The gov’t can compensate for any GERD water losses: Sisi
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi speaksduring Conference of Egypt's Vision 2013 at al-Galaa Theater in Cairo, on Feb. 24, 2016 - (YOUM7/ Sami Wahib)

CAIRO: The Egyptian government would be able to compensate for any water losses caused by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, now under construction by Ethiopia, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stated Wednesday.

“We will agree on certain number of years during which the dam (reservoir) will be filled with water…I cannot leave the farmers without water,” Sisi stated in Egypt’s Vision 2030 Conference.

President Sisi discussed the government’s projects concerning water treatment, adding that a total of 10.5 million cubic meters of water have been treated daily and the government framed a plan to treat an amount of water over the coming two years equal to the quantity that has been treated within the past 20 years.

The cost of treating water could reach more than 10 million EGP ($1.2 million.)

Sisi said the number of population is increasing while the water supply has remained the same for 50 years, and called on the people and the youth to unify to face such challenge. He added that the government is working on establishing more desalinization projects.

On Aug. 30, 2015, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Singaporean Hyflux Ltd. for water solutions; per the MoU, three desalination plants will be constructed.

The construction of the dam has been a high priority for Egypt’s government, which has raised concerns it would negatively affect its water supply; Ethiopia claims the dam in its current design is necessary for its development. Both states agreed to tripartite talks that started in August 2014 and have been hosted by Sudan.

During the conference, President Sisi also talked about development projects that have been conducted over the past 1.5 years in fields of roads, energy, airports, gas, agriculture, housing, education, oil, eradication of slums, financial situation, small and medium size enterprises, and mega construction projects such as the East Port Said shipping lane which was inaugurated Wednesday.

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