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Egypt worried over negative impact of Ethiopian Dam
A report on the effects of the Ethiopian mega dam on Egypt’s water safety is to be issued late May, government official says
Dina Ezzat , Thursday 18 Apr 2013
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A young girl looking at flowing tap water in Egypt. (Photo by Reuters)
A young girl looking at flowing tap water in Egypt. (Photo by Reuters)

An Egyptian government official said a technical report on the impact of the new Ethiopian mega dam, currently under construction, will reveal the need for Addis Ababa to attend to safety and environmental concerns at the construction process.

The report will also reveal concerns of potential negative influence on Egypt’s share of the Nile Water "depending on the mechanism and time of water storage behind the dam," the government official added.

The report will be issued at the end of the 6th session of a joint Egyptian-Sudanese-Ethiopian technical committee in late May. The committee has been meeting for almost two years to examine the plan of construction for the Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia had started building with the intention of storing 84 billion cubic meters of water. The water stored will then generate electricity sufficient for its advanced use and for exports to neighbouring countries, not excluding Egypt.

The report, according to the same government official, is not suggesting that the Renaissance Dam will drive Egypt into "water starvation but it is certainly saying that certain measures have to be followed to make sure that Ethiopia gets the water necessary for storage in the dam in line with Egypt’s consent and needs."

Planning of Nile dam

Originally conceptualised in the early 1960s by an American-African team of irrigation engineers to deconstruct the High Dam project, championed at the time by Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Renaissance Dam was baptised in the original blueprint as the Border Dam. It was one of four dams the American-African team said could be built over the Blue Nile, which provides Egypt about 60 percent of its annual over 55 million cubic metres of Nile waters.

A few years ago, Ethiopia decided to embark on the project with a mega international fund and to the contest of Egypt, which is considered the poorest in individual shares of Nile waters. According to national and international records, an individual’s share of water in Egypt is somewhere around 625 cubic metres, which is below the safe average of 1,000 cubic metres. Multiple water recycling projects, adopted during the past twenty years, have aided Egypt in making ends meet.

Ethiopia is one of the nine Basin countries (now ten with the two-year old independence of South Sudan) that have failed through a century to regulate differences over the shares of the Nile water with low stream countries, including Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia, however, argues that it deserves a bigger share of the course water than the upstream countries, given the latter's large share of rain waters.

As of 1902, there have been over ten agreements on the uses of Nile water, including the 1959 agreement that specified the exact share of Egypt. The bulk of these agreements specify that no dams or other irrigation projects should be built on the Nile without prior notification to all the Basin states. This is a precondition consistent with international law and with the applied regulations adopted by the basin states of other rivers.

Egypt had in 1999 agreed to join the other Nile Basin countries in a negotiation process that would address the demands of the upstream countries essentially. Egypt prescribed two things in the course of the process: (1) to reduce water losses, which is estimated in millions of cubic metres – some studies indicate that the loss is more than all of Egypt’s annual share – but requires billions of dollars to do the job, and (2) to pursue less costly projects to improve the quality of usage of the upstream countries of the water resources it has – not excluding the rich rain waters.

In 2010, both Egypt and Sudan, the latter still untied, suspended their participation in the talks over failure to define the terms of agreement for building irrigation projects over the Nile. The fate of this process is still undecided with both Cairo and Khartoum insisting on a position of full consensus of all Basin countries ahead of the construction of any dams on the Nile.

Egypt and Nile waters – further cooperation

The issue of the Renaissance Dam, however, is a matter that strictly affects Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia given that it is these three countries that overlook the Blue Nile.
Egyptian officials assess, in goodwill, the matter could be regulated with minimum influence on the annual Egyptian share.

In a seminar earlier in the week, Mohamed Nasseredine Allam, former minister for water resources, said that the Egyptian annual loss could go up to 18 million cubic metres.

However, concerned government officials tell Ahram Online it could be significantly less – the highest figure offered by an official was around 8 million cubic metres. "And the loss could be compensated for if we actively pursue better water resources management in Egypt, and if the Nile Basin countries collectively pursue projects to reduce the volume of the Nile water loss."

