12 January, 2011

Green: Egypt's forests

Egypt has an ingenious way of creating forests by using waste water. It is using waste water to create forests; several of them. If Egypt can do it, other Arab countries like Yemen - with its large population - can do the same; use waste water, not to grow food crops, but to create green forests in the vast deserts that cover this region. Forests that can stop the spread of deserts, which will sustain the environment and soil; and forests that can provide much needed wood and timber. Egypt came up with the very pioneering method due to its almost complete dependence on the Nile water and due to it being allowed to use only a share of that water.

The Nile River provides nearly 97% of Egypt’s freshwater supply. Egypt’s share of Nile waters is allocated according to international treaty obligations and is fixed at 55.5 billion cubic meters annually. As a result, Egypt will not be able to meet increasing water demand using freshwater from the Nile and has been developing wastewater reuse strategies to meet future demands. The volume of available wastewater is expected to increase from 8 billion cubic meters in 2000 to 14 billion cubic meters in 2017. Since 2004, the United States Agency for International Development Mission in Cairo has promoted strategies for water reuse through its Integrated Water Resources Management Project with Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. Guidelines for reuse of treated wastewater for agricultural purposes were approved in 2005, which represent the legal foundation for farmers to begin cultivating with irrigated wastewater. The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has established 28 manmade forests throughout the country, some of which have been useful for assessing the efficacy of using treated wastewater for afforestation.

+Read more here and from PDF file here.