of technical people who were          these include planning and improving
     very experienced in the fields of irrigation    water quality. 'The competition between
     and drainage. But changing issues and the       users is becoming more evident', notes
     changed focus of the Panel required             Flik. 'This explains why the Panel has
     people with different backgrounds.'             become much more interested in
     Today, adds Flik, this wider expertise on       planning-not only from a technical point
     the Dutch side has been further tailored.       of view, but also how do you do the
     'If we go to the start of the new phase-        planning? How do you organise the
     about two years ago', he says, 'and look        planning process? How do you give a
     at the composition of the Panel members         voice to different stakeholders?'
     we see that it now fully reflects the
     interests that the Egyptian side has            'Competition among various users-
     expressed.                                      agricultural, industrial and residential-is
                                                     not yet so bad', says Morad. 'But
     'In addition to two members with                everybody knows that it's only a matter of
     experience in water-resources planning          time before two things begin to

     and agriculture, both of whom also hold         deteriorate: availability and quality. As
     very high positions in the Netherlands,         more municipal and industrial users come
     there is a representative of the (Dutch)        into the picture we will see much heavier
     Union of Water Boards and an economist.         pollution than we have now. If you're
     There is also a person from the banking         reusing water for agricultural purposes,
     sector, who is also extensively involved in     which is regularly done in Egypt, you have
     water-related programmes worldwide.'            to consider that this water can be
                                                     polluted both from agricultural
     A shift in Egyptian                             applications and, increasingly, from
     membership                                      municipal and industrial uses. As we get
     Morad says that the membership on the           more of these users the reuse policy, and
     Egyptian side has recently begun to             thus the total availability of water that
     follow suit in terms of varied expertise.       can be used in Egypt, will be threatened.
     Egyptian panellists have traditionally          And the available quantity will have to be
     come almost exclusively from the Ministry       even more carefully allocated.'
     of Water Resources and Irrigation,
     although the ministry of Agriculture has        Drawing on Dutch experience
     also always had one representative. 'But        Egypt is counting on the Netherlands'
     now', he says, 'you have, for example, Dr.      experience to learn to counteract 'spot
     Goueli (Secretary-General of the Council        pollution', specifically as this relates to
     of Arab Economic Unity who is also an ex-       pollution by municipalities and industry.
     Minister and ex-Governor). He is totally        The Netherlands can provide many
     outside the Ministry of Water Resources,        practical examples when it comes to
     but he can help make the link with local        dealing with this issue.
     government and the private sector very          'I think it's interesting to note the water
     strong.'                                        quality problems the Netherlands faced in
                                                     the '70s', says Flik. 'There are a number of
                                                     lessons that Egypt can learn about how to
improve conditions and how the                  highest people in the Ministry and in
government can deal with the provinces          agriculture, as well as an ex-governor,
and governorates, with water and sewage         openly discussing subjects that are
companies, with industry and especially         relevant to them with relative outsiders,
with neighbouring countries. Egypt can          whose experiences and advice is valued.
also benefit from learning about the best       This is a unique situation. These
affordable technology. It's good to have        discussions are also valuable to the Dutch
proper legislation, but it should be able to    Panel members, as they are confronted by
be implemented. Covenants have to be            their own policies and approaches,
made with polluters to bring pollution          causing them to widen their horizons. In
down over a number of years. In the             addition, since members come from
Netherlands we have the "polluter pays"         different sectors, they have the
principle, a concept that provoked              opportunity to learn from each other.'
interesting discussions in the Panel.
                                                Morad and Flik add: 'it's unique that you
'Holland has also made some expensive           sit together with the top people in a
mistakes and often took action only after       Ministry plus top people from the
actual or near disasters. Egypt can also        Netherlands for four or five days and
benefit from these experiences.'                discuss the real concerns on the Egyptian
                                                side. In our opinion, this gives a policy
Short-term advice for long-                     framework for a real sector approach. You
term solutions

                                                can address the sector almost in its
The Panel's flexibility and strong              totality. It's very different from a project
framework make such experience                  orientation. It's a framework to address
exchanges possible. For the last two years      priority issues. And it works very well.'
the Panel has also had access to a
considerable fund, with which it can hire-
Egyptian and international-consultants for
advice on priority issues. ' The Panel has
made very good use of these resources,
which allow it to act fast,' says Morad. ' In
a sense the Panel has become a think
tank. The Ministry of Water Resources
introduces the issues it finds important
and these are thoroughly addressed. At
our workshops we really beat the topic of
the hour to death. These discussions are
on real issues and focus on how the
government has coped with these
problems. It's very interesting to find out
how others have done it. And this advice
is translated into action.'

Support at the highest level
The Panel can trace much of its success to
the fact that it addresses priority issues
directly in a very constructive, open
atmosphere. Says Flik, 'I find it important
for this sector that the Panel has the

     Typical Panel member
     brings more than a title
      A key asset of the Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel Project
       (APP) on Water Management is the collective brain trust
       represented by its members and advisors. The six Dutch
       andsix Egyptian Panel members, therefore, are carefully
       chosen for the expertise they bring to the Panel's work.
         Cees van der Wildt, the longest serving Dutch member
          currently on the Panel, gives a glimpse of the kind of
                     knowledge it takes to be a Panel member.
A strong foundation in water                   these divisions distinct between the
matters                                        different functions of the Ministry.
Like all Panel members, Van der Wildt
comes with proper credentials.                 'I always compare it to a butcher who
He is currently International Project          buys, prepares and inspects his own meat.
Director for the Dutch Ministry of             We should never allow that. We should
Transport, Public Works and Water              have different roles. If you make the
Management. Van der Wildt, a civil             regulations and the policy, there should
engineer, has worked at the Ministry in        be someone else inspecting it and
various capacities since 1975. The Ministry    another person who does the operational
typically has a representative on the          part.'
Panel, and Van der Wildt has filled this
role for 14 years. He also brings              An expert in decentralisation
worldwide experience in water matters,         of duties
having worked as a consultant in British       More and more operational duties are
Columbia, Indonesia, Africa and the            currently being transferred to private
Middle East earlier in his career. Above       water users in Egypt. The Dutch have a lot
all, Van der Wildt has experience on           of experience in this area as well, and Van
specific projects in which the Egyptians       der Wildt has brought many examples of
have an interest and has served as an          Dutch privatisation to the Panel. 'The
expert discussion leader at several Panel      Dutch water-management system has

workshops and meetings.                        been organised democratically for a very
                                               long time', says Van der Wildt. 'It started
An expert in organisational                    around the year 1200, which makes it over
management                                     800 years old. In the Netherlands this was
Since the Panel's inception, Egypt's water     so because water users lived in certain
issues have become much more complex           areas surrounded by dikes and they said,
and all encompassing. The Egyptian             "we'd like to protect our properties". And
Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation     they started electing people and paying
(MWRI), responsible for many of Egypt's        for it and making water boards. There
water-management issues, has gained            was a real mutual investment in it from
correspondingly more responsibilities. In      the start. The Ministry (MWRI) is currently
response, the Panel has sought to advise       working to involve Egyptian farmers in
MWRI in ways it can restructure to more        execution and operational tasks. This is
effectively fulfil its duties. The Dutch       also a matter of decentralisation since the
Ministry of Transport, Public Works and        Ministry is located in Cairo and can't keep
Water Management has long been                 up with issues far away from there.'
involved with similar issues. So Van der
Wildt proved a key resource for these          It is also a matter of transferring some
Panel discussions.                             water-related costs from the government
                                               to the users and doing so equitably. 'In
'The Panel has been talking for many           the Netherlands', says Van der Wildt,
years about the institutional organisation     'two-thirds of the total expenditure on
of the Ministry', reports Van der Wildt. 'In   water management is paid by water users
the last few years it's become increasingly    through decentral organisations like
important that, for instance, we make a        water boards. But these users have a
clear distinction between policy-making,       definite voice in how things are managed
execution and inspection. In the               in their area. And they can immediately
Netherlands we've worked hard to make          see the benefits of what's being done.

     'We think this helps build interest in         formerly covered by the Zuiderzee, which
     water management. The users pay but            took 80 years to complete. Van der Wildt
     also have a say. So our motto is "Interest.    was part of the IJsselmeer Polders
     Pay. And Say." In the water boards,            Development Authority from 1975 to
     farmers and other water users can elect        1986. He was, therefore, involved in land
     their own people and take their own            reclamation in the Zuiderzee area, and
     decisions. And they know why they are          has reported to the APP on this project.
     paying for it, because they see the            Although the Egyptian projects involve
     benefits right away. So we have                bringing water to desert areas and the
     suggested that Egypt bring its water           Zuiderzee project involved extracting
     management closer to the people.               water, many Dutch experiences are
                                                    relevant to Egypt's efforts. The advanced
     'Our Egyptian counterparts are absolutely      drainage technology developed in the
     eager to go that way. But of course there      newly reclaimed areas was especially
     are a lot of constraints-legal, etc. And its   important for the Panel's work.
     taking some time to get the farmers
     interested in it.'                             'Egypt was also very interested in how
                                                    you manage a mega project', says Van der
     An expert in mega projects                     Wildt. 'They wanted to know how you
     A relatively new area of interest for Egypt    make policy for these projects, who is
     is development of the so-called mega           responsible for what, how you manage
     projects, which involves making desert         the financing, etc.
     areas habitable. The Netherlands is well
     known for one of the world's most              'In our (Dutch) experience with mega
     successful mega projects, developing land      projects, we found that you need a
                                              need for more urban development. So we
                                              had to make a different plan. Later still
                                              there was more a need for nature and
                                              recreation and less for agricultural land.
                                              Society around you is constantly
                                              changing. So it's good to be flexible in
                                              these things.

                                              'The big projects in the north and south of
                                              Egypt are very much comparable. You
                                              always need to take into account that
                                              things are changing so you should do a
                                              mega project gradually.'

                                              An expert in international
                                              In the last several years, the Panel has
                                              been increasingly interested in
                                              international cooperation as this relates
                                              to water management. Climate changes
                                              and population growth throughout the

                                              Nile Basin have made it imperative for
                                              countries along the Nile to work together
                                              to stretch water resources. Dutch
distinct project organisation. The mega       participation in the Rhine Commission,
project might be under a ministry but it      which governs cooperation among
should have a separate project                countries along the Rhine, has provided
organisation. And it should be based on a     Egypt with a successful model for this
law, because legal status is very             kind of teamwork. 'The Netherlands has
important. Otherwise you have to fight        made a number of treaties and
about the project every year with different   agreements with other countries
politicians.                                  concerning water quality and quantity',
                                              says Van der Wildt. 'Everything that is
'The financing is another crucial area. I     spilt in the Rhine upstream from the
told the Panel that in the beginning of the   Netherlands influences our water quality,
project, financing should come from the       irrigation and especially the
State. Later, State contributions should      sedimentation in our Delta. The same is
decrease and be replaced with private         true of Egypt and countries upstream
financing.                                    from Egypt along the Nile.

'But perhaps the most important thing we      'We've exchanged ideas with Egypt on
learned is that you should proceed step       how to work with other countries in
by step and keep flexible. Times change       international cooperation. The Rhine
and so do the requirements. When we           Basin is smaller than the Nile Basin but it
started the Zuiderzee Project (80 years       too includes a number of countries-
ago), for example, we were primarily          Germany, France, Switzerland, etc. The
concerned with agricultural production        Nile has the same issues only on a larger
because there were food shortages in the      scale.'
Netherlands then. Later on there was a
     According to Van der Wildt, Egypt was            forecast drought periods. This is now
     very concerned with practical matters.           done in the whole river basin.'
     'They where interested in the kinds of

     agreements we had made, whether                  The Netherlands, of course, has often had
     people in the Commission were really             to deal too much water. 'If you talk about
     ready to fulfil their agreements, what the       the large river basin in the Rhine you can
     legal status was and how you can                 get an idea of what your retention is in
     influence those kinds of things. I once          the basin and how much change there
     made a Panel presentation about the              will be in the future', explains Van der
     whole International Rhine Commission. I          Wildt. 'One example of that is climate
     told the Panel that to be successful you         change. Now we have more rainfall than
     have to make agreements at the                   before and more rainfall in certain areas.
     ministerial level and get absolute               We also have to deal with rain that
     commitment from everyone.                        sometimes comes in a shorter amount of
                                                      time. Everyone is aware that something is
     'We also always work together on equal           changing climate-wise in the world.
     footing and have a common cause. That
     was very important when negotiating              An expert in planning
     with the other Rhine countries to make           Egypt has recently drafted its first national
     sure everyone was equally committed.'            policy document on water management, a
                                                      must given the country's desire to
     An expert in water forecasting                   integrate its approach to water issues. The
     Egypt has been very interested in the            Netherlands has had a National Policy
     Netherlands' ability to statistically forecast   Document since 1968 and is currently on
     droughts and floods. 'We have talked in          its fourth edition. Van der Wildt told the
     the Panel many times about how we do             Panel about the lessons the Netherlands
     this in the Netherlands', says Van der           had learned in revising its national
     Wildt. 'Egypt only has the Nile. If there is     document. 'In the beginning we wanted
     a dry period, the level of the Nasser Lake       to regulate water quantity', he recalls. 'In
     will go down. The Ministry wants to know         the second Policy Document we focused
     how many years beforehand you can                on regulation of both the quantity and
quality. Now the fourth Policy Document      commercial objectives', he says. 'The spin
is much more about how we can do             off of the Panel is much broader. We
things in an integrated manner. We want      initiate projects and then consultants
to address nature, recreation, urban         come in, factories get built, etc. But the
development, and everything together         Panel itself is not commercialised. I think
with water management.                       that's very important.

