CITY OF WATER
Selyin Yi Ding
The Nile river snakes through 11 countries, providing hundreds of millions of people with the majority of their water supply. For many, it is their only water source. Egypt, for one, gets about 85% of its water from the river—and experts expect the country to face a nationwide freshwater shortage by 2025. (Quartz, 2019)
Historically, Cairo was a city whose population and agricultural industry were fully dependent on the Nile river. However, climate change has caused the flow of the Nile into Cairo to drop dramatically over the last century. As a result, the Nile Delta has also been shrinking over time. Exacerbating this reduction in water availability is the significant population growth, and in turn water consumption, that Cairo has experienced almost continuously since 1937. Simply put, Cairo’s has gradually been losing the advantage of the natural resources that gave rise to its location.
In 2015, the Cairo government proposed to move its population to what was called New Capital Cairo, along the corridor between the existing city and the Red Sea. In 2030, the Pan-African Union announced that through a collaborative effort amongst countries contiguous to the Sahara Desert, they had successfully constructed the first Thermal Desalination Unit that could efficiently transform large amount of seawater into drinking water to support the population and industries of the region. The technology proved such a success that Cairo was finally able escape from the issue of water shortage that had long burdened the city. From that point on, the Cairo government began aggressively migrating the city and its population east to the bank of Greater Bitter Lake, a large waterbody connected to Red Sea.
By 2045 Cairo had successfully finished the resettlement process. The New Cairo X City was such a success that the flourishing green landscapes that characterized the parks, lawns and pools became the most recognizable features of the new city. State propaganda, as well as TV shows and movies all raced to present this image of Green Cairo to the world. As a result, many people from throughout the Pan-African Union moved to Cairo for its growing green economy and comfortable living style.