Most of the Nile water losses that could be easily spared will require intensified cooperation with South Sudan – something that Egyptian officials say is being carefully pursued.





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25



AYENEW
09-06-2013 05:58pm
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we can
Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.ALL ETHIOPIAN HAVE RISPONSIBE TO SUPPORT OUR GREAT DAM!!!!
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24



AYENEW
09-06-2013 05:55pm
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we can
Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.ALL ETHIOPIAN HAVE RISPONSIBE TO SUPPORT OUR GREAT DAM!!!!
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23



Abdunasir Mohammed
09-06-2013 06:12am
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no..no...noooooooooooooo!!
We have common religen but we are deferential country. Nothing. would stole from being constracted
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22



Abba Tobia
11-05-2013 07:45am
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The Blue Nile
About the blue Nile, Ethiopia has the obligation to water Egypt to the satisfaction of Egyptian blue nile water consumers. About the Blue Nile, Egypt has the obligation to use what it needs and support Ethiopia to use whatever water is left.
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21



Getaw
08-05-2013 11:10am
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Egypt shold think
Abbay River /The black Nile/ is Ethiopian river.It is our resource.The Ethiopian government do 99.9% endeavor for the two country good relation.Th Egyptian still hesitate to to come 0.1%. It is the 21stcentuary think of how to change your your dependence on river Nile for existence like the time of the Black Freon.citing a colonial treaty of Sudan and Britain is nothing to the independent Ethiopia
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20



Jack
06-05-2013 02:51pm
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It is time 4 Ethiopia
Time of colonialism had already past it needs new agreement in this century.Now Ethiopia has full right to construct many dams as much as possible.Don't wast time by running here and there.We are building new Ethiopia.
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19



sileshi
06-05-2013 10:52am
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Coopration is better
The Upstream and the down stream country should cooperate and working together for the betterment of the life their peoples and development of their countries.Nile is the river of the Nile basin countries.How to use it is and should only based on the mutual interest of the peoples of the region.Therefor the sustainable and acceptable solution is peaceful cooperation,openness and transparent.
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18



Daniel Teferra
03-05-2013 05:49pm
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New dam of Ethiopia will favorable to Egypt and Sudan.
The population of Ethiopia became 90 000 000,second huge population of Africa with rapid development strategies.She is tring tohigher water usage of her neibering countries with her limited resourse.Her strategy is to develop togather to live peacefully, but at the time of mubarek he was digging grave to Ethiopians but he enterd inti it.Because he was to himself not to people of Egypt with his 70billion dollar.Peoples are remain to work togather.Leadership should not stay on the chair longer time,it should be to the interest of Nations.Ethiopia declare new dam not only for her usage but to gebe gained togather with out Egypt and Sudan request,we know Egptians were digging hole, the time has come to work togather,with useful usage of water like People of Isreal,moderately.The burning water in Aswan and Nacer dam need to discuss bout the burning water and its solution with clear and neat mind.Self centerd thing should removed ,team spreat should developed.By lateral attack will lead failerity,how can we expect birds from snakes.Who knows Ethiopian military stregeth,her missiale and other strategies.Posetive thinker will be a winner,generation will change but people and land are remain. me
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17



Belay
25-04-2013 01:35am
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Co-operation!
You reported this: "Ethiopia, however, argues that it deserves a bigger share of the course water than the upstream countries, given the latter's large share of rain waters."The water has already been shared by Egypt and Sudan at 55.5 and 18 billion cubic meters of water with nothing left for Ethiopia and others.So what do you mean by bigger share? May be of the rain water? ridiculous! Ethiopia asks for a fair share over your monopoly.What if there is no rain in some year,are we supposed to die of thirst while Nile is flowing under my death bed? It's ridiculous to think of the rain water as part of the Nile water!It's good to work on co-operation and conserving the extavagant use of water in your country!
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16



Asnake Anteneh
24-04-2013 09:02am
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Lets come together
Dear Publishers, I am Asnake from Ethiopia. I am a Post Graduