New Cairo wastewater treatment plant, Egypt

Challenge:

A drinking water shortage was identified as a pressing issue in Egypt’s environmental sustainability, due to the intensive use of water in very densely populated areas. The existing wastewater treatment infrastructure did not produce water with adequate levels of quality to enable the water to be used to irrigate agricultural and urban green areas, forcing freshwater to be used instead.

Additionally, in cities without advanced wastewater treatment plants the used water was dumped into the river, generating significant negative effects on the river’s ecosystem and public health.

Solution:

The government decided to build new infrastructure to reuse urban wastewater for the purposes mentioned, thereby reducing freshwater use. In addition, the project would reduce the water pollutants entering the River Nile.

The plant was designed to:

1. Reduce the use of freshwater for tasks such as irrigating agricultural and urban green areas.

2. Limit the volume of polluted water dumped into the river with consequent negative effects on human health and the ecosystem.

This urban wastewater treatment plant have an average daily capacity flow of up to 250,000 m3 per day and a capacity to serve more than 1 million residents, the expected population increase of New Cairo at the time the project was designed.

SDG Impact:

SDG 3:   Improvement on human health and well-being resulting from the functioning of the wastewater treatment plant.

SDG 6:   Clean water and sanitation is guaranteed by the treatment of wastewater and the reduction of the volume of polluted water dumped into the River Nile.

SDG 13:   Effects over climate change improved as a result of the use of the latest available technology in the construction of a treatment plant including an efficient use of energy.

SDG 14:   Life below water is better protected thanks to the improvement of quality and reduction of water dumped into the River Nile.

SDG 15:   Life on land is protected as less fresh water is used for human use and waste generated during the process it is used as fertilizer for farming.

SDG 17:   This project has been the first successful PPP in Egypt.

Compliance with UNECE People-first PPP criteria:

The Project:

• Impacted on environment by promoting green economy
• Improved agriculture
• Increased fresh water availability
• Improved public health
• Increase in productivity (more efficient use of available resources) with positive impact on human well-being

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