FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO continues its Rapid Water Accounting activities in Minya governorate in Egypt

November 2020 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), implemented its second Rapid Water Accounting (RWA) workshop for the second site in Minya (1st workshop/site in Kafr El Sheikh), with the objective of presenting the progress made by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) so far in water accounting and also collect information to update the rapid water accounting report. A total of 25 participants attended the three-day workshop, whom included representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, MWRI, and partner organizations.

Minya governorate located on the left bank of the Nile River in Upper Egypt, is divided into municipal divisions with a total estimated population as of March 2019 of 5 807 919 (CAPMAS, 2019). FAO is working on a number of different activities in Minya governorate under the regional project “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/productivity and water sustainability in NENA countries”, including RWA activities.  

In Minya governorate, the total cultivated area is around 490 000 feddans, cultivated with different strategic crops including wheat, sugar cane, sugar beet, corn, potatoes, medicinal herbs, fava beans, and export crops such as grapes and garlic. Furthermore, the regional project focused on two main crops in Minya governorate, sugar cane which is around 36 000 feddans, and sugar beet, which is around 46 000 feddans.

Water Accounting (WA) is the systematic study of the current status and trends in water supply, demand, accessibility and use in domains that have been specified (FAO 2012). RWA is “Rapid”, which means that only a limited amount of resources/time is required and relies more on secondary existing information than new data collection in the field.

The workshop presented different topics and discussions including an introduction to WA concepts and methods, WA activities in Egypt and data collected for the study area in Minya, a presentation on the irrigation scheme of the study area, crop mapping using remote sensing, management, operation and decision-making using GIS and database tools, and development of hydrological conceptual model. The workshop also included a dynamic group exercise.

Furthermore, a field trip was also planned during the workshop to five different sites in Minya: first, a quick stop to one of Minya’s canal regulators; the second site was a water body rehabilitation site, where the governorate is lining the canals changing it from the earth ground, to stone and plain concrete lining; and the third site was a farm with a modernized irrigation system. The fourth and fifth sites were in Malawi area at a water mixing station and a canal diversion point. The key findings from the field trip were presented on the third and last day of the workshop, as well as the way forward in relation to the WA activities in Minya governorate.

This activity is implemented by FAO under the regional project “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/productivity and water sustainability in NENA countries”. This project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).