'So we've learned and made the policy        'I think it's also key that we trust each
more sophisticated as we've gone along.      other. This comes from the fact that we
But it took us a number of editions to get   know one another so well and that we
to there. The Panel has initiated a          have a common cause.'
number of projects in conjunction with
the preparation of a water resources
management plan for Egypt. Of course we
take the Dutch experience into account
when we're doing that. '

An enthusiasm for the Panel's
Although Van der Wildt, like his
counterparts on the Panel, often serves as

a knowledge resource on Egypt's various
water needs, he's quick to point out that
the APP owes many of its
accomplishments over the years to the
members' continuing passion for and
genuine commitment to the work. 'I
always say that a major success factor for
the Panel is that we don't have
                                                                   a delicate

       Water Management in

       the Fayoum Depression
      In Egypt's arid Fayoum Depression it's all about balance. Balance between
            agricultural production and acceptable Qaroun Lake levels. Between
        irrigation, drainage and acceptable soil-salinity levels. And between the
        competing needs of some 1.3 million people, many of them farmers who
                                                       are scrabbling to survive.

          The Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel Project on Water Management was
              asked to suggest ways to secure these delicate balances within the
        framework of socio- economic development. From 1993 through 1997 the
      third water study was conduted there. Its recommendations contributed to
            more- efficient water use, more- effective regional water-management
     practices and stabilisation of the Qaroun Lake levels, and the establishment
                                                     of local pilot water boards.
A unique geography                              considerations make the implementation
Grasping the unique needs of the 3,000          and operation of an effective public
km2 Fayoum Depression requires an               irrigation and drainage water-
understanding of the area's unusual             management system for the Fayoum
geography. A depression similar to the          Depression extraordinarily tricky.
Dead Sea, but only 50 meters below sea
level, the Fayoum has been connected to         'There are very precarious equilibria to be
the Nile River for centuries and functioned     respected when providing Nile irrigation
as a natural reserve reservoir whenever         water to the Fayoum', says Risseeuw. 'The
the Nile flooded above a certain level.         whole (Nile) Delta and the irrigated lands
Heavy floods would transform part of the        that extend along its Western and Eastern
depression into a 700-km2 lake before           borders must be supplied. There may be
years of evaporation again turned all into      increasingly more years in which there
dry land. These floods made the                 will not be enough water in the Nile to
depression very fertile. And prehistoric        fulfil all the agricultural-water
nomadic tribes began harvesting plants,         requirements. So the question will always
making the Fayoum possibly the earliest         be "how much water can we send to the
agricultural area in the world. Today it is a   Fayoum without making everyone angry
rich source for agricultural products that      further downstream", because whatever
serve Egypt and beyond: cotton, fruits          we take here cannot go there.'
(especially dates), vegetables (especially

tomatoes), wheat, milk, meat, etc.              This limited water supply has implications
                                                for the farmers in the Fayoum, especially
The Nile has long since ceased flooding         those located furthest from the Nile.
the depression in a haphazard way and
these days water is brought to the              'At present, you only find land with a lot
Fayoum via a controlled manmade canal.          of irrigation water where the Nile
Nowadays, the only permanent water in           irrigation system enters the Fayoum
the depression is Qaroun Lake, a 150-km2        depression', says Risseeuw. 'The further
saltwater lake in the northwest corner of       you are from the main feeders, the less
the area. All agricultural and urban            water you have. Because of the increase
drainage water flows collect naturally at       in the population, more and more people
this spot, the lowest in the Fayoum. When       have begun to live and farm at the tail
the water evaporates it leaves behind its       end of the Fayoum irrigation system, and
dissolved salts and pollutants. This unique     along main drains that still offer good-
hydrological situation is a direct cause of     quality water. But bringing in enough
the need for carefully balanced irrigation-     irrigation water (and hence producing
water distribution and drainage-water           enough good drainage water) is
removal.                                        becoming increasingly difficult, especially
                                                if the irrigated area in the depression
The problem of too little                       continues to increase.'
Another factor is Egypt's rapid rural and       The problem of too much
urban population growth-to nearly 70            water
million people-while the country's amount       The farmers at the end of the Fayoum
of available water remains the same. I.A.       irrigation system and along the main
Risseeuw, the resident engineer and team        drains are also those nearest to the
leader for the third Fayoum Water               relatively flat shores of Qaroun Lake, a
Management Study, says that these twin          fact that again puts them in a particularly
     vulnerable position. Say that drainage        Risseeuw notes that the kinds of crops
     water flows to the area, for example,         grown in the Fayoum make salinity
     because of a relatively ample supply of       control especially necessary. 'Cotton
     Nile irrigation water to the depression or    resists salinity', he says. 'But most fruits
     a rare thunderstorm. Then Lake Qaroun         and vegetables cannot resist salinity very
     will rise and flood its surroundings,         well. Nor can maize, berseem and wheat.
     sending crop- and soil-destroying saline      This is another reason that the capacity
     water into the lakeshore farms. 'History      and operation of the irrigation and
     shows that it can happen that a lot of        drainage systems have to be managed.
     water goes all the way to the lake',          We have to ensure that the Fayoum soils
     explains Risseeuw. 'Qaroun Lake has no        do not salinise beyond a certain level in
     outlet for the incoming drainage water        order to retain-and if possible increase-
     except evaporation, so its level will rise.   their current production potential.'
     Eventually the adjacent lands are
     inundated until evaporation again             Balancing irrigation water
     exceeds inflow and lake-water levels          supplies, drainage flows and
     decrease, leaving salts behind on the         lake levels
     land.'                                        The study proposed several solutions to
                                                   cope with the different water-
     The problem of too much salt                  management problems in the Fayoum
     Egypt's arid climate ensures -even without    Depression. These were based on

     flooding- that the irrigated lands of the     hydrological data collected during a
     Fayoum are susceptible to soil                number of years before and during the
     salinisation. Risseeuw compares the           study. Risseeuw: 'The Dutch government
     situation with what happens when a            started assisting Egypt in maintaining and
     houseplant receives too little water.         improving agricultural conditions in the
                                                   Fayoum in 1983. At that time information
     'If you give your potted geraniums only       was collected about soils, cropping, the
     enough water to prevent signs of wilting,     amounts of irrigation water needed and
     the top of the soil in the pot will           supplied, drainage flows to the Lake and
     eventually become whitish or even ochre',     to the Wadi Rayan tunnel, the salinity of
     he says. 'That's because the water you use    various water flows, the levels of Qaroun
     always contains some salts. Gradually the     Lake, etc. A first model was prepared to
     soil in the pot becomes salty and the         understand the water-management
     plant begins to die. The only way to raise    situation and its impact on crop
     healthy geraniums is to always give them      production and on Qaroun Lake levels.
     more water than is needed to keep them        This was also used to assess the impact of
     from wilting so that all the salts that       changes in total Fayoum irrigation-water
     accumulate on and in the soil after each      supply, main-water distribution, drainage-
     watering are washed out with the extra        water reuse, etc.
     water via the drainage hole in the pot's
     bottom.                                       'You have to manage water flows at
                                                   strategic points in both the main
     'You have the same thing in the Fayoum.       irrigation system of the Fayoum area and
     You must supply extra water to carry          in the main drainage systems flowing
     away the salts added unavoidably with         towards the Qaroun Lake and to the Wadi
     the irrigation water. However, the            Rayan tunnel. We recommended ways to
     drainage flows this produces should not       improve the irrigation system's efficiency
     cause Qaroun Lake to overflow.'               such as reuse of high-quality drainage-
water flows to reduce the pressure on         A tense situation
Qaroun Lake levels and to facilitate the      'As long as there were relatively few
availability of extra water to wash salts     farms, people in the Fayoum normally had
out of the soil. But we also recommended      plenty of water', says Risseeuw. 'But
that the drainage-water tunnel to Wadi        nowadays the government has to send a
Rayan be used as a "tap" to manage            lot more water to accommodate the
Qaroun Lake water levels while respecting     growing number of farmers in the
agriculture, fishery and tourism              Fayoum. This is not possible to the extent
requirements as much as possible.'            demanded by the farmers. So the
                                              government has great difficulty in
Balancing human                               securing proper operation and
requirements                                  maintaining the technical integrity,
An equally challenging portion of the         particularly in the smaller public irrigation
project was balancing water requirements      and drainage system structures.
among people farming in the Fayoum.
'What happens in a country without rain       'In short, more and more farmers were
and in which people who cultivate land        applying for less and less available water.
cannot find enough irrigation water-or        So they took water they deemed fit for
cannot find it in time-for their developing   irrigation whenever they saw, either from
crops?' asks Risseeuw. ' For example          a nearby public canal or drain, and
when water users closer to the feeders,       without much consideration for water

who are also concerned about getting          users further downstream. Desperate,
enough water, just take it, leaving none      people have killed each other over the
for the farmer downstream.                    ensuing water disputes.'

'Imagine you have sown a crop and it's        Water boards to the rescue
germinating. Then you don't get any           In view of the situation, APP advisors have
water for two months. You will lose           proposed to gradually transfer the
everything. This is what is happening to      government's responsibility for the
some farmers in the Fayoum. And it            operation and maintenance of the public
threatens to become an even more-             elements of each local irrigation-water
widespread problem considering current        distribution and drainage-water-removal
socio-economic developments, unless           system to the farmers served. This has led
more-effective irrigation-water planning      to the establishment of the first local pilot
and irrigation- and water-management          water boards in Egypt.
practices are established.'

The Ministry of Water Resources and
Irrigation (MWRI) through its Irrigation
Department in Fayoum is, among other
things, responsible for all water-
management issues in the Fayoum
Depression. But it's becoming impossible
for this organisation to fairly distribute
irrigation water to (small groups of)
individual water users as water becomes
     Because of the volatile situation, this was    Political considerations
     no easy task. But Risseeuw says it was         The Panel also reviewed the various issues
     precisely the time to act. 'For the concept    and looked for potential water board
     of a water board to work', he explains,        members who had some political savvy
     'you need circumstances where people           and clout. 'If the concept of water boards
     recognise that there's a mutual problem.       is to work well', says Risseeuw, 'eventually
     Dutch water boards started based on the        you have to change some basic legislation
     need for dike maintenance, because high        in Egypt, so that these boards can take
     seas threatened everybody in a polder.         over responsibilities [from MWRI].
     The people had a clear common interest
     in maintaining a strong dike everywhere,
     because if a breach happened the whole         'To make things more complicated, some
     community would flood. So a water board        people were afraid of the proposed water
     must have a common danger of such              boards. Some farmers who had enough
     intensity that people are willing to           water and strong relations with
     cooperate.                                     Parliament members worried that if the
                                                    project was successful it could mean they
     'That was the situation in the Fayoum. By      would no longer have plenty of water.'
     cooperating and jointly sharing the water
     that the government supplied to them,          Early economic successes
     farmers saw that they could make the           In 1995, 15 prospective pilot water board

     irrigation and drainage situation better       areas were identified for the project.
     for each one of them and for the area as a     Budget and personnel restrictions later
     whole.'                                        reduced that number to five areas that
                                                    best met the criteria proposed by AAP and
     Finding the right people                       accepted by MWRI. The project's main
     Not everyone in the Fayoum was able to         objective was to show all interested
     see the benefits. 'It's best not to test the   parties that the water board concept was
     concept of a local area water board in an      viable in the Fayoum Depression.
     area where the people are desperate and        Moreover, that it was necessary for
     fighting-or worse-over scarce irrigation       effective public irrigation and drainage-
     water', says Risseeuw. 'You also can't test    water management at the local water
     it where people are extremely poor or          level.
     where you have a lot of economic               It worked.
     disparity. The community should be rather
     homogeneous-and not extremely poor or
     extremely rich. It should be a community
     that still has faith in the future, where
     farmers understand that by cooperating
     they can make a better living. And where
     the system's technical conditions allow for
     important short-term water-management
     improvements, e.g. via repairs,
     maintenance and rehabilitation. These
     kinds of socio-economic considerations
     made it difficult to identify hydrological
     units within the Fayoum Depression, in
     which the introduction of the water board
     concept would stand a reasonable chance
     of success.'
'The situation of people in the pilot         says Risseeuw. 'Without changing the
boards improved', Risseeuw says simply.       amount of available water to the area,
'In the areas of the pilot water boards       farmers got more assurances that they
cropping in the summer increased by           would receive water services when they
15%. It wasn't just "I think it's nice that   were supposed to. This also boosted
the people are cooperating." The pilot        farmer support.'
boards showed real immediate benefits.'
The new system also created jobs for          The project expands
more people in the Fayoum Depression.         Eventually the APP extended the number
Before the project, Cairo-based               of water boards to 12. Today, in the
contractors maintained the system. Today      project's final stages, there are some 40
many of these tasks are performed by          pilot water boards and the concept is
local contractors and farmers hired by the    being expanded to other areas in Egypt.
water board. 'Money for operation and
maintenance is no longer spent on people      'People are now meeting to attain the
living in Cairo', says Risseeuw. 'Much of     legal empowerments necessary to
the money stays in the area itself. It's      continue', says Risseeuw. 'It's a
creating jobs, if you will. This is also a    complicated problem to ensure continuity
very important factor in a relatively poor    in local water boards. If, for example, the
society. I'm convinced that one of the        chairman dies or a big change happens in
reasons people are more likely to             the community, the water board may

cooperate in the water boards is that they    suddenly not function. This is not
have perceived the local social-economic      acceptable once a water board has taken
benefits of the concept.'                     over all the local water-management tasks
                                              of MWRI. The law, therefore, must include
Ensuring water-system                         a provision stating that the government
integrity                                     will step in if a water board doesn't
The pilot boards also allayed other fears.    function, because that would endanger
'They demonstrated that there was no          effective daily water management.'
reason to be afraid of the water boards',
says Risseeuw. 'They have not become
communist organisations and they are not
taking over the Ministry of Irrigation. On
the contrary, their cooperation with
government officials enhances the
technical quality of local water
management and makes farmers respect
the system's technical integrity more.
They do their job as farmers and at the
same time solve problems that formerly
fell to the Fayoum Irrigation Department.
Thanks to the pilot boards it has been
possible to demonstrate that the concept
works in Egypt.'

Above all, the boards ensure the integrity
of the water system. 'The cooperation of
the people on the water boards meant
water services were more predictable',
                                                  Ensuring user
                                                  cost recovery

      Water boards at the
      district level

     What do you get when you take a single water source, add
            an arid climate, a forty-three-year- old treaty and an
          exploding population? It might sound like a recipe for
       disaster. But in the hands of the Egyptian-Dutch Advisory
       Panel Project it's been an opportunity to increase farmer
     involvement in water management, specifically through the
                                            use of water boards.

           This Water Board Project is intended to improve user
        participation in solving water problems, enhance water-
         management efficiency and accelerate cost recovery on
                                          various water projects.
Building on a successful model                without repayment, without cost
Water boards are not an entirely new          recovery. We have two options for cost
concept in Egypt. The project merely seeks    recovery. The first is to impose taxes or a
to bring them to a new level. Most water      water charge. The second is to transfer
associations in Egypt are currently at the    some of the tasks to water users, so they
mesqa (private field channel) level, and      do the management tasks by themselves.
involve only a small number of farmers.
                                              'With water boards we are looking at this
The new project wants to extend farmer        latter option: task transfer and cost
involvement to include managing water         transfer from the government to the
use on governmental canals. After long        users. I think this policy can be successful
research, the most efficient solution         in Egypt. It will relieve the responsibility
appears to be establishment of district       of the government and increase the
water boards. And this is where Egypt         efficiency of water management.'
plans to focus its efforts.
                                              Early success
Yehia Abd El-Aziz, Director of the Water      The APP had its first success with water
Board Project, has been involved with         boards at the branch level (the lowest
various water association initiatives since   level involving governmental lands) in the
1984.That's when the first local water        Fayoum Depression beginning in 1993.
organisations, known as Water User

Associations, were introduced as part of      'These local boards gave the farmers an
the USAID-funded Irrigation Improvement       opportunity to participate on the
Project (IIP). These mesqa-level groups       distributory level-at the branch canal
were given legal status in 1994 and now       level', says El-Aziz. 'The farmers
efficiently manage water distribution and     appreciated this new system and achieved
maintain pumps and other water                good results. The farmers, therefore, are
equipment at the tertiary level.              happy to work at this level.'

Catalysts for expansion                       Pilot water boards throughout
The available irrigation water in Egypt       Egypt
was set by treaty with Sudan in 1959. El-     Thanks to the success in the Fayoum, the
Aziz says the problem now is that the         APP recommended that eight pilot water
number of users has nearly tripled to 67      boards be established at the national
million people since then and is expected
to reach 90 million by 2025.

El-Aziz: 'The big challenge now is that the
need for water is increasing but the
amount of water resources stays the
same. This means that we have to
manage the water efficiently to minimise
losses. We can't do this without the
involvement of users in water
management activities. This is one of the
main impulses to form water boards.

'The second is that the government can't
continue to provide water to users
     level. El-Aziz says project members took      have traditional ways to control their
     great care in establishing the pilot areas    wells. Their own system was strong so
     to ensure a representative sample: two in     they didn't need our guidelines. It was a
     the East Delta, two in the West Delta, two    waste to go there with a system when
     in the Middle Delta and two in Upper          they had a system that was already
     Egypt. The pilots are also divided between    working well.'
     old lands (irrigated for thousands of
     years) and reclaimed areas (settled 25-30     Water board make-up
     years ago).                                   The number of members on each water
                                                   board varies. Farmers make up the
     'We also differentiated between big           majority of water board members. But
     commands and small commands', says El-        most boards also include industrial and
     Aziz. 'One branch canal serves 1,000 acres,   residential users.
     another 10,000 acres. We also looked at
     cropping patterns. In Lower Egypt there is    Each district or branch area is divided into
     rice and in Upper Egypt there is sugar        base units of 50 to100 acres. This means
     cane. We also chose water board areas         the people in the unit are neighbours and
     that covered both improved and                usually have a previous working
     unimproved areas, for example, one with       relationship. It is, therefore, easier for
     tile drainage and one without tile            people in the unit to make an informed
     drainage. We wanted every water board         decision about who will represent them

     to have a unique character.'                  on the board.
                                                   In a 3,000-acre district, for example, there
     Water boards: not for                         would be about 40 base units. Every unit
     everybody                                     elects a local representative. All
     Although El-Aziz is a strong proponent of     representatives are brought together in a
     water boards, he recognises that they are     Representative Assembly of users. Since
     not necessary everywhere in Egypt. A case     most of the pilot areas are largely rural,
     in point is the Siwa Oasis in the western     there might be only two or three
     desert. The APP thought it would be a         industrial representatives in the Assembly,
     prime area for water management. So           as well as a handful of residential
     early on, it recommended that the project     representatives. The Representative
     establish a board there. According to El-     Assembly is responsible for setting plans
     Aziz, however, the local users already had    and priorities for the water board. The
     things under control. 'We found that          Assembly also elects the water board
     people living in the Siwa Oasis have          from among its membership, including a
     traditional rules to manage water that are    chairperson and six to 10 members.
     more powerful than what we were
     working towards. They are tribes and they     Water board duties
                                                   The board is responsible for integrated
                                                   water management-irrigation, drainage
                                                   and other issues related to water in its
                                                   area. Recent priorities have included
                                                   water quality and conservation. According
                                                   to El-Aziz, this often includes hands-on
                                                   intervention, a further benefit of the
                                                   water board concept.
'When the users are involved', he says,          'As part of the APP we looked for an ideal
'they better understand the need for             size. We've found that to be the district
water conservation-even the need for             level. Each district represents 40,000-
reduction of pollution. Local farmers            60,000 acres. If we can form boards at this
prevent area residents from throwing             level in the rest of Egypt I think they can
garbage in the canals or any other kind of       be self-sustaining and self-sufficient.'
illegal actions. They may also be involved
with removal of waste and weeds from             A focus on user participation
the canals. The farmers themselves can           Although cost recovery is one of the
create a lot of problems. This means that        project's key goals, El-Aziz says true
the water boards can help solve these            participation is more important still. 'We
problems because all farmers have                want members to participate by in-kind or
representatives on the water boards and          cash contributions', he says. 'And we want
all have to schedule irrigation through the      these boards to be quite small but
water boards.'                                   effective.

Moving beyond the branch                         'Egypt has a very unique system', he
level                                            continues. 'We have essentially one
Most current water boards operate at the         source of water and a very complicated
branch level. But El-Aziz says eventually        [distribution] system. I don't believe we
focus will shift to the district level. 'We've   can manage it and divide the resources

found that we want to work at a higher           effectively with a big group system. The
level than the branch canal", he says.           water boards are a kind of
'We've discovered that a branch-level            decentralisation so actually we are
organisation can't generate enough funds         looking for water management, even
to be self-sustainable. We took a lesson         more than the revenues. Our job is to give
from the Dutch here. Initially the               farmers authority and prestige and give
Netherlands had 3,000 water boards, but          them a role-not just to get them to pay
found that was not the best solution. So         money.'
they merged the smaller boards together.
Currently there are 50 water boards in the
     Establishing a legal framework                 Gradual acceptance
     Users have embraced the concept of             Sensitivity to user concerns and concrete
     water boards and are eager to see it           results have helped make the Water
     work. The main stumbling block now is          Board Project successful and overcome
     establishing the legal framework that will     initial user scepticism. An original
     make the boards both truly autonomous          member of the Deir El Musalamy Canal
     and truly responsible. Currently the           Water Board in the Sharkeya Governorate
     boards are supported by ministerial            illustrates this gradual acceptance. Her
     decree. This gives them limited legal          name is Sahar and she is one of two
     standing.                                      women in Deir El Musalamy chosen to
                                                    represent the residential constituency. 'At
     An amendment to law number 12, which           first, I was sceptical of the idea of water
     established the mesqa-level water user         boards and of the benefit of my
     associations, will give water boards wider     participation', she recalls. 'People made
     powers, including the right to collect fees.   jokes about my membership. My husband
     This amendment has now been                    did not appreciate the lengthy meetings.
     introduced in the Egyptian parliament
     where it waits acceptance. Once the law        'Above all, the male board members were
     passes, water boards will have the             not very comfortable with the idea of a
     necessary legal status and can be              woman attending meetings with them.
     implemented throughout the country.            But with persistence and diligence, we

                                                    women managed to get our issues on the
     Keeping a reasonable tax                       Water Board's action plan. Soon, and
     El-Aziz is very concerned that water
     boards not add to users' tax burdens. 'I
     made it my business', he says simply. 'We
     have to support the government. But we
     also have to support the water boards, at
     the very least by exempting them from
     governmentally imposed land taxes.
     Instead, I told the government, we can
     leave the land tax to them. I said that if
     we left this to the water boards, the
     government would get the same funds
     without imposing a new burden. The local
     user will pay the same as he paid last
     year, but to the local water boards. This
     will generate funds.

     'I felt very strongly that we should not put
     a new burden on water users. If needed,
     some of the money can initially come
     from the government to support the
     people. We want to give them the
     opportunity and power to operate the
     system, rather than making them pay
     more. That has been our track right from
     the beginning.
much to our delight, a fence was
constructed right on the canal to prevent
the drowning of our children. We also
held an environmental awareness
workshop for men and women in our
village to highlight the hazardous effects
of canal pollution.

'Now people no longer mock me. They
come to me to tell about their problems.
My husband no longer objects to my
participation. Many women and children
have stopped throwing garbage in the
canal, because they know it will block the
water flow from reaching the fields where
their husbands work and that it will
pollute the water. I am very proud of
what we women did on our canal. And for
us, this is only the beginning.'


        Gender issues in the
        Water Sector

      Egypt is a traditional country. And nowhere is this truer than
      when it comes to men's and women's roles. Yet tradition has
     not kept pace with Egypt's new reality-namely that women are
      being asked to fulfil roles previously thought to be men- only.
           One place this is happening is in the farm sector, where
           necessity, opportunity or other circumstances are giving
      increasingly more women primary responsibility for the crops
      and livestock. Some estimate that 30 to 40 percent of Egypt's
        farms are worked by women. And since water is an integral
       part of farming life, this reversal of traditional gender roles
         has been a subject of great interest to the Egyptian-Dutch
                     Advisory Panel Project on Water Management.
Addressing the entire                          But in irrigation the question was how
population                                     was she involved?'
It's a mistake to think of gender issues as
referring only to women, cautions Dr.          Dutch experience leads the
Samia El-Guindy, director of the APP           way
Central Office. 'When it comes to water        As in many Panel initiatives, Dutch
issues, gender concerns the performance        experience provided guidelines for raising
of men and women together', she says. 'It      awareness of the issue. El-Guindy says it
is not just women. It's important to           actually wasn't too difficult to educate the
address both, and previously this was not      Panel on gender sensitivity. 'The Dutch
done. If you look to the society you find      have a very good understanding of this
that women represent 50% of the society.       issue. With some of the Egyptians it may
Women are responsible for the                  have been a little trickier because in the
household. Many women are also                 beginning they had the idea that
responsible for fieldwork. And if you talk     irrigation work was too difficult for
about water quality protection, or water       women. Now we are working to extend
management or introducing new                  that understanding so that this issue can
technology-irrigation systems, and so on-      be incorporated in the policy of the
you cannot neglect 50% of the                  Ministry.
population. If you do that your initiatives
will fail. Or at least you will miss a large   'Based on information we received from

portion of the workers.'                       assessment studies, the Panel tried to
                                               draft a policy for gender. The idea was to
The Panel recognised this truth years ago,     incorporate this policy in the Ministry's
and in 1996 it began formally to consider      policy in the short- and long-terms. We
and incorporate gender issues into its         are now in this process. With the
activities.                                    assistance of local and Dutch consultants
                                               we are currently making more
Raising Panel awareness                        assessments to develop an issue paper to
El-Guindy says that a priority was to raise    help in drafting the policy in the Ministry.
sensitivity to gender as this impacts water    We want them to take into consideration
issues. The APP staff began with high-         that women are exactly like men. There's
level officials associated with the Ministry   no difference in this process and they
of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI),      should be included in the whole decision-
which is closely linked to the Panel. 'Our     making process and in the advisory
first step was to raise awareness, first       processes and so on.'
among the Panel members, both Egyptian
and Dutch, and among the decision-             Tradition vs. reality
makers in the Ministry. We wanted them         Some members of the Panel, and many
to understand what gender is. So we had        men and women in the field, had trouble
a workshop. Then we started to make            buying this concept. Traditional male and
some assessment studies to incorporate         female roles are simply too established in
gender within the policy of the Ministry.      Egypt. An interview with an Egyptian
This occurred at two levels: the               farmer draws this distinction very clearly.
institutional level and mainly at the          On a video commissioned by MWRI,
grassroots or field level. The idea-not only   which explores gender issues as these
in our Ministry but in many agencies-was       relate to irrigation, the farmer says: 'a
always that women were involved in a           woman here can only do certain tasks.
high percentage of agricultural processes.     She can mow but she can't irrigate. We're
     bound by certain traditions here. When a       traditional attitudes. Women are
     man irrigates he can undress and work in       particularly active in the Delta and Upper
     his underclothes. A woman could never          Egypt where gender issue pilot
     do that. Another thing, we irrigate at         programmes are in place.
     night. By day the demand for water is
     high. The flow is minimal because we're        Women on the water boards
     at the end of the watercourse. So, a           One area that has started to include
     woman can't irrigate at night or during        women is the water board initiatives.
     the day either. She may need to gird up        These organisations provide farmers with
     her dress but our tradition doesn't permit     local representation on water issues.
                                                    'The Water Board Project is already
     This is a typical sentiment, says El-Guindy.   helping raise awareness about the role
     But reality is a different matter. 'Through    women can play in this arena', says El-
     our assessment studies we discovered that      Guindy. 'Of course the Dutch government
     women are fully involved in irrigation',       plays a role in that-in the Dutch embassy
     she says.                                      in Cairo, for example, we have gender
                                                    specialists, experts who support us on this
     A changing Egypt                               issue.'
     Many recent events have-literally-changed
     the face of Egypt's farmers. An expanding      Some female farmers have already been

     population and industrial development          elected to these boards. Here, too,
     mean it's harder to make a living solely by    however, some traditional farmers insist
     farming. Many husbands, therefore, opt         that women respond inappropriately to
     for jobs in nearby cities or abroad, leaving
     their wives to take care of the farm. It's
     much less expensive for her to do the
     work herself than to hire a labourer.
     Here's a typical story from the video: 'Ten
     years ago, my husband went abroad to
     Jordan and Saudi Arabia', says the woman
     in the video. 'I did all the work at home
     and in the field. I'd irrigate and tend the
     flow of water, water the corn and thin it
     out. Also the cotton. I did all the
     fieldwork. I'd tend the livestock; take care
     of my kids. I carried the responsibility for
     10 years. He'd go abroad to work and I'd
     work here.'

     Other women farmers have been
     widowed or have lost their husband
     through immigration. An early Panel
     study was to document these changes.
     Field studies and interviews soon showed
     that women farmers were very common
     in most of Egypt and that women had
     found a way to overcome the challenges
     of restrictive clothing, hard labour and
water challenges. 'Women don't have         not possible for a woman to attend a
sufficient knowledge of irrigation          meeting except for a few rare cases. She
problems', says one opponent on the         can't take on a man's role.'
video. 'Supposing the husband is abroad
and there's no water in the irrigation      Slow acceptance of women
canal. She asks the neighbours to provide   representatives
her with water from the drainage canal or   And yet experience is putting the lie to
a groundwater pump. She depends on her      these ideas. Farhana Habib is a case in
neighbours.'                                point. She owns her own farm, supervises
                                            the land herself and is a member of the
As the video shows, some resistance         local water union.
comes from farmers who believe that it is
unseemly for women to serve on a water      'We do have female farmers on these
board. As one of the farmers in the video   boards', confirms El-Guindy. They
puts it: 'regarding the participation of    represent the farmers in these
women in the union, women who have          associations. In some cases the women
land are few. A woman usually has           are well respected although in some
someone to represent her: her husband,      areas, such as Upper Egypt, it is still an
son or anyone with power of attorney-a      issue because people there are very
worker she trusts. So women are not         traditional. There it is not easy. But we are
elected to the committee. The number of     working on that.

women who irrigate is low. They can
never do the work a man does. Besides,      'There are women representatives on the
we have our traditions and customs. It's    water boards in Upper Egypt but they are
                                            representing households rather than
                                            representing farms. We are looking
                                            forward to the time when women will
                                            also represent farms. '

                                            Expanding gender sensitivity
                                            to all water areas
                                            The Panel hopes to extend acceptance of
                                            women farmers throughout the water
                                            sector, and indeed throughout the nation.
                                            'We think that the issue of gender will
                                            spread to all areas of the irrigation
                                            policy', says El-Guindy. 'Of course
                                            awareness is very, very important in this
                                            process. This is true not only at the
                                            Ministry level but also at the national
                                            level. We have planned to organise a big
                                            national workshop. It will be held at the
                                            end of 2003 or the beginning of 2004
                                            after we have solid results to disseminate.
                                            This information will raise awareness
                                            among all the national organisations. We
                                            would also like to publish a newsletter
                                            and coordinate with other ministries,
                                            especially the Ministry of Agriculture.

     These kinds of activities are currently        Services Directorate, which has the most
     being implemented.'                            direct link with the field and with farmers.
                                                    'We put the focal point in this directorate
     There is already support for these             to strengthen the advisory services to
     initiatives at the national level, where       female farmers' says El-Guindy. 'In the
     consideration of women's issues, in            past, these female farmers had always
     general, is a national policy. Egypt now       been neglected when it came to the
     has a National Women Council. The MWRI         decision-making process.'
     has close ties to this council and El-Guindy
     sees such support as evidence that             The Gender Focal Point consists of one
     awareness about gender issues has been         female engineer and one male engineer
     gradually growing.                             who acts as her assistant. They are
                                                    currently involved in a very intensive
     Establishing a Gender Focal                    planning programme designed to
     Point                                          coordinate among various Ministry
     The Panel recently suggested that the          projects involving gender activities. They
     MWRI formalise and coordinate its              are also organising the national
     position on gender issues. Consultants         workshops to raise awareness.
     advised establishment of a gender unit or
     focal point in the Ministry. MWRI has
     already implemented this Gender Focal
     Point as part of the Irrigation Advisory
Increasing the number of                        Or as one (male) proponent of gender
female engineers in the                         equality on the farm succinctly puts it in
Irrigation Advisory Service                     the video: 'They used to say 'a man's a
El-Guindy says giving women better role         man and a woman's a woman. Today, a
models and leadership is equally essential      man's a man and a woman's a man too!'
in promoting gender equality. 'We are
looking at how to increase the number of        At least where irrigation and other water
female engineers who are working in the         issues are concerned.
Irrigation Advisory Service', she says. 'This
will help provide an easy link with female
farmers since these engineers work
closely with those in the field.'

Women engineers are not completely
new to this sector, and these field workers
are often best equipped to describe the
reality of women in farming. Says one 18-
year veteran at the local office of the
irrigation department: 'I see women
coming with their problems just like men
do. A woman's role in agriculture is equal

to a man's. In her husband's absence she
manages everything. She comes to the
office with any problems and we solve
them for her. Women engineers are as
numerous as the men and most of our
employees are women. There are women
in all the agricultural cooperatives.
There's no difference between men and
                                                         Sustaining an

       Management of

       groundwater issues

     The old saying 'out of sight, out of mind' describes one of
        the key dilemmas facing Egypt's fledgling Groundwater
     Sector. For how do you begin to protect a resource that is
      vital but hidden to most people? This issue haunts Fatma
            Attia, head of the Ministry of Water Resources and
                             Irrigation's (MWRI) newest sector.

     'Groundwater is an invisible source', explains Attia. 'When
      you talk about water distribution (from the Nile), people
              see it. But what about what's below the ground?'
Egypt's baby water sector                      various regions in Egypt. In the desert you
In 1999, the government established the        have no other source of water. And more
Groundwater Sector (GWS) in an effort to       and more people were settling in these
bring a large number of groundwater            areas.
issues together under one roof. MWRI
and the Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel          'At present about 1% of the population is
Project on Water Management had been           settled in the oases of the western desert
concerned with groundwater since 1983.         and in both Sinai and the eastern desert.
As a result of the long cooperation,           In addition to settlers and farmers, there
various recommendations on the                 are many other activities. For instance,
initiation of a groundwater executive          there is tourism in the South Sinai and
body in the Ministry were brought. Finally     along the Red Sea Coast in the eastern
in 1999, the MWRI decided to respond to        desert. The entire northwest coast of
such requests and recommendations and          Egypt has no access to Nile water. They all
initiate the GWS.                              depend either on groundwater or on flash
                                               flood harvesting. So the need for water
'Before the initiation of the GWS, there       comes both from the people who live
were many scattered groundwater                there and the people who are just
directorates that reported to the Irrigation   visiting.'
Sector', recalls Attia. 'But groundwater is
used for things other than irrigation so       A wide range of

there were lots of conflicts among the
groundwater users. Also, enforcement of        The Groundwater Sector is more than the
the laws involving licensing and planning,     newest water-related division in Egypt. It's
control and pollution regulation was not       also one of the most diverse and is the
done. It was difficult having scattered        only sector in the Ministry to cover the
directorates reporting to a sector that had    whole country. A staff of about 1,300
no special groundwater expertise. There        people, including technicians, operators,
was a move to consolidate groundwater,         professional staff, administrators and
rainfall harvesting and flood control          labourers, handles the tasks. Tasks include
activities-whatever is in the desert.'         implementing, monitoring and licensing
                                               every groundwater well in the country, as
The work of the sector was not started         well as design and construction of
from scratch, because activities related to    structures that protect the land from flash
research and monitoring had already            floods. 'We're even responsible for wells
begun in 1954. Before joining the Water        with brackish water', says Attia, 'because
Sector, Attia was the head of the well-        people can use it for fish farming or
respected Groundwater Research Institute.      growing salt-resistant crops. We are also
She has 36 years of experience in this         responsible for pollution control and
field.                                         enforcement of the law. This is an
                                               important responsibility. We cannot leave
Response to a growing need                     it to others.'
As with other water issues, the move from
research to implementation was a               In addition, the Sector is charged with
reflection of Egypt's changing needs.          raising awareness about any issue that
Attia: 'the increase in groundwater            impacts the country's groundwater and
requirements had to do with the                wadis.
population increase and the increase in
the dependence on groundwater in
     The vulnerability of

