Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty and Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation El Sayed El Kosayer met on Wednesday to discuss implementation of modern irrigation systems in New Valley governorate.
During the meeting, they addressed the possibility of converting about 175,000 feddan currently irrigated by flooding in New Valley to modern irrigation techniques.
The two ministries and New Valley governorate will coordinate on implementing the project, with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation represented by its Groundwater and Irrigation Development Department.
The discussions were held with the attendance of New Valley Governor Mohamed El-Zamloot, who presented at the online meeting.
The meeting also discussed ways of implementing the conversion process and the timeframe needed to convert the remaining diesel-operated wells to solar energy. The project will also see the installation of a modern monitoring system, and linking wells to local monitoring networks.
There are currently a total of 85 diesel-powered wells being converted to solar power in the governorate.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said that the solar panels at wells work for only seven hours a day, or during sunlight hours. This reduces the time of pumping from 12 hours or more when using diesel-operated wells, to only seven hours, as the panels do not store energy for use at night due to the expensive technology needed for that.
The tele-metric monitoring system recently launched by the ministry allows remote shutdown of the solar power systems that operate the wells. The system is highly accurate to avoid data collection errors that can occur through conventional methods, reduces the chances of human factor errors, and decreases expenses.