Since 1978, USAID has invested more than $3.5 billion to bring clean water and sanitation services to the homes of over 25 million Egyptians. USAID constructed and rehabilitated water and wastewater systems in Cairo, Alexandria, three Suez Canal cities, Mansoura, North Sinai, and across Upper Egypt. Coupled with U.S. investments of over $1 billion in health programs, these monumental water infrastructure projects have transformed health in Egypt, reducing child mortality by 80 percent since the 1970s.

To ensure the water systems continue to operate effectively for decades to come, USAID helped the Government of Egypt establish the Egyptian water regulatory agency, the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater, and its subsidiary companies in many governorates that operate and maintain the whole country’s water and wastewater systems today. USAID has supported the Holding Company and the Water and Wastewater Companies in several governorates to build staff expertise and develop management systems to improve operating efficiencies, billing, and collections, as well as strengthen the policy, legal, and regulatory framework for water distribution and access.

With reforms in place, USAID continues to support the Government of Egypt to increase access to clean water and sanitation services in rural areas where citizens suffer from unreliable and sometimes low-quality potable water and few wastewater connections. Water pollution in canals and drains represents the greatest threat to public health in rural areas where wastewater is discharged without treatment and carries the risk of waterborne diseases. In addition, climate change and other threats are likely to further exacerbate water scarcity challenges, which in Egypt can only be addressed on a large scale through increased wastewater capture, treatment, and reuse. Current USAID efforts are improving access to water and wastewater services, and ensuring sustainable quality services, for more than 20 million residents in Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, and Luxor governorates, which is essential to their health and livelihoods, and Egypt’s overall water security.


INTEGRATED WATER SOLUTIONS SUPPORT: USAID is increasing access to clean water and sanitation for Upper Egypt’s rural population by constructing water and sanitation systems that will serve almost 160,000 people in the most impoverished and economically marginalized areas of Egypt. The planned water and sanitation systems have the capacity to cover future demand for up to 218,000 beneficiaries. By the end of this program, many of the people in the targeted areas will receive adequate sanitation for the first time in their lives, and wastewater dumping into agricultural irrigation waterways will be dramatically reduced. The newly constructed water and sanitation systems will improve health by upgrading the quality of drinking water and reducing exposure to raw sewage.
Implementing Partners: CDM Smith (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Management) and the Egyptian Water and Wastewater Companies (Construction); Life of Project: October 2017 – September 2024; Total Estimated Cost: $45 million; Governorates: Assiut, Luxor, Sohag.

INTEGRATED WATER SOLUTION SUPPORT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: USAID supports reform efforts by the Government of Egypt to help promote the sustainability of the water and wastewater sector. Through this program, USAID provides institutional strengthening support and capacity building support to Egypt’s National Holding Company for Water and Wastewater and the local Water and Wastewater Companies in Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, and Luxor, focusing on the following four pillars: operational efficiency, asset management, quality of service, and cost recovery to enable the Water and Wastewater Companies to maintain the effective and efficient performance of their systems, ensuring that Egyptians can access clean water and sanitation services across the country.
Implementing Partner: Tetra Tech; Life of Project: July 2019 – July 2024; Total Estimated Cost: $17.5 million; Governorates: Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, and Luxor.

Water and Sanitation
Credit: Mohamed Abdelwahab for USAID