Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Water and Environment

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-09-15


The Ministry of Environment (MOE), the Ministry of Water Resources & Irrigation (MWRI), the Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Communities (MHUUC), Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the National Water Research Center (NWRC), and the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) have different roles in handling water and environmental related issues.

The EEAA represents the executive arm of the Ministry of Environment and manages an Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), that includes funding from the general state budget, donations and grants from national and foreign organizations, fines and compensation awarded by courts, and out-of-court settlements.

The main goal of the EPF is to stimulate investment in the environmental sector and to support the government’s environmental social and economic policies. To achieve these goals, EPF provides financial assistance on a competitive basis for projects that benefit the environment. Eligibility criteria include:

  • Project targets one or more areas that address the Fund’s environmental priorities.
  • Applicant is a legally registered local entity.
  • Applicant demonstrates the ability to contribute its share of project costs.
  • Applicant is of sound reputation.
  • Absence of any restrictions such as problems related to the applicant’s current activities or relationship with banks (if applicable).
  • Project is deemed sustainable. 
  • Commitment to expend the funds as allocated.
  • A list of job opportunities the project will provide.

The Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) is mainly concerned with drinking water purification, desalination, and distribution; wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal; and sludge treatment services. The company works closely with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities to provide utilities to new communities (such as the New Administrative Capital) and to expand services to inhabited and industrial areas in Upper Egypt and border cities. Current and future projects:

Leading Sub-Sectors
Solid Waste Management

According to the 2013 annual report of waste management statistics in Egypt, Egypt has generated a total of 89.03 million tons of solid waste (expected to exceed 100 million tons in 2020), the majority of which were municipal solid waste calculated at 21 million tons.

The 2019-2023 executive plan for solid waste recycling consists of three main programs:

  • Attracting investments to develop the infrastructure for trash sorting facilities in Cairo, Daqahliyah, Sharqeya, Fayoum, and Luxor.
  • Improving garbage collection and transportation, street cleaning services, and management of safe landfills.
  • Developing waste recycling system across the country, the sector’s human capacity, public awareness rasining campaigns, and supportting the informal sector and SMEs in the recycling business.

Nature Conservation and Water Supply

About 85% of Egypt’s water resources are used for agricultural irrigation systems, which are characterized by high levels of water losses and low efficiency. The 2017-2037 National Water Resources Strategy, which is intended to address Egypt’s water-related challenges over the next 20 years, is expected to cost EGP 900 billion (about $ 55 billion). According to the Ministry of Water Resources & Irrigation, the national strategy has four pillars: develop water resources (desalination and recycling), enhance water quality, rationalize water use, and create an enabling environment.

Wastewater Recycling & Hazardous Waste Management

Egypt annually produces about 16.4 BCM of wastewater (4.4 BCM sewage and 12 BCM in agricultural wastewater).   

According to the 2030 Strategic Vision of Treated Wastewater Reuse, Egypt’s governorates are divided into two categories: governorates without agricultural expansion plans, which include: Menofia, Dakahlia, Kafr Elsheikh, Gharbia, Kalyoubia, Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. And governorates with agricultural expansion plans, which include: Giza, Behaira, Minia, Damietta, Sohag, Assuit, Sharkia, Qena, Suez, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Aswan, Ismailia, Luxor, Matrouh, Red Sea, New Valley.


 Water sector development is a priority for the Government of Egypt because of:

  • High annual population growth (2.5%), putting pressure on existing water supply.
  • Lack of control of water supply sources (about 97% originates from outside Egypt’s borders), making the supply highly vulnerable and sensitive to any uncoordinated upstream developments, epecially after the establishment of the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Egypt, with available water resources of 610 m3 per capita as of 2019, is among the countries that fall below UN’s water poverty line (estimated at 1,000 m3 per capita). Egypt also suffers from a large food-production deficiency, forcing it to import about 55 percent of its current food needs. This figure is expected to climb to 75 percent after the GERD is complete because of the huge quantity of water held back during the filling of the GERD’s reservoir, which has an estimated capacity of 74 billion m3 of water. That would cut 25 to 33 billion m3 from Egypt’s annual quota of Nile water which, in turn, could yield a loss of about 2 million acres of cultivable land.

Alternatives water resource (potential investment opportunities)

  • Reusage of drainage water and treated wastewater.
  • Desalination of sea water as an alternative for drinking and agriculture.
  • Drilling water wells.
  • Construction of water condensers next to severe evaporation sites at coasts and cultivated lands.

Useful links:

Commercial Specialist in charge of the oil and gas sector: Mr. Khaled Elzoughbi