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Possible Nile Irrigation Projects

December 27, 1997

Irrigation projects envisioned to encourage Egyptians to move out of crowded Nile valley:

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NEW DELTA: Pumping station on Lake Nasser would feed 175 billion cubic feet of water annually into 37-mile canal to irrigate 500,000 acres. Cost put at $1.5 billion. Plan includes new cities, airports, highways, tourist sites, factories.

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SALAM CANAL: By 2002, government hopes to complete 144-mile canal to carry Nile water under Suez Canal and into Sinai Peninsula to irrigate 400,000 acres of desert at cost of up to $1.8 billion.

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EAST OWEINAT: Series of wells to draw groundwater from arid region near Sudanese border to irrigate 190,000 acres. Land already allocated to private investors.

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FORTY DAYS ROAD: Along route from Egypt to Sudan that once served camel caravans, wells to draw groundwater to irrigate 12,000 acres. Small plots will be allocated to landless farmers.

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OASES: Pet project of Egyptian leaders since 1950s, envisions expanding cultivated areas around four oases that run roughly parallel to Nile in Western Desert. Up to 240,000 acres to be irrigated.

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