The Nile is the source of life that plays a crucial role in the economics, politics, and cultural life of eleven countries and their almost 400 million inhabitants. The population of these countries is expected to double within 30 years. This means that an astonishingly number of three-quarter of a billion people will be dependent for their livelihood on a single river with dwindling flow. How can the water of the Nile be handled in a way that meets the water needs of all people in the region?
The Nile extends through the Arab region in the Middle East and also includes some of the poorest areas in the world (e.g., Ethiopia and Eritrea). Thus, the area is confronted by severe problems due to both climatic conditions and socioeconomic factors. The region is characterized by a fast increasing population (especially Egypt and Ethiopia), which has resulted in a sharp decline of the per capita availability of water during last the decades. The socioeconomic problems are severe in many of these countries and rely heavily on the availability of water supply for irrigation from the Nile.