Egypt is located in the northeastern corner of the African continent. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Gaza Strip, the Red Sea, Israel, Sudan and Libya. The Egyptian terrain consists of a vast desert plateau interrupted by the Nile Valley and Delta which occupies about four percent of the total country area. 

The majority of the country area is desert land. Most of the cultivated land is located close to the banks of the Nile River, its main branches and canals, and in the Nile Delta. Hot dry summers and mild winters characterise Egypt’s climate. Rainfall is very low, irregular and unpredictable.

Egypt’s natural resources are petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, rare earth elements, zinc.

Key Water Issues and Challenges

  • Periodic droughts
  • Agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands
  • Increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam
  • Desertification
  • Oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats
  • Other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents
  • Limited natural freshwater resources away from the Nile, which is the only perennial water source
  • Rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources


Regional Programme Manager: Mr. Kidanemariam Jembere, Email:

More information

AQUASTAT -FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture

UN-Water Statistics



Posted: 2013-05-22

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