                                                     can treat itself in a couple of days because
     groundwater                                     of the aerobic conditions. But
     One thing many people don't understand          groundwater can't.'
     about groundwater-or indeed think very
     much about at all-is the problem related        An emphasis on sustainability
     to groundwater pollution. Unlike surface        Producing truly sustainable groundwater
     water, groundwater vulnerability to             is the Sector's number one priority. And
     pollution is generally low.                     when Attia talks about this emphasis, it's
     Once polluted, however, rehabilitation is       clear she's concerned that water be
     either very costly or impossible.               available for 100s or even 1,000s of years.
                                                     The Groundwater Sector has identified a
     Especially where the soil is permeable,         number of strategies to ensure this long-
     groundwater is susceptible to pollution         term solution. First, she says, the major
     from industry, farm fertilisers and             part of the water is not renewable. True
     pesticides, and salts that are flushed from     sustainability requires conscientious
     the earth above. 'The salt you find on the      planning. This will ensure that the
     soil is not just going to stay there. It will   majority of water will come from
     leach to the water below', explains Attia.      renewable sources like rainfall and flash
     'Groundwater vulnerability is an                flood harvesting, while only a small
     extremely important issue and one that          amount will be drawn from finite sources.
     deserves more attention.
                                                     Another key to sustainability is matching
     'We need to focus people on pollution           water quality and technology to use. Attia
     prevention rather than amelioration.            says, 'you can use shallow and brackish
     Sometimes it's not possible to reverse the      groundwater for agriculture and/or fish
     groundwater pollution. That's not true          farming, for example. This water may be
     with other water sources. When surface          of lesser quality, 1,500 to 5,000 ppm, but
     water is polluted with organic waste, it        it will be adequate for some crops. We
also need to take a look at technology.       have to be aware of how things influence
The average farmer cannot afford to drill     each other.'
a deep well to get flowing water. Why
don't we develop simple technology that       Egypt is also concerned with
takes economics and education into            understanding and respecting the needs
consideration?'                               of groundwater users. 'The social part of
                                              groundwater management is very
Finally, according to Attia, sustainability   important, says Attia. 'People who live in
means educating people about reducing         desert areas have been depending on
pollution and conserving existing             groundwater as their sole source for
resources. These issues bring up others.      centuries. If you bring in people from
                                              other areas and settle them in the desert
Maintaining difficult                         without understanding the society and
equilibriums                                  culture they will be joining you can upset
The environment is complex and so are         the whole balance of the community.'
the aspects of it related to groundwater
management. For example, says Attia, it is    Sensitivity to the existing population is
important to consider the effects any         more than a vague standard. It's
proposed management would have on             government policy. 'When Egypt settles
wetlands and natural springs. 'These          an area, we also study and prepare the
resources have existed for hundreds and       area for those coming in. Years ago most

even thousands of years', she says. 'If you   settlers were university graduates and
start developing or managing                  landless farmers from the Nile Valley and
groundwater without understanding the         the Delta. But today the expansion is
impact on these areas you can bring           based on large investors. We work closely
about environmental imbalance. So you         with them to make sure we are protecting
     the native people and the established         A passionate exchange of
     settlers. Otherwise they would be lost-and    ideas
     this is not right.'                           Attia and her in-house staff cannot tackle
                                                   all the issues facing them alone. She says
     A passionate public awareness                 the Egyptian-Dutch Panel has involved a
     campaign                                      passionate exchange of ideas, with both
     Attia is a strong advocate for and            sides learning much from the other. The
     educator about groundwater problems           Dutch, for example, have been excellent
     and solutions. She works hard with            resources in terms of geology and
     various constituents, her staff, the          artificial recharge and treatment of water.
     government and even her grandchildren         And, Attia says, they have been an
     to ensure they all understand the issues.     invaluable resource when it comes to
                                                   planning. 'In Egypt it's very common to
     'A major challenge is creating a good         just work', she explains, 'and when the
     staff', she reports. 'We're talking about     work is finished, it's finished. The Dutch
     capacity building. You need to train          have taught us about putting plans into
     people to understand, for example, what       place and sticking to them. To become a
     is meant by integrated water                  professional consultant you need this kind
     management, what is meant by quality.         of discipline. And the quality of your work
     Many of my staff members were civil           should be evaluated using measurable
     engineers. Civil engineers do not have a      standards.'

     lot of experience with quality. So we
     needed to train them and add staff
     members of other disciplines/education,
     such as geologists.

     'Another challenge we have is helping the
     country to reduce pollution of water
     resources and to conserve such resources.
     The country is your children and your
     grandchildren and their children.

     'This means creating awareness both with
     very high politicians and policy decision-
     makers and the grassroots-not only with
     the farmers but also with schoolchildren. I
     do that with my granddaughters when I
     try to develop awareness in them. I talk to
     them. I tell stories about water, about
     how it comes and how it can become
     polluted and how we can lose it. They are
     interested. They can even make you
     ashamed of yourself. They can say,
     "Grandma, you said don't waste water
     and now you opened the tap and left it
     open. Oh! Oh!"
Among other things, says Attia, Egypt has    'Before we start any project, we talk with
brought knowledge of the social aspects      the people living in the area and work
of water management to the table. 'One       with them', she says. 'I've learned a lot by
of our main interests is the social part',   listening. I'll give you an example from
she says. 'The Dutch learned a lot by        the Nile Valley and Delta.
watching and working with our farmers.
They also worked with our investors to       'About 30 years ago I took part in an FAO-
see how we deal with problems like           World Bank drainage programme. I saw
economies of scale and large-scale           that one of the farmers was trying to hide
projects.'                                   something behind his clothes. I asked him
                                             what he was trying to hide. It was a
Learning from the unofficial                 pump. So I asked him "why are you
experts                                      hiding a pump?" He told me that he was
The knowledge exchange has not been          supposed to turn the pump in since the
the exclusive property of the Advisory       High Aswan Dam had replaced the need
Panel Project and other government           for groundwater.
officials. Attia praises the role of the
people living in groundwater-use areas.
She enjoys talking, listening and learning   'I said, "you have water all the time. You
from her constituents in the desert.         don't need a pump. It's more expensive."
                                             And he said, "You don't understand. Of

                                             course I can have water all the time. I can
                                             grow vegetables as a cash crop. But with
                                             a pump I can also achieve drainage." This
                                             was a dimension of pumping that we had
                                             never thought of. And so you learn.

                                             'I love the users', she continues. 'When
                                             you go into any oasis, they recognise you.
                                             They come and ask you about things. You
                                             want to satisfy them and you feel proud
                                             of yourself when you can help them. In
                                             the beginning we had lots of problems
                                             but in the end they found we were doing
                                             it for them, not for ourselves. They know
                                             I'm not making myself the boss of the
                                             water but rather trying to conserve it for
                                             them. It's there for them and for their
            Investigating unconventional sources

            The Panel tackles
            water quality
     Water quality and its sister issue water scarcity currently dominate
              most world discussions of water problems. In Egypt it's no
       different. With an exploding population and increasing industrial
      development, the Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel Project on Water
      Management has placed water quality high on its priority list. Dr.
       Samia El-Guindy, director of the APP Central Office, says that the
      Panel has long been interested in preserving water quality-almost
         from its formation in 1976. Yet in the last several years, quality
         problems have taken on a new urgency. This has led to several
     achievements in this area. And today the Panel is working to better
                                         coordinate all its quality efforts.
Success breeds opportunity                   Predicting outcomes in
The Egyptian-Dutch partnership was           different scenarios
originally formed to help Egypt develop a    Another Panel initiative was finding a way
more-efficient drainage system. And these    to forecast the kind of water quality
early Panel efforts, which allowed better    produced in various agricultural
recovery of irrigation water, first          conditions. 'The Drainage Research
stimulated Egypt to consider water-quality   Institute (DRI) developed a mathematical
issues. 'When the Panel Project started      model to predict long-term water quality
and showed some success in the areas of      under different water-management
land drainage', says El-Guindy, 'the         policies', says El-Guindy. 'This model
Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation   allowed the Ministry to predict the water
(MWRI) asked the Panel to assist in          quality under different scenarios. For
studying the possibility of reusing          example, we could tell what might
drainage water. Since the 1970s the          happen if the rice cultivation increased, if
Ministry has had a policy in place           the rice cultivation decreased, if we used
mandating the reuse of agricultural          different cropping patterns, if the
drainage waste.' Reuse of water is an        irrigation improvement programme was
unconventional means of stretching water     implemented…. This model let us
resources. As the population continues to    determine what the quality of water
grow, the focus has turned ever more         would likely be.'
tightly towards this method for extending
                                             Studying water effects

the amount of useable water.'
                                             Once the Panel had determined the
Tracking water quality                       quality of water in different actual and
When Egypt first considered reusing          predicted scenarios, it wanted to find out
agricultural water, water-quality data was   the effects reused water would have on
virtually non-existent. El-Guindy: 'At the   crops. So it discussed and commissioned a
time we're talking about, around 1976,       number of technical studies that would
there was hardly any information about       trace the environmental impact of saline
water quality. They could collect            water on soil and crops. It also studied
information about water quantity from        the long-term impact of reusing drainage
the pumping stations, but there was no       water in reclaiming part of the northern
means to do the same with water quality.'    lakes (Lake Burullus and Lake Edku).
A first step for the Panel, therefore, was
establishment of a water-monitoring          New problems-sewage and
system. In the beginning, the study was      industrial effluents
mainly concerned with water salinity, the    El-Guindy notes that time and changing
major parameter for agricultural water.      demographics have brought new water-
Since most of the drains in Upper Egypt      quality issues to the forefront. 'As the
discharge into the Nile, the project first   population increased and the
focused on the Delta. The monitoring         development programs in Egypt
system was gradually increased, and          expanded', she says, 'we began seeing
today MWRI monitors quality in drains,       another water-quality problem. This is
canals, groundwater and the River Nile, as   pollution of the drainage water-mainly
well as all water used in irrigation and     sewage effluents and industrial effluents.
drainage.                                    The Panel responded by looking at how
                                             the problem could be solved and devising
                                             policies that could achieve those goals.'
                                             Major problems in the Delta region
     Unsurprisingly, Egypt's most populous          Ministry of Industry and other ministries-
     area-the Nile Delta-is also the most beset     quite closely to develop a coordinated
     by water-quality problems. 'The water-         water-quality protection policy and to
     quality issues there are more severe than      control pollution. For example, we work
     elsewhere in Egypt', confirms El-Guindy.       with the Ministry of the Environment and
     'This is because of the high population        the Ministry of Agriculture to deal with
     density and also because of the impact         pesticides. MWRI also works with the
     rural areas have on the pollution rates.       Ministry of Housing concerning sewage
     About 80% of the rural area of Egypt has       effluents. '
     no sewer system. So residents there
     dispose of their effluents directly into the   Dutch influences
     drains.'                                       The Dutch Panel members proved a
                                                    powerful resource when it came to
     The impact of industrialisation                reducing the effects of spot pollution. The
     The Nile Delta is also one of the areas        Netherlands, namely, successfully treated
     most influenced by expanding                   extensive water pollution in the 1970s.
     industrialisation. And this too has added      These problems prompted the Dutch to
     to the amount of spot pollution in the         enact laws to restrict pollution of surface
     region since industrial and municipal          water. The Egyptians were very interested
     water users contribute more heavily to         in studying the experiences of the Dutch
     pollution than do farmers. The increased       in terms of sewage-water treatment and

     industrialisation is a by-product of Egypt's   the methods the Netherlands used to
     rapid population growth. As Egypt gets         improve surface-water quality. Based on
     more populous it has to look beyond            these experiences and other research, the
     farming as a source of income.                 Panel recommended a National Water
     Industrialisation-steel, chemical, food        Quality Protection Plan. The MWRI, in turn
     processing, etc.-has grown apace.              was able to establish its priorities and
                                                    plans concerning water quality.
     El-Guindy: "There are also smaller
     polluters-small workshops and factories-in     A second step in this initiative was
     the Delta. These contribute to the water-      communicating the priorities to other
     quality problems there.' These water users     concerned ministries and co-drafting a
     do not come directly under the                 national plan to ensure that plans from
     jurisdiction of MWRI, but these users do       different ministries fit together seamlessly
     impact water quality and so the Ministry       into a coherent action strategy.
     is concerned. 'We only work with the
     ministries on water quality, not so much       A problem beyond Egypt
     individually with the small stakeholders',     Since it shares its river with nine other
     she says. 'The Ministry of the Environment     Nile Basin countries, it's no surprise that
     is responsible for water-quality               Egypt has looked beyond its borders to
     protection.'                                   identify quality issues and suggest
                                                    solutions. In June 2001, the Advisory Panel
     This brings up another focal area: working     Project organised a workshop in Cairo for
     with other Egyptian ministries. 'MWRI is       Nile Basin countries. The meeting,
     not a major polluter', says El-Guindy.         'Regional Nile Water Quality Protection'
     'There are other ministries who pollute        was intended to create awareness and
     the waters to a much greater extent. We        cooperation in the field of water-quality
     have to work with them-the Ministry of         management. Representatives from
     Housing, the Sewage Authority, the             Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan,
Kenya, Tanzania, the Congo, Burundi and       recommended that the MWRI have a
Egypt attended, along with professionals      more formal structure to handle them.
from the Ministry of Water Resources and      'The Panel found that there was no
Irrigation, the Ministry of Agriculture and   definite structure in the Ministry to
Land Reclamation, the Egyptian                manage water quality', recalls El-Guindy.
Environmental Affairs Agency and area         'There were many different activities in
universities.                                 the Ministry connected to water quality-
                                              research, quality monitoring, application
The meeting was primarily intended to         of the legislation in various places in the
give participants information to create       Ministry, etc. But there was no definite
awareness of water-quality issues and         structure providing coordination among
protection initiatives. The group also        all these activities and no overall
discussed possibilities for a sustainable,    responsibility.
long-term partnerships among Nile Basin
countries to do combined research and         'The Panel strongly recommended that a
knowledge development in the area of          Water Quality Unit be established in the
water-quality protection. As the workshop     Ministry. The Unit's function would be to
organiser APP helped participants come        consolidate and coordinate between
to an agreement to protect, preserve and      policy makers in the Planning Sector and
raise public awareness in Egypt and other     planning projects, as well as monitoring
Nile Basin countries about improving          programmes, research, legislation and

water quality.                                stakeholder involvement. This last-how
                                              the stakeholders and other ministries can
Consolidating water-quality                   be involved with the Ministry in the whole
issues                                        process-was an especially important
As the issues surrounding water quality       function.'
became more complex, the Panel

