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How Egypt plans to address its growing water crisis

As Egypt faces its worst water crisis in 100 years, farmers are stuck between their need to cultivate cash-generating crops that require a lot of water and the Egyptian state's ban on water-thirsty crops.
An Egyptian farmer squats down on cracked soil to show the dryness of the land due to drought in a farm formerly irrigated by the river Nile, in Al-Dakahlya, about 120 km (75 miles) from Cairo June 4, 2013. Ethiopia has not thought hard enough about the impact of its ambitious dam project along the Nile, Egypt said on Sunday, underlining how countries down stream are concerned about its impact on water supplies. The Egyptian presidency was citing the findings of a report put together by a panel of experts f

Amidst the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa in the past 100 years, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation declared a state of extreme emergency in early May to last until next August in preparation for the summer crop season. The ministry also launched extensive campaigns to eradicate and burn water-thirsty rice crops.

In villages, farmers intensified their demonstrations against agents from the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources, who sprayed incendiary compounds on rice crops planted in violation of the ministry's decision prohibiting the cultivation of rice, which it confined to an area of about 1 million acres in specific areas of the Nile Delta.

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