The Nile River is arguably one of the most important water sources in the world and has an extremely rich history dating back thousands of years. Without the Nile, the ancient Egyptian civilization would have never existed. Egypt is basically a whole lot of sand and not much else, except they have the Nile River flowing through it, on it’s way to the Mediterranean sea. The ancient Egyptians lived along the Nile River and it provided them with abundant water, food (fish) and the opportunity to develop agriculture along it’s banks. The Nile River was also used for transportation and trade with other regions because land travel was more difficult than floating on the river. The Ancient Egyptians were at the mercy of the seasonal flooding and droughts but learned to work within the natural system of the River and weather cycles (Carnegie Museum of Natural History). Modern people, however were more interested in conquering nature, rather than living in harmony with it.
When we think of the Nile River, we typically do think of Ancient Egypt but the Nile River actually flows through 11 countries, now that South Sudan has become an independent nation.
It is 6,600km long and the Nile River Basin is home to 160 million people. Due to high fertility rates, that number is on track to double in the next 25 years (United Nations Environment Programme). That means that there will soon be 320 million people to support in the Nile River Basin.
Egypt itself currently has a population of approximately 87 million people and a Total Fertility Rate of 2.87 (Central Intelligence Agency). The population of Egypt is projected to be 100 million in 2025 and nearly 126 million in 2050 (Population Reference Bureau). This is a massive explosion in population and is actually partially due to the change in government in recent years. Egypt began formal family planning initiatives as far back as the 1960s, under President Gamal Abdel Nasser. In 1991, the president at the time, Hosni Mubarak, launched campaigns to expand family planning education programs, focusing on birth control and promoting a 2-child families as a way to educate families about population control. There is now a fear in Egypt that with new government, under control of the Islamic Brotherhood is not continuing the effort of past leaders to slow population growth (Fahim). It is possible that the population growth in the future could be higher than the Population Reference Bureau has projected and all of these people will require food, water and shelter, straining the already limited resources available, because of the change in government and overall political uncertainty. If they are not talking about population control, a reduction in the Total Fertility Rate will not happen.
Geography of Egypt
Egypt is located in Northern Africa, with the Mediterranean sea to the North, Libya to the West, Sudan to the South and the Red Sea to the East (CIA World Factbook). 95 percent of...