                                                         Filling in the gaps
                                                         The Panel proposed the new
                                                         unit in January 2002 and soon
                                                         after the Minister issued a
                                                         decree putting it into effect.
                                                         The Unit has many mandates.
                                                         'We still have some gaps in the
                                                         water-quality legislation and
                                                         the Water Quality Unit is
                                                         charged with taking care of
                                                         that', says El-Guindy. 'An
                                                         Egyptian-Dutch project has
                                                         already started to support and
                                                         strengthen this Unit through
                                                         capacity building, training the
                                                         staff and so on. We consider
                                                         the establishment of this Unit
                                                         quite a Panel achievement.'
        Changes in water technologies

      The Panel and 27 years

      of technical advice
     Ask nearly anyone about the joint Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel
        Project on Water Management and you'll hear the same thing:
          today's Panel is primarily a policy advisory body. There's no
      denying the technical underpinnings, however-particularly in the
          field of drainage-nor the continuing impact of water-related
          technology. Hussein El-Atfy, a long-time civil engineer, Panel
     advisor and the Undersecretary of State for the Minister of Water
     Resources and Irrigation's Office of Affairs, traces nearly 30 years
     of changing technology, the socio- economic aspects of water, and
            training, as well as these subjects impact on Panel efforts.
The Panel, the Ministry and                     the salts come up to the soil surface. This
the Egyptian Drainage                           process is especially problematic with
Authority                                       high groundwater levels and high
No exploration of the Panel and Ministry's      temperatures. So the salinity problems
efforts in the area of drainage would be        increased after the completion of the High
complete without understanding their            Dam. To combat this, we started a
relationship to the Egyptian Public             drainage system, first with open drains
Authority on Drainage Projects (EPADP),         and later with subsurface, or tile,
which has primary responsibility for            drainage. Today Egypt's drainage system
Egypt's drainage system. El-Atfy worked         covers eight million acres of cultivated
for EPADP for several years, as well as its     land.'
sister organisation the Drainage Research
Institute (DRI), so he knows their activities   Effective drainage increased farm income-
well. This has helped him in his current        a major socio-economic change.
role in MWRI and as an APP advisor.             'Monitoring and evaluation programmes
                                                have proved that crop yields have
Changes in the EPADP                            increased an average of 20% thanks to the
Over the years, many aspects of drainage        reduction of salinity in the soil', says El-
have evolved. Not least is the EPADP            Atfy.
itself, which has changed a great deal
since it was formed in 1974 according to        'When we started drainage and for a long

El-Atfy. 'We started with a very small          time, the farmers had doubts about the
department and ended up with the                system. In the beginning they were afraid
Egyptian Public Authority on Drainage           and they didn't want the new drainage
Projects', he says. 'It's a very big agency     system. Farmers are intelligent by nature
now. In the near future, you're going to        and after they realised the benefits of
see some institutional reform within the        drainage they began asking for it. '
Authority in terms of upgrading the
capabilities of the staff and the               Early Panel involvement
organisation. This will also involve            Egypt has had a long history of irrigation
farmers. Until recently, the Authority was      and normal types of drainage. But Dutch
responsible for the operation and               Panel members and other Dutch experts
maintenance of drainage systems. Now            brought in a whole new perspective. 'The
they are testing whether the operation          Dutch had a lot of experience with
could be transferred to the farmers, in the     subsurface drainage and drainage under
form of water user associations.'               Dutch conditions', says El-Atfy. 'This
                                                experience taught us a lot. But the
Socio-economic changes in                       partnership was really beneficial to both
water issues                                    sides. They have their experiences and we
Socio-economic changes have also been           have ours and we could use both to
widespread, particularly since completion       develop our solutions.
of the High Aswan Dam. 'We moved from
basin irrigation with one crop per year to      'The Dutch, of course, don't have as much
perennial, which doubled the cropping           of a problem with salinity because all
and thus also the amount of irrigation          their rainwater helps wash the salt out of
water supply' says El-Atfy. 'This increase      the soil. Dealing with salinity was
to almost continuous irrigation meant the       knowledge that was very specific to our
subsoil or groundwater table started to         climate-one in which the Dutch hadn't
rise. Once some of that water evaporates,       had much experience. This cooperation
     allowed us to gain from each other in          different types for different soils. This is
     these and related areas: design, materials,    the type of technology transfer that was
     maintenance and measuring system               going on between Egypt and the
     performance. We exchanged ideas and            Netherlands.
     experiences related to all of these matters
     and we've been able to adapt                   'We also discussed research studies, how
     technologies for each kind of                  you can check system performance in
     circumstance.'                                 drainage. And we determined design
                                                    criteria-the optimum depths and so forth
     Expanding the applicability of                 for existing technology. All these technical
     drainage envelopes                             matters were raised and resolved. We
     Drainage envelopes provide a typical           implemented a lot of the
     example. These are placed over                 recommendations and today I think we
     subsurface drainpipes so that loose            have the latest technology in the design
     sediment doesn't get in and block water's      and implementation of drainage systems.
     progress through the pipe. The Dutch had
     great success in developing envelopes for      'This has given Egypt a very good
     use in their densely packed soils. But they    reputation in drainage. Egypt has had a
     ran into a problem in Egypt. 'The soil in      good irrigation system for a very long
     Egypt is very different from that in the       time but in the last several years we have
     Netherlands', says El-Atfy. 'So some of the    also had a good reputation in drainage

     drain-envelope technology that worked in       works. And a large part of this was due to
     the Netherlands, didn't work here. It had      joint cooperation on the Panel.'
     to be adapted. First we tried using gravel
     envelopes, but gravel is very difficult to     A focus on applied research
     maintain in loose soils. So eventually we      Much of Egypt's drainage success can be
     switched to synthetic materials that are       traced to its insistence on applied
     manufactured locally. This evolution was       research. Here, too, the Egyptian Public
     based on the experience of the Dutch in        Authority on Drainage Projects plays a
     using these materials.'                        critical role. The National Water Research
                                                    Centre, however, also needs to be
     Evolutions in technology                       mentioned here. The Centre was started
     Other technologies have also evolved           in 1975 with 11 institutes in different
     greatly over the last 30 years. In each        fields of water management. One of these
     case, Egypt and the Netherlands worked         institutes, the Drainage Research Institute,
     closely to develop and adapt the best          serves as the EPADP's research arm. The
     technology for Egyptian conditions. They       set-up ensures a close link between
     systematically tested new technologies in      research and implementation of water
     several pilot areas designed to mimic          initiatives.
     different conditions. 'We carried out
     research for technologies in installation,     'Research and implementation work
     pipes, pipe materials used in subsurface       together', confirms El-Atfy. 'The beauty of
     drainage, etc. all to test the new             this is that our focus is on applied
     technologies in these pilot areas', says El-   research. When we find a problem in a
     Atfy. 'For example, in the area of pipe        certain pilot area, we test the alternatives
     materials, we changed from clay pipe to        and end up with the proper one. The
     concrete pipe to plastic pipe (PVC) within     Egyptian Public Authority on Drainage
     this period. It was a big evolution. We        Projects can also raise drainage problems
     also tested trenching machines-there are       for the Institute to carry out applied
research on in the pilot areas. It's quite a   then choose to close these gates, which
practical, efficient system.'                  serve as divisions between the rice, cotton
                                               and maize. 'When a farmer grows rice in
Improved water efficiency in                   some of these crop areas', explains El-
the rice fields                                Atfy, 'he can just go and close the sub-
Again, you don't have to look far to find      collectors and leave the main collector
examples of this applied research. El-Atfy     free. So the main drainage collector can
talks eagerly about an Egyptian sub-           drain the other crops while the rice is still
surface drainage system that provides          within the closed system. This allows you
improved water efficiency in the rice          to grow maize, cotton and rice next to
fields. 'In summer you have areas in           each other without problems. And in the
which farmers grow rice, cotton and            meantime you save water safely.'
maize', begins El-Atfy. 'The problem is you
need standing water to grow rice, but not      Pilot testing of this solution proved that
to grow cotton and maize. So you want to       the system saved up to 30% of the
leave water standing on the rice fields but    irrigation water previously used to keep
drain the land used to grow cotton and         rice fields flooded. In addition, the system
maize.                                         eliminated unnecessary drainage, soil
                                               salinity and waterlogging, reduced
'Under the old system, water collectors        evaluation costs and improved the soil
flowed into an open drain. This meant we       environment.

could either drain everything-rice, cotton
and maize alike-or leave them all standing     World leaders in research
in water.' Some farmers improvised             Such successes, says El-Atfy, have made
solutions, inserting make-shift plugs into     drainage researchers in Egypt known
the drains to keep the rice fields flooded.    throughout the world. 'I'd say the staff
But this often prevented drainage of the       capability in research might be among the
maize and cotton fields. And it damaged        best known in the world when it comes to
the drains, producing even more                drainage', he says. 'I'm talking here about
problems.                                      both the Egyptian and Dutch staff. We
                                               know that the Dutch have their
To solve these issues, Dutch and Egyptian      experience. They are famous for having
experts designed a modified layout so          built lands below sea level. And through
that each type of crop was served by a         this they have had to keep the land
sub-collector with gates. The farmers can      productive. So we know that they have
     very good experience in these things. And    Netherlands has provided training that's
     together we have tackled very specific       very famous among the people who work
     research areas in the last 25 years. And     in drainage.
     we have gradually implemented these
     research results to provide real and         'There is also an Egyptian counterpart
     lasting benefits to the country.'            Training Centre located in Tanta, which is
                                                  run by the Egyptian Public Authority on
     Improvements in training                     Drainage Projects. They have programmes
     Given their expertise in research, perhaps   to train engineers, builders and even
     it's not surprising to discover that the     private contractors in drainage issues. This
     Egyptian-Dutch partnership has also          is one output from the joint venture
     provided good opportunities to upgrade       between the Dutch and Egyptian
     and promote the level of staff working in    governments on drainage, and this came
     the field of drainage.                       about through the Panel.

     'The Drainage Research Institute and the     'We are now also starting to organise
     Egyptian Public Authority on Drainage        drainage courses for neighbouring
     Projects were instrumental in the design     countries in Africa and the Middle East.
     and implementation of training in both       Our Egyptian staff is also doing
     research bodies and the implementation       consultancy work in other countries with
     agencies', says El-Atfy. 'Training was       conditions similar to ours-Pakistan, India,

     either in Egypt or in the Netherlands.       etc. These consultants are mainly drainage
     When I started doing drainage work, I        engineers and other experts. So one
     attended ILRI's International Course on      lasting impact of this cooperation is our
     Land Drainage in Wageningen (the             continuing good reputation as drainage
     Netherlands). And every year, two or         experts.'
     three people from Egypt attend this
     course. So from the beginning the
Spreading technical expertise                  Challenges for the future
The partnership is not shy about sharing       After almost 30 years, Egypt and the
its results more formally. 'We've published    Netherlands have overcome many water
many technical reports about drainage          challenges. Yet despite cutting-edge
under this cooperation', says El-Atfy. 'We     technology, excellent results and world-
have already published two famous books-       renowned expertise they have not been
The History of Drainage in Egypt and the       lulled into a false sense of security. They
Manual for Drainage. Egyptian and Dutch        are already looking towards future
experts jointly developed these.               challenges. As El-Atfy notes: 'Drainage is a
                                               dynamic process. And each water

'We have also written about certain            infrastructure project needs a lot of
drainage related topics, such as reuse of      investments. The challenge is how to
drainage in irrigation, which is a policy of   sustain water resources and how to
the Ministry (MWRI). We do this to             increase user participation. It's very much
increase the water-use efficiency and          a matter of integration now. How do you
optimise the limited water resources we        integrate irrigation and drainage while
have. So we are recycling the water and        keeping in mind the social, economic and
reusing the drainage water. Along with         ecological/ environmental aspects?'
these activities we have a system to
monitor the water quantity and quality in
the drainage system. And we have written
about these issues so others can benefit
from our experiences.'

        The Panel's role in

        Egypt's Mega Projects
       When it comes to expanding its habitable lands, Egypt could be
     called the anti-Netherlands. The Dutch became famous, of course,
          for reclaiming land from the sea, extracting water to make a
       place for people. But Egypt, in an effort to provide room for its
      expanding population, is reclaiming land from the desert. And a
                        large part of that effort involves adding water.

