Newton-Mosharafa Fund

Funding Agancy 


Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF)


Project Partners

University of Nottingham, UK

Alexandria University, Egypt

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Egypt


Project Overview

This project aims to develop and initiate deployment of an innovative small-scale, low-energy, low-cost solar-powered water desalination or water system, based on a breakthrough on solar powered desalination system in the University of Nottingham.

The proposed system will provide fresh water from saline and brackish water using solar powered, small-scale desalination system suitable for commercial and household applications.

This project aims to develop and initiate deployment of an innovative small-scale, low-energy, low-cost solar-powered water desalination or water system

The system utilises hollow fibre membranes as a humidification units, for a desalination system based on humidification and dehumidification. The system can be powered by thermal solar system or PV powered heat pump system.

This offers a sustainable solution for rural population in countries facing water shortages or water quality deterioration. The system would have a high demand, in particular along the Red sea and Mediterranean sea coast.

The project will capitalize on Egyptians solar energy endowment and provide an opportunity for UK and Egyptian industrial players to pioneer the development of a new and cost effective water desalination/treatment technology.


Goals & Benefits

The project offers new business opportunities, opens new markets and generates job opportunities across a wide range of manufacturing, water desalination and treatment.

The project will also contribute to addressing water poverty and improving the quality of life of the millions of people, and act as a bridge of cooperation to establish a framework exchange of research experiences and commercialisation between the UK an Egypt



1. A computer simulation for optimisation of the system components

2. Design, construction and laboratory evaluation of the performance of the proposed system

3. Construction and field evaluation of the developed system under real outdoor environment in Egypt

4. Assessment of the potential economic, environmental, and social Impacts

5. Training, publicising and disseminating the findings



Many towns and villages in Egypt have limited access to water, and in many cases people rely on contaminated water, costing hundreds of lives annually. The Egyptian population grows by 1.8 million annually, while the annual quota of Nile water allocated to Egypt remains at 55 billion cubic meters (BCM) since the 1959 Nile Water Agreement, the current water requirements for different sectors are in the order of 79.5 BCM/yr.

The current Egyptians water share per capita is 660m3 only below the international standard limit of water poverty of 1000 m3. Following the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance dam which is set to impact Egypt&rsquos Nile water quota and further limit water supply in the country side. This will incur further loss of up to 30% of Egypt share of Nile water and nearly a third of the electricity generated by its Aswan High Dam.

The subsequent wave of sufferers will be farmers, again one of Egypt&rsquos already poorest segments, as estimates of the ensuing agricultural land loss stand at 60%. This also means the loss of major export products, with all that entails of further job losses and poverty. Egypt has a record high fuel deficit, one problem of having large-scale gas-fuelled desalination and treatment plants. Using solar energy can ease this situation by capitalizing on Egypt&rsquos abundant solar sources as well as seawater and underground brackish water.


Solar Water Technology.

This is where the role of the proposed technology comes in, with the additional benefit of supplying clean water in poor communities and sparing the need for costly and time-consuming infrastructure that would otherwise be needed to connect them to the national water supply network. Having access to clean drinking water will help improve farmer&rsquos health, and importantly help the country sustain its strategic national project of reclaiming 1.5m &ldquofeddans&rdquo of land to expand the living area from the current 1%, offer jobs, and improve food security nationwide




Laboratory Testing in UK and Egypt

Workshops and Training Activities