This PIF proposes specific in-country investments, technical assistance, knowledge generation, etc. that will be carried out under the umbrella of the proposed Mediterranean Environmental Sustainable Development Program (SUSTAINABLE MED). SUSTAINABLE MED represents a continuation and further expansion of the Investment Fund of the GEF/IWs Mediterranean Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Strategic Partnership (Mediterranean Strategic Partnership).
Key objectives of the Investment Fund regarding pollution reduction and biodiversity conservation will be maintained. In addition, SUSTAINABLE MED will deepen the work on governance, capacity building, and technical assistance. . Under the PIF, the GEF support will, in the context of the National Water Resources Plan, be broadly used to assist the Government of Egypt to achieve more sustainable water resources management of both surface and groundwater.
More specifically the project will:
1. invest in application of a number of innovative cost-effective technologies to improve water quality and reduce losses through reuse of drainage water and treated wastewater, and strengthen monitoring capacity of surface water bodies and groundwater aquifers, some of which are strategic international water bodies;
2. develop strategies and action plans and / or improve governance mechanisms for sustainable management of surface and renewable and non-renewable groundwater resources; and
3. influence existing projects/policies and carry out specific, catalytic pilot projects that can be expected to have a demonstration effect;
these include: - the integrated irrigation improvement, the west delta and the Integrated sewerage projects (that are just starting / will start shortly), which are intended to scale up through national programs for implementation of IWRM, will be supported through improving water quality in the drains and better water use efficiency (saving up to 2-3 BCM per year) - due to expected up scaling up of pilots of demonstrated viable technologies for improving water quality in the drains, re-use of drainage water and treated wastewater and application of proven measures for improved operation of Lake Nasser to reduce losses; - the development of action plans, improved governance mechanism and management structure of renewable and non-renewable groundwater and surface water to help achieve the sustainability of use of water resources in general and accordingly help the sustainability of the above mentioned projects / programs.
The project will contribute to achieving the objectives of accelerating trans-boundary pollution reduction and biodiversity conservation measures in priority hotspots and sensitive areas. The work will be focused on optimizing the water supply through reduction of losses and managing the demand for water, so that more sustainable water management is achieved; thus leading to reduction of over-exploitation of available water resources, improving water quality, and reduction of pollution loads that reach the Mediterranean. Development of such a knowledge base and strategies will complement ongoing efforts that aim at implementation of integrated water resources management and will help foster sustainability and adaptation to hydrologic variability because of climate change