Abstract for: Limits to Population Growth and Water Resource Adequacy in the Nile River Basin, 1994-2100

The purpose of this study is to examine the potential limits to growth within the Nile River Basin region based on actual and projected estimates of population growth and water resource adequacy between 1994 and 2100. The projected disparity between population growth and water resource adequacy within the region raises serious questions about the adequacy of water resources given current population rates and the timing of potential intra-regional conflict. This study, by employing a system dynamics model for the region, projects extreme water scarcity with potentially catastrophic human implications by mid-century. Egypt is likely to encounter a severe water crisis by mid century and as early as 2020 under conservative modeling assumptions. Averting a potential crisis in the Nile River Basin region will require the formulation and evaluation of plausible solutions to water resource issues. The impact of this crisis can be attenuated only by reducing birth rates, reducing per capita water consumption, or increasing water supply. Desalination, one method for increasing the water supply in Egypt, is not sufficient to divert this potential crisis. Future study is required to examine the internal dynamics water and population in each country in the basin.