Egypt is seeking partners to invest in a $2.5 billion initiative to build more than a dozen renewable energy-powered desalination plants by 2025, as the country tries to tackle looming water scarcity.

Officials plan 17 new plants that would run on solar and other green sources, with each built, owned and operated by Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund in partnership with a group of local and foreign investors, according to the fund’s chief executive officer, Ayman Soliman.

The Arab world’s most populous nation relies on the Nile River for almost all its fresh water and is confronting a yawning supply deficit that officials fear will be worsened by a giant hydropower dam Ethiopia is filling on the main tributary.