Friday, May 9, 2014

Egypt to use 'eye-in-the-sky' to monitor their water security

Karen Graham in Digital Journal: Water security in the Middle-East is of the utmost importance. In this region of the world, the use, supply, control, and allocation of water has been politically motivated, as well as a defining issue in many conflicts. Because the Middle-East is an extremely water-scarce region, any loss of a country's water supply would impact the health of the population as well as the bio-diversity and eco-systems of the country.

In most cases, getting a fair share of the water rights from river systems running through or bordering a country is an elaborate process usually accomplished in three stages. First, a country must assert its claim to the water rights. Then they must receive recognition by the other countries who also use the waters. The final step would be a country finally attaining those water rights, but over the years, this last step has usually ended in political strife, so much so that "non-agreed" water sharing has become the reality.

It has been reported in Al-Monitor this week that the Egyptian government, along with a number of Egyptian research institutes, has announced they will start using satellite technology for the development and monitoring of underground water supplies and coastal regions endangered by climate change. The primary motivation in getting a satellite up is Egypt's concerns over Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam impacting their water security.

Alaa al-Nahri, the head of the research department and vice president of the Authority for Remote Sensing, said “Studying the effects of the Renaissance Dam on Egypt is the most important issue for the Authority for Remote Sensing right now. The new satellite’s imagery is expected to yield data and information pertaining to the dam’s design and the volume of water that it will trap, to determine the flow rate of water to Egypt and the direct impact on the valley and the Delta.”....

NASA image of the Nile and its delta

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