This marks the second dramatic increase in drinking water fees in less than a year for the potentially water scarce country
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail approved measures to increase fees for drinking water by up to 46.5%. This marks the second rise in drinking water fees for Egypt in less than a year, with a previous increase in drinking water and sewage prices by up to 50% in Aug. 2017.
The recently announced decision to raise fees also includes a 12% increase in sewage fees, as reported by Reuters. The government argues that spending cuts will help revive the economy, where subsidies have accounted for approximately a quarter of state spending.
According to a recent report on water scarce countries by BBC, Cairo, Egypt, is at risk as the World Health Organization ranks Egypt high among lower middle-income countries with water pollution related deaths and the United Nations predicts critical drinking water shortages for the country by 2025.
The problems stem from agricultural and wastewater pollution of the Nile River, the source of 97% of the country’s water. While the recent drinking water fee increases are a bid to reduce government spending, residents can hope the additional funding finds its way to improving water quality and addressing water scarcity needs.