Known for centuries as “the gift of the Nile,” Egypt is dependent on the river for virtually all of its water. The country’s history and culture – in fact, its entire existence have been linked to the river since ancient times, prompting the Greek historian Herodotus to call Egypt “the gift of the Nile.” Those ties are just as strong today. Fully 95 percent of the population lives along its banks, and the Nile accounts for nearly all of Egypt’s drinking and irrigation water; the country gets little rainfall, and almost all of its farmland is irrigated. The Nile is also a key transportation route. The Nile’s fundamental importance to Egypt has made water management a priority there for centuries, if not millennia.