       Today, the majority of Egypt's 70 million people live in just five
      percent of the available land-mostly in the Nile Delta and Valley.
      With its three so-called 'Mega Projects', Egypt hopes to increase
        the inhabited area to some 25 percent of the country by 2017.
            And since reaching that goal depends to a large extent on
      providing an efficient water infrastructure in the new lands, the
     Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel Project on Water Management will
                                    continue to play an important role.
Integrated land development                    treatment, etc. The government has
Egypt has begun Mega Projects in three         depended on the Panel Project to help
areas: Toshka in the South Valley, the El      with many of these issues. 'The Panel's
Salam Canal area of Sinai and Al Oweinat       role is to give advice and to help to make
in the western desert. Dr. Ahmed A.            integrated water management on the
Goueli, Secretary-General of the Council       projects a reality', says Goueli. 'These are
of Arab Economic Unity and Egyptian            new areas that require careful water use,
member of the Panel, is also the project       handling and irrigation. At the same time
manager for one quarter of the enormous        they are trying to ensure the
Toshka project. This encompasses 100,000       maximisation of the water resources in
acres or about 40,000 hectares of land.        agricultural production. So their role is
'All these projects involve huge areas, that   very important.'
have been largely set aside for
agricultural use', says Goueli. 'However,      The role of other
the projects are based on integrated           governmental bodies
development, rather than just on               The Panel cannot advise in a vacuum, of
agriculture. The projects support              course. The government must provide
agricultural production, agribusiness,         other infrastructure, transportation,
services, industries, tourism and a number     logistics, and social services such as
of other activities. These Mega Projects       schools, hospitals, communication and
are intended to promote production of          others. The complex links between

food, as well as bringing more jobs and        various aspects of the governmentally
more space for redistribution of our           sponsored Mega Project infrastructure
population.'                                   requires careful coordination among a
                                               number of agencies.
A varied population
Not surprisingly, Goueli says that the         'The people responsible for my
population will be as diverse as the           development project have worked very
activities there. 'The people who live on      closely with the Ministry of Water
the land will be a mixture of small            Resources and Irrigation (MWRI)', says
farmers, university graduates, small           Goueli. 'It is a major agency in the
investors, medium-sized investors and          implementation of the irrigation
large investors', he says. 'There will also    infrastructure. We have also work in close
be people engaged in agribusiness there-       cooperation with the Ministry of
to provide irrigation facilities, packing      Agriculture. They have an experimental
material and many other things. There          station close by our land and we rely on
will also be food processing and food          their experience and knowledge. We also
preservation businesses, handling of food      have a lot of interaction with the Ministry
and the logistics of this.'                    of Housing, the Ministry of Electricity, the
                                               Ministry of Communication, the Ministry
The role of the Panel                          of Transportation, the Ministry of Finance,
The Egyptian government, of course, has        the Ministry of Planning and several other
had to invest heavily in the projects. It is   ministries. We have a governmental
responsible for all the major infrastructure   coordinating committee for this project,
that will make it possible for future          and this committee meets regularly with
settlers to live comfortably there. In the     the private sector.'
arid climate, this naturally includes water-
related infrastructure-canalisation, water
harvesting and distribution, water
     The role of private investors                  Raising awareness of the
     While governmental money and expertise         Mega Project's potential
     are traditional sources of support for         Goueli knows whereof he speaks, since a
     Egyptian project, the Mega Projects have       large part of his job up to this point has
     introduced a new source to the mix: the        been attracting these private investors.
     private investor. 'There used to be a very     His section of Toshka involves a large
     strong tendency for the government to          pilot farm project, and private investors
     support government farms as one way of         have been footing the bill for the drip
     development in Egypt', explains Goueli.        irrigation systems, local canalisation,
     'Under this scenario, lands were               buildings, packinghouses, and other
     developed so that the government could         communal facilities on the farm. To date,
     continue production. But since the             Goueli and his team have booked
     economic reform of the '90s, the               considerable success, since they have
     government has not participated in             raised £300 million Egyptian from private
     agricultural production and trade. So this     sources to fund this pilot farm. But it has
     has become an area for the private sector.     not always been smooth sailing. 'It has
     In the Mega Projects, the government's         sometimes been difficult to attract
     responsibility is to extend the Mega           investors for these ventures', Goueli
     Project infrastructure and provide services    admits. 'We have had to promote this
     like extension and research. The private       strongly. Our main investor is El Waleed,
     sector has to complete other aspects of        a group of Egyptian shareholders. But

     the job.'                                      now that the private sector has achieved
                                                    some successes on our farm, we are
     As with any new project, Goueli says that      attracting more investors. Our pilot farm
     attracting private funds has been largely      in that respect is a showcase for
     an exercise in public relations. Potential     investors.'
     investors must first be made aware that
     the government is no longer a hands-on         Scepticism raises its ugly head
     investor in private initiatives-that these     Indeed, the pilot farm under Goueli's
     now belong to the private sector.              supervision has proven effective when it
     Investors must also become convinced           comes to showing potential return on
     that these investments will be                 entrepreneurial investment. But it's faced
     worthwhile. Goueli says that only those        a lot of scepticism along the way. The
     who don't mind taking on some risk were        1,000-acre farm was established two years
     initially open to hearing this last message.   ago. Goueli and his staff'-approximately
     'Private investors first became involved in    150 scientists, foremen, farmers, and
     the Mega Projects when they started in         agricultural and civil engineers-planned
     1998', he says. 'These investors had to        carefully in order to enhance the land's
     have faith that the water would come           productivity. Among other things, they
     because the infrastructure was not             examined the economic feasibility of
     finished at that point. There had even         different crops and employed the latest
     been some investors who were involved          scientific advancements in soil and water
     in the planning phase. These investors         analysis, seed selection, agricultural
     had to have a long-term vision and to be       practices, farm management techniques,
     comfortable with risk. They had a vision in    and follow-up. They intended to grow
     mind and understood that this was a            high-value crops such as strawberries,
     long-term investment.'                         artichokes, grapes and potatoes as well as
                                                    other fruits and vegetables.
                                                    Despite the state-of-the-art procedures,
many doubted that the crops would             they have grown well. We have
flourish. 'The project was quite a            incorporated a more-or-less integrated
challenge', says Goueli. 'Everyone said,      process management and this has
"You can't do profitable business down        produced better results than we
there. Crops will not grow. Agriculture       anticipated.'
will not be profitable."'
                                              Future challenges
Results knock it down                         Although much of the project has
Goueli and company had more faith in          proceeded faster than expected, Goueli
the project's potential. But even they were   says there are still major challenges to
surprised with what happened in the first     overcome. Among the larger ones is
two years of the project. 'The soil is in     logistics. The Toshka area is removed
very good condition so we have had very       from key resources. The Sudan border is
good performance', he says. 'That was         60 kilometres away. This means the
quite a happy surprise.'                      project is located far away from labour
                                              centres and markets. 'You have to
In fact, yield on the Toshka farm has been    transport your exports quite a distance',
both abundant and early. Goueli: 'We          says Goueli, 'and this, of course adds to
discovered that agricultural production is    the cost. We are currently working on
more rapid compared to other parts of         these logistics questions. Our current
Egypt and other competing countries in        priority is to export more of our high-cash

the Mediterranean. For example, our           crops-the grapes, strawberries, artichokes,
grapes can be harvested at least one          potatoes and other early-harvest produce-
month earlier than anyplace else in Egypt     to Europe and the Middle East. We will
because of the climate here. Of course,       have to resolve some of the logistics
this gives us a great advantage and a         issues to make the venture even more
good marketing window.                        profitable.'

'We also grow very good crops. They are
in very good condition and have a high
quality. We have grown crops that are not
usually grown in this type of area and
                                                              big and small

                     Dutch Panel member
                     answers our questions

                     about water
         Chris Kalden, a Dutch member of the Advisory Panel Project on Water
     Management (APP), is not ashamed to admit that he's very fond of water.
      'In my view water is one of the most fascinating elements in our world',
            he says. An employee of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature
      Management and Fisheries (LNV) for nearly 20 years, Kalden is currently
         Secretary General of LNV and serves as the main policy advisor to the
          Minister. Seven years ago, he was the Director of Rural Development
       Services in the Netherlands, a position that has traditionally included a
       role on the Egyptian-Dutch Panel. Kalden has been an enthusiastic APP
      member ever since. Below the APP veteran answers questions on gender
      equality, Panel friendships, the reason the size of the Netherlands makes
                           the Dutch-Egyptian partnership stronger and more.
A difference in water attitudes               much more difficult. I admire our
Question: What is the main difference         Egyptian counterparts for their ambition
between the Egyptian and Dutch views of       and for the success they have had in this
water?                                        field.'

Answer: 'In the Netherlands we tend to        Water running through their
take the availability of enough high-         lives
quality water for granted. If anything, we    Question: Why is it more difficult, in your
sometimes have too much of it coming          opinion, to make water-related changes in
down from the skies or flowing down our       Egypt?
rivers. And although the management of
water and water resources is of strategic     Answer: 'In the Netherlands specific
importance, only a small percentage of        groups of people and specific
the Dutch realise this themselves on a        organisations deal with water
daily basis.                                  management. But in Egypt a much larger
                                              part of the population has daily
'In Egypt, on the other hand, water is a      interaction with water management. At
scarce commodity. It's a large country, but   the mesqa (private field channel) level
the vast majority of the people live in the   people are directly busy with the water
small area of the Nile Delta. Efficient       supply. In the Netherlands interaction
distribution and use of water is a critical   with water is at a further distance from

factor, since the Nile is not an endless      daily life. Let's say that five percent of the
source of water. The percentage of the        Dutch population has direct interaction
population that literally depends on the      with water management. In Egypt it must
availability of water is much higher than     be much more. I'm not sure how much
in the Netherlands. I feel that Egyptian      but there must be millions of people
government and society recognise the          living in the rural areas in the Nile Delta.
strategic importance of water.                So a large proportion of the population
                                              has a direct stake in the present situation.
'The long history of the water system in
Egypt is one of the reasons the Panel's       'We're talking about a bigger involvement
work fascinates me. Even in Dutch             and bigger responsibility for farmers and
circumstances it is difficult to change       farmer groups. For example, the Panel is
essential elements in the way water           busy with the water boards and water
management is undertaken. In Egypt it is      associations. So you're asking people to
                                              do more than just benefit from the system
                                              that has been in place in Egypt for a
                                              couple of millennia. You also ask them to
                                              take responsibility for the system. If it's all
                                              for free it's not so difficult. But it's going
                                              to cost water users either time or money.
                                              'These are a few of the complicating
                                              factors in the changes being undertaken
                                              by the Egyptian government in the field of
                                              water management.'
     A Panel of water lovers                          others as well. I think it's a strong point
     Question: What are the most important            for the Ministry (the Ministry of Water
     characteristics of APP?                          Resources and Irrigation-MWRI) that it
                                                      appoints women to high positions,
     Answer: 'I think that the most important         including high technical positions in a
     characteristic is the participants shared        field that is predominantly made up of
     interest in water issues and the collective      men.
     knowledge on a whole range of water-
     related aspects. This leads to respect for       'These women are appointed to their jobs.
     each other's points of view, to an interest      They are related to the Panel on the basis
     in learning from one another and to a            of their jobs and not just because people
     good atmosphere within the group. And I          like them. They have a functional role in
     cannot stress enough the meaning of a            the working of the Panel. I very much
     good, congenial atmosphere.                      appreciate the informal interaction
                                                      between the Dutch and Egyptian Panel
     'It's certainly helpful that we take five full   members and among the Egyptian Panel
     days for our deliberations. It's not a           members themselves. There is much more
     "quickie", there is time to reflect and time     openness and frankness in the discussion
     to discuss. Another remarkable                   than I anticipated when I first joined the
     characteristic is how well our female            Panel. You see that in the male-male
     colleagues from Egypt are represented.           interactions too.'

     They have a lot of input into what goes
     on. The complete equality between men            (Smaller) size matters
     and women is a great asset in the work of        Question: What makes the Dutch good
     the Panel. So far we (the Dutch) have not        partners for Egypt?
     managed this balanced representation!
     It's my impression that in the field of          Answer: 'Of course, the Netherlands has a
     water management emancipation in                 lot of expertise when it comes to water
     professional circles in Egypt is ahead of        issues. And although the geographical,
     the Dutch situation.'                            climatic and cultural differences are great,
                                                      Dutch expertise is still relevant to our
     An egalitarian atmosphere                        Egyptian counterparts. It's also significant
     Question: Why do you think the Egyptian          that the Netherlands is not a major player
     Panel members are so far ahead of their          in world politics.
     Dutch counterparts when it comes to
     gender equality?                                 I know that the Egyptians greatly
                                                      appreciate our financial support in the
     Answer: 'A considerable number of                framework of development cooperation,
     participants in the Panel are female             but even there we are not amongst the
     directors of Institutes. Samia (Dr. Samia El-    biggest players in Egypt.'
     Guindy, director of the APP Central Office)
     herself greatly influences how the Panel         Question: What does country size have to
     works. In Egypt, women have managerial           do with it?
     responsibilities in technical situations.        Answer: 'We have a very modest budget
     That's the basis of it. They are not part of     for co-operation, olmost negligible if
     Panel discussions because they're women,         compared to, say, the Americans. The
     but as the directors of specific institutions-   Dutch are there for the expertise we have
     for instance, the Groundwater Sector, but        and not for the large amount of money
                                                      we bring. The Netherlands is an
                                               quality of the secretariat, both in Egypt
                                               and the Netherlands. They make sure that
                                               the work is done and that the high
                                               standards are kept. They also deliver a fair
                                               share of the work themselves. They are
                                               truly the lubricant in the machinery of the

                                               Responsibility for Egypt's
interesting partner because it's much          Question: What's so great about water
easier to be on equal footing than it          anyway?
would be between, say Egyptians and
Americans or Egyptians and Germans or          Answer: 'Being a Dutchman I've always
maybe even Egyptians and Canadians’.           been fascinated by water and its effects
                                               on the ecological, sociological and
'The Dutch bilateral co-operation has no       societal aspects of life. The statement
political bias and the Panel members have      "where there's water there's life" is really
no other interest than serving the Panel. I    true, not just in the Netherlands but also
think that the small scale of the              in other parts of the world. I've always
Netherlands, our interest in water issues,     been involved with water, first of all from

our knowledge infrastructure all make us       the environmental point of view, and later
an interesting partner, whether we invest      in a broader sense. I served as a resource
money or not. That's probably one of the       person for ecosystems and also
reasons the atmosphere in the Panel is as      sustainable use of water. I've been
relaxed as it is.'                             involved in organisations such as
                                               Wetlands International, which is a global
Strong support and knowledge                   organisation that deals with wetlands.
Question: What makes the APP so
effective?                                     'I'm not a technical person in the field of
                                               drainage or irrigation. But I am interested
Answer: ‘I think it's because although it is   in water and am qualified in policy-
government linked it's also outside of the     making and the development of policies
regular governmental structure. People         that bring about a lot of changes in the
know that Panel advice is based on             role of government towards society-like
knowledge and an interest in the               that you see in Egypt in the field of water
problems Egypt is facing in water              management. The changes in Egypt are
management. There's no obligation to           enormous in that respect and I feel almost
follow Panel advice, but in most cases it      as if I'm part of a group that's discussing
would be foolish not to’.                      the future development of Egypt.'

