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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Water Resources Act gets final nod from House

The long-awaited Water Resources Act got its final approval by the House in the final session of the parliamentary cycle, the cabinet said in a statement yesterday. The new law aims to regulate how the country utilizes its water resources, especially in the light of threats from climate change and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, while reducing the use of some of the nation’s canals for agriculture and reducing water wastage. The law has been in the works since at least 2017, when it received cabinet approval, but it was delayed several times until the draft got a nod from the House Agriculture Committee in 2019.

About the law: The law would make farmers pay fees worth EGP 1,250 for a renewable five-year license to set up pumping stations on the Nile and irrigation canals, as well as EGP 5k to obtain a five-year license for drilling underground wells. But smallholders who have 10 feddans or less and farmers who use non-mechanical small pumping equipment will be exempted from having to purchase a license.

What’s next? The law will be sent to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for a ratification, with the bill’s executive regulations to be reviewed by the cabinet before being issued.

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