European agencies mull huge Nile Delta clean-up plan

Published August 10th, 2017

European banks are considering backing a wastewater management scheme in Egypt that could create a major new source of agricultural water for coastal areas.

The European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are considering backing the effort to clean up pollution in the Kitchener Drain discharge channel. The €441 million project will address environmental issues through a mixture of wastewater and solid waste treatment, while rehabilitating the infrastructure around the drain.

The 69km drain system handles some 3.8 million m3/d of mixed agricultural, domestic and industrial wastewater, with heavy metals from industrial discharges meaning it is unsuitable for reuse.

The Kitchener project is being pushed by Egypt’s central water utility body, the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water. In 2011, the country’s environmental affairs agency said that treated wastewater from the drain should be used to create a new agricultural area on the northern Egyptian coast.