According to FAO’s Aquastat, the Nile River used to flow through Egypt at a rate of 84 cubic kilometers of water per annum. It now flows at 56.8 cubic kilometers of water per annum. In less than 50 years water levels shrunk by 30% and remains the principle supplier of a population that has grown by 1.84%. Uneven water distribution, misuse of water resources and inefficient irrigation techniques are regarded by researchers as the primary culprit. With 90% of Egypt's geographic land area being arid and unused, Egypt is heavily dependent on rain in other countries to sustain the flow of a river that services the country’s industrial and agricultural demand and is the primary source of drinking water for the population.
Compounding this impending environmental catastrophe are the ever expanding urban environments, which according to estimates will carry over 50% of the human population by the year 2020. The pollution brought on by this concentrated urban environment will only exacerbate already waning resources while pushing demand for stable food supplies to untenable levels
The urgency of the situation has taken the issue beyond the realms of academic debate. As the need to discard conventional forms of agriculture becomes paramount, so does need for cost effective and sustainable methods and technologies. Al Bustani tackles these seemingly insurmountable odds by adopting the latest in high tech cost effective irrigation technologies that challenge conventional notions of needing vast agricultural land for large food production. By introducing other means of transforming unutilized space, we are setting out to build hydroponic food production hubs, while creating self-sufficient and sustainable communities.