11–12 March 2018
From the 11th to the 12th of March 2018, an international conference on River Bank Filtration (RBF) technology for the production of pure drinking water was held in Luxor, Egypt, where the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) co-located a specialised workshop titled “River Bank Filtration in Egypt: Current Status and Future Prospective” in partnership with COSIMENA.
The workshop was put together by the HCWW with support of the DAAD and in presence of UN HABITAT, Coca-Cola Company and the companies affiliated to the HCWW across the country who were all there to discuss the mechanism of application and dissemination of technology at the national level for the production of high-quality drinking water under the patronage of His Excellency the Governor of Luxor. Dr. Thomas Grischek from Technische Universität Dresden, who took part in the workshop via the support of COSIMENA, said that in the past eight years, natural filtration technology has witnessed a strong boost in Egypt, which has proven to be of great importance given the quality of the Nile water which has overcome all the challenges that impede the implementation process. He added that RBF technology does not need any more research but depends on the skills of the operators of geologists, chemists and engineers based on them. Therefore, capacity building and scientific teaching is vital to the success of the treatment plants.
Lilly von Stackelberg, representative of the DAAD, said that the focus of the DAAD on the exchange of experiences and academic cooperation between the Egyptian and German sides aims to building expertise and capacity and exchanging visits and information. The DAAD Regional Office Cairo’s latest Clusters of Scientific Innovation (COSIMENA) aim to deepen cooperation and partnership between Germany and the Middle East and North Africa by connecting the network of scientists with different scientific and practical backgrounds.
Mamdouh Raslan, Chairman of the HCWW, announced the completion of the establishment of 61 units to produce high quality drinking water using the natural filtration technology for river banks in five governorates in Upper Egypt (Menya, Beni Suef, Qena, Sohag and Giza), producing over 1,000 cubic meters of clean water per day using low-cost German technology. He pointed out that the use of natural river bank filtration technology to produce pure drinking water required serious training, with preliminary studies, site selection, and studies on water levels, and this is why there’s a need of international expertise in this field. He however highlighted that traditional filtration stations were still indispensable due to their great productivity. Therefore, increased efforts should be undertaken in identifying ways to take advantage of filtration technology in solving hotspots problems and providing sources additional water.
Rania Hedeya, UN Habitat Egypt Office Programme Manager, confirmed that the programme has successfully implemented ten natural filtration units in Menya Governorate, and are currently operating efficiently and some villages are covered with high quality drinking water.
Dr. Mohamed El Sayed Badr, Governor of Luxor, confirmed that drinking water services have developed significantly in the past period. The aim is to improve network efficiency and implement plans for replacement, renovation and protection of water treatment plants. He added that the application of modern technologies in the production of clean drinking water and reuse of wastewater is a necessity; studies and research should be directed on them with special focus on preparation of cadres and specialised professionals via capacity building.
At the end of the workshop, chairmen of affiliated companies for Water and Wastewater of Menya, Beni Suef and Sohag demonstrated and presented case studies on RBF projects that have been applied in the respective governorates.