'The Panel has earned its reputation over
a long period. It is seldom the case that
such an institution is given the chance to
operate for so long. The Dutch Ministry of
Foreign Affairs deserves credit for that.

'A very important element in the
effectiveness of the Panel is the high


      Phase     Period                           Meeting
                           #    Date                       Location

         I     1976-1977    1   January 1976               Cairo
                            2   May 1976                   Utrecht
                            3   May 1977                   Cairo
        II     1978-1979    4   January 1978               Utrecht
                            5   January 1979               Cairo
                            6   September 1979             Wageningen
        III    1980-1982    7   September 1980             Wageningen
                            8   February 1981              Cairo/Aswan
                            9   September 1981             Utrecht
                           10   April 1982                 Alexandria
                           11   September 1982             Wageningen

       IV      1983-1985   12   February 1983              Aswan
                           13   September 1983             Lelystad
                           14   March 1984                 Ismailiya
                           15   September 1984             Wageningen
                           16   February 1985              Aswan
                           17   September 1985             The Hague
        V      1986-1988   18   February 1986              The Fayoum
                           19   September 1986             Paterswolde
                           20   February 1987              Ismailiya
                           21   September 1987             The Hague
                           22   February 1988              The Fayoum
                           23   September 1988             The Hague
       VI      1989-1990   24   March 1989                 Luxor
                           25   March 1990                 Cairo
       VII     1992-1996   26   September 1992             Wageningen
                           27   May 1993                   Taba
                           28   April 1994                 Port Saïd
                           29   March 1995                 Alexandria
                           30   April 1996                 Maastricht
      VIII     1996-2000   31   May 1997                   El Arish
                           32   May 1998                   Middelburg
                           33   May 1999                   Luxor
                           34   March 2000                 Rotterdam
        IX     2001-2004   35   April 2001                 Siwa
                           36   May 2002                   Haarlem
                           37   April 2003                 Aswan
                           38   2004                       Netherlands


Name                          Function                                         Years

Dr. Mostafa El Gabaly         Former Minister of Agriculture                   1976-1988
                              Chairman of the Panel
Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid          Minister of MPWWR                                1981-present
                              Chairman of the Panel                            as of 1988
Dr. Osman El Ghamry           Dir. Gen. Technical Office EPADP                 1976-1978
                              Director DRI
Dr. Ahmed Shukry              Former Prof. University of Alexandria            1976
Dr. Mahfouz Abdallah Hassan   Prof. Cairo University, Faculty of Agriculture   1976-1984
Dr. Ahmed El Goweily          Prof. University of Zagazig, Faculty of          1976-1979
                              Agriculture                                      2002-present
Dr. Elahmedi A.R.G. El Din    Chairman EPADP                                   1977-1978
Dr. Moh. Hassan Amer          Director DRI                                     1979-1984
                              Director DRI                                     1986-1990
Eng. Ahmed Fahmi              Chairman EPADP                                   1979
Eng. Fathi Zayed              Chairman EPADP                                   1980-1981
Dr. Ibrahim El Assiuti        Prof. Cairo University                           1980-1990
Dr. Yehia Moheiddin           Dir. Agr. Economic Institute of MOA              1980-1986

Eng. Moh. Amin Makhlouf       Chairman EPADP                                   1982-1988
Dr. I.M. Antar                Dir. Soil and Water Research                     1984-1985
                              Institute of MOA
Dr. Moh. Mahmoud Gasser       Director DRI                                     1984-1986
Eng. Gamil Mahmoud El Sayed   Director Office of Minister PWWR                 1986-1987
                              First Under-Secretary MPWWR                      1992-1994
Dr. Youssef Hamdy             Director SWERI, MALR                             1986-1988
Eng. Ahmed Mazen              Head Irr. Dept. of MPWWR                         1987-1990
Dr. Nabil El Mowelhy          Director SWERI, MALR                             1988-2000
Eng. Sarwat M. Fahmy          Chairman EPADP                                   1989-1990
Dr. Abdel Hady Rady           Chairman EPADP                                   1992-1993
Dr. Safwat Abdel Dayem        Director DRI/Chairman EPADP                      1992-1998
Dr. Samia El Guindy           Dir. APP Central Office                          1992-present
Eng. Moh. Hassan              Chairman EPADP                                   1994
Eng. Ali Abu El Soud          First Under-Secretary MPWWR                      1995
Eng. Fouad Ramadan            Chairman EPADP                                   1995
Eng. Abdel Rahman Shalaby     First Under-Secretary MPWWR                      1996-2000
Eng. Yehia Abdel Aziz         Chairman EPADP/Head Irr. Dept. of MPWWR          1996-1999
Eng. Mohamed Fathi            Chairman EPADP                                   1999-2001
Dr. Bayoumi Attia             Head of Planning sector, MWRI                    2000-2001
Eng. Abdel Moneim Shalaby     Head of Irrigation Sector                        2000-2001
Dr. M. Bahaa El Deen Saad     Head of Planning Sector, MWRI                    2002-present
Eng. Hussein Elwan            Head of Irrigation Sector, MWRI                  2002-present
Dr. Ahmed Taher               Director, SWERI                                  2000-2001
Dr. Shalan Nasr Shalan        Director, SWERI                                  2002-present

     Name                           Function                                          Years

     Ir. F.E. Schulze               Director ILRI                                     1976-1982
                                    Co-chairman of the Panel
     Prof. Dr. N.A. de Ridder       Deputy Director of ILRI                           1983-1990
                                    Co-chairman of the Panel
     Ir. W.C. Hulsbos               Deputy-Director Euroconsult                       1976-2000
                                    Independent Advisor, Co-chairman of the Panel
     Prof. Ir. A. Volker            Senior Engineer Ministry of Transport, Public
                                    Works and Water Management                        1976-1990
                                    Professor of Delft Technical University
     Ir. J.H. Koopman               Director Government Service                       1976-1979

                                    for Land and Water Use
     Drs. E.P. Riezebos             Lecturer Wageningen Agricultural University       1976-1985
     Prof. Dr. R.H.A. van Duin      Director RIJP                                     1976-1979
     Dr. Ir. J.H. van Kampen        Director Department of Rural                      1979-1990
                                    Engineering RIJP
     Ir. N. Molenaar                Director Government Service                       1981-1990
                                    for Land and Water Use
     Dr. Ir. J.A.H. Hendriks        Director ILRI                                     1983-1985
     Prof. Dr. W.H. van der Molen   Professor Wageningen Agricultural University      1985-1990
     Ir. G.A. Oosterbaan            Director ICW/ Staring Centre                      1987-1990
     Ir. C.D. van der Wildt         Representative Ministry of Transport, Public
                                    Works and Water Management                        1992-present
     Ir. I.A. Risseeuw              Representative Government Service for Land
                                    and Water Use                                     1992-1993
     Ir. H.J. Wesseling             Representative Delft Hydraulics                   1992-1994
     Ir. R. van Aart                Representative ILRI                               1992-1996
     Drs. P. Slot                   Chairman Board ILRI, Independent Advisor          1994-2000
     Prof. Ir. E. van Beek          Representative Delft Hydraulics                   1995-1996
     Drs. C.J. Kalden               Representative Ministry of Agriculture, Nature    1997-present
                                    Manage-ment and Fisheries
     Ir. J. Boeve                   Representative Union of Water Boards              1997-present
     Ir. J. Faber                   Independent Advisor, Co-chairman of the Panel     2001-present
     Dr. J.P.R.A. Sweerts           Representative of Rabo Bank                       2001-present
     Drs. H. J. Tankink             Representative of Ministry for Economic Affairs   2001-present
Egyptian - Dutch Executed Projects (1976 - 2004)                  (* projects initiated by the Panel)

PROJECTS                                                    BUDGET IN MILLION EURO                  PROJECTS                                              BUDGET IN MILLION EURO

ADVISORY PANEL PROJECT PHASES I-IX (1976-2004)                           8,98

Land Drainage                                                                                      Channel Maintenance
• Drainage Technology and Pilot Areas*                                     2.3                     • Aquatic Weed Control                                                 3.4
• Drainage Research Programme*                                             2.4                     • Grass Carp Project                                                   2.3
                                                                                                   • Delta Breeding Station                                               1.9
• East Bahr Saft drainage*                                                 4.5
• Drainage V                                                               4,5                     Planning
• PVC raw materials*                                                       1.4                     • Strengthening the Planning Sector Project*                           3.2
• Drainage Executive Management*                                           8,6                     • Lake Nasser Flood and Drought Control*                               2.9
• Drainage Executive Management Project (Phas-IV)*                         6.3                     • National Water Resources Plan*
• Institutional and Technical Support Project for Strengthening                                                                                                           4.0
  of EPADP (INTESP)*                                                       3.3                     Hydrology Study
                                                                                                   • Hydraulics Studies                                                   4.2
Reuse of Drainage Water                                                                            • Hydraulic Research on Nile and its Structures (IV)                   0.2
• Re-use of Drainage Water*                                                3.6                     • Nile Basin Capacity Building for River Engineering                   2.0
• Re-use Monitoring Programme*                                             0.41                    • Strengthening the Training Capacity HRI                              1.8
• Monitoring and Analysis of Drainage Water Quality*                       2.2
• National Water Quality Monitoring Network*                               0.3                     Institutional Development
                                                                                                   • Water Board Project*                                                 3.4
Fayoum Water Management                                                                            • Manual Channel Maintenance                                           1.3
• Fayoum Water and Salt Balance Study*                                     0.8                     • Strengthening the Water Quality Management Unit*                     3.1
• Batts Pumping Station*                                                   2.5                     • Strengthening the Groundwater Sector*                                1.9
• Fayoum Water Management and Irrigation*                                  2.5                     • Institutional Reform Unit*                                           0.4
• Fayoum Weed Control                                                      3.4
• Fayoum Water Management                                                  15.8                    Others
                                                                                                   • Training for ESA (phase I) Egyptian Survey Authority                 1.0
Groundwater Management                                                                             • Training for Managers Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA, phase II)      1.1
• Hydrological Training Programme*                                         1.9                     • Satellite Image Data Sets for Inventory of Land-use
• Development and Management of Groundwater Reserves*                      3.4                     • & Groundwater Development*                                           0.34
• Vertical Drainage Study*                                                 0.2
• Feasibility of Groundwater Development*                                  0.5
• Pumps sets                                                               0.6
• Environmental Management of Groundwater Resources Project*               2.0
• Control of Waterlogging and Salinisation*                                1.1

Total                                                                                                                                                                     ± 122.50
     List of abbreviations/definitions

     APP           Advisory Panel Project on Water Management & Drainage
     CMRI          Channel Maintenance Research Institute
     DGIS          Directorate General for International Co-operation, The Hague
     DRI           Drainage Research Institute
     ECRI          Environment and Climate Research Institute
     EPADP         Egyptian Public Authority for Drainage Projects
     Fe            feddan (4200 m2)
     HRI           Hydraulics Research Institute
     IIP           Irrigation Improvement Project
     ILRI          International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement
     INTESP        Institutional and Technical Support Programme, EPADP
     IRU           Institutional Reform Unit (MWRI)
     IWRM          Integrated Water Resources Management
     M&E           Monitoring and Evaluation
     MALR          Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
     Mesqah        Field water course (privately owned)
     MWRI          Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
     NDP           National Drainage Programme
     NWRC          National Water Research Centre
     NWRP          National Water Resources Plan(ning)
     OFWM          On Farm Water Management

     RIGW          Research Institute for Ground Water
     RNE           Royal Netherlands Embassy
     RTC           Round Table Conference (on institutional reform and donor co-ordination)
     TA            Technical Assistance
     SWERI         Soil Water and Environment Research Institute (MALR)
     WB            World Bank/ Water Board
     WWF(3)        (Third) World Water Forum (March 2003, Kyoto, Japan)

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