Egypt is making leaps and bounds as it plans to build the world’s longest artificial river. This ambitious project, estimated at a whopping 160 billion Egyptian pounds ($5.25 billion), will span an immense 114,000 kilometres, easily surpassing the length of the Nile.
Dubbed ‘The New Delta’, the project will have two sub-project snippets – ‘Egypt’s Future’ and the ‘South of El-Dabaa Axis’. Its main aim is to expand the area of agricultural land used in Egypt so as to reduce the country’s import bill, which took a hit due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
As per reports in Asharq Business, The New Delta project will be located in close vicinity to airports and ports, thereby creating job opportunities, in addition to food security and import substitution. The project aims to cultivate agricultural land over an area of 2.2 million acres, with water supply to this river depending majorly on recycled agricultural drainage water and groundwater. Egypt, being the world’s largest wheat importer, will hope to achieve food security and close the gap between demand and supply of wheat due to this venture.
The New Delta project in Egypt is surely a revolutionary step which is bound to reap multiple benefits for the country’s citizens and economy. It will be interesting to see how the project is realised and how it contributes to Egypt’s present and future. On a larger scale, it also serves as an example for other countries on how to tackle problems of water scarcity and manage water resources effectively.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi recently made an announcement of an upcoming Delta project, which he declares will be the largest in the country’s history. The project seeks to expand and develop agricultural land in the already existing desert regions, along the new Rawd Al-Farag-Dabaa axis road.
The primary aims of the project are to provide citizens of Egypt with access to high-quality agricultural products at reasonable prices, and to export the surplus abroad, which will lead to lessened imports, the saving of hard currency, and the achievement of sustainable development goals. In addition to this, it will provide around 10,000 direct jobs and more than 360,000 indirect posts in the local economy.
This announcement comes closely after Saudi Arabia’s intent to construct a ‘river’ longer than the river Nile. The trans-desert river will be four metres deep, 11 metres wide and span a massive 12,000 kilometres. Anti-corrosion pipes with a diameter of 2.25 metres will be used in the making of the transportation system.
Ahmad Al Shugairi, a popular Saudi reporter, spoke of great fondness while discussing the project on his TV series Seen. He noted how the efforts to make underground rivers a reality provide the citizens of desert-like environments access to water at their doorstep, something he believed only to be common knowledge. He went on to thank all those involved in making it possible for people, like himself, to enjoy this blessing.
The new Delta project in Egypt and the ‘river’ being built by Saudi Arabia both carry out great importance in terms of providing residents with agricultural products, job opportunities, and making clean water available to the public. These projects are a clear indication of the countries’ commitment to developing the region and utilising local resources to the best of their ability. Their implementation will no-doubt improve living conditions for many people for generations to come.
The Delta Project: Who is Funding it?
In the wake of an increasingly water-stressed Egypt, Saudi Arabia recently announced the construction of the world’s longest artificial river – the Delta Project. As Egypt’s economic and infrastructure ambitions continue to grow, the project looks to be the most ambitious of its kind and comes with an estimated budget of 160 billion Egyptian pounds ($5.25 billion).
The Egyptian government has been working closely with the Saudi leadership to make this project a reality. With the help of the Saudi Royal Court and its nation’s deep pockets, the project looks to be heavily funded by Saudi Arabia. It appears that the sources from which the financial aid is coming from are not yet officially known, but the relationship between Egypt and Saudi Arabia is very close.
The government of Egypt has not yet revealed the name of the donor country. To ensure the successful completion of the desirable project, Egypt also authorised the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen to construct the project. The Saudi government had initially proposed the construction of a giant artificial river, with a capacity of 3.2 million cubic metres of water, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
The amount of money Egypt will receive from Saudi Arabia is however not clear. However, the Mubarak Foundation has revealed that Egypt will be provided with investments totaling up to $2.3 billion, including: investments to support food security and agricultural development, investments to promote Egypt’s tourism industry, and investments to develop small and medium enterprises. On top of that, the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen will provide Egypt with investments to make sure that the desired project is completed.
The project is expected to involve engineering challenges, such as preparing specific engineering solutions to connect various parts of the canal, in addition to exploring and identifying potential environmental hazards that may arise from the project. These are expected to be the biggest expense in constructing the project, and Saudi Arabia’s backing will be of great help in resolving such problems.
The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) is set to provide the vast majority of the funding for the Delta Project. This is a large-scale infrastructure initiative that aims to improve the economic conditions in Yemen by developing its ports, railways, and roads. In addition to Saudi Arabia, a number of other countries are set to contribute to the funding of the project.
Why is Egypt building its own artificial river?
Egypt is a challenging country to live in due to desertification, lack of water resources, and a very high population growth rate. As a result, the country is facing enormous challenges to provide a safe and clean supply of water to its citizens. In response, the government has started the biggest water engineering project in the world, in an effort to meet the country’s growing water demands. This project is the construction of the seventh wonder of the world, the world’s longest artificial river.
The foresight of the Egyptian government to build this artificial river is extraordinary; it will act as an additional reservoir for the country and provide more than one-third of the annual water supply for the nation. Furthermore, it is expected to bring prosperity and economic growth to the country by providing safe water for agriculture, energy and the other various sources of water, such as the Nile River.
The new Delta project, as it is so named, is the largest water engineering project in the world. It is a state-of-art water resource program which combines conventional engineering techniques with modern-day technology to meet the demands of a growing population in a very unfavourable climate. The aims of this project include providing citizens of Egypt with access to high-quality agricultural products at reasonable prices, and to export the surplus abroad, which will lead to lessened imports, the saving of hard currency, and the achievement of sustainable development goals. In addition to this, it will provide around 10,000 direct jobs and more than 360,000 indirect posts in the local economy.
The new Delta project has already created a vision of hope for the people of Egypt. The revolutionary project is considered to be an answer to the prayers of a nation stricken with poverty and lack of resources. It is the first of its kind and is expected to be an example that other countries can follow. The success of this project will be a testament to the courage and determination of the Egyptians who faced a daunting task– that of providing a much needed resource with a limited quantity of resources.
What are critics saying about the project?
In an effort to tackle its water crisis, the Egyptian government has begun construction on the “Sustainable Integrated Multi-Aquifer Recharge for the Nile” (SIMARN) project. SIMARN involves the hydraulic recharge of an underground aquifer, which would protect the underground resources of water and provide an additional source to bolster hydroelectricity production.
Initially, experts were uncertain if the project would be feasible as the amount of water recharge and the degree of static water reimbursement involved in this project will largely depend on the geological properties of the aquifer.
However, a year into the project, the results so far have been positive. From testing conducted, experts have confirmed that the aquifer is rich in water, with the average recharge rate being 35 meter per cubic metre per day, reaching up to approximately 120 metres in some areas.
The efficiency of the project is further enhanced by the usage of renewable energy such as solar power. This not only contributes to the sustainability of the project but is also an example of practical utilisation of renewable energy, being one of the few integrated projects successfully implementing solar power.
The efficiency of the project has been praised by experts, which has led to many other countries coming forward to emulate the project. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are two such countries which have shown interest in using the project as a model for their own water security initiatives.
Critics have also had positive reviews of the project, with many praising the government’s efforts to finally address the deterioration of the Nile River, which is a major concern for Egyptians. They also express a hope that this project may be the start of a series of integrated and large-scale projects that can address the water crisis in Egypt, and also in many parts of Africa.
Overall, SIMARN is considered by many to be a success, and is a sign of progress in Egypt’s water management. It is expected that the project will continue to prove successful, and more importantly, stay sustainable in the future. It is an encouraging step in the direction and a testament to the government’s commitment to securing water resources in the country.