In water-scarce Northern Africa, access to the element is commonly viewed as a human right and scarcity increases contestation over this right. Sub-regional water supply restrictions are likely to intensify in the 21 st century. Resolving existing and potential tensions requires sub-regional cooperation around water resources, as well as actions to improve water use efficiency, recycling and reuse at city, neighbourhood and household levels. Even in Egypt, where precipitation is likely to increase, runoff is set to decrease due to higher average ambient temperatures. Rapidly increasing urban populations in Northern Africa will intensify these climate change effects. As urban areas expand and populations grow, so too does urban water demand. As cities sprawl, losses from water distribution infrastructures are also likely to increase, as will the cost of delivering water over larger distances. In Northern Africa, where there is water there are people, whether in cities or rural areas. For example, agricultural land is restricted to areas where water is accessible; whether through dams such as the High Aswan, or through rivers such as the Nile on whose banks are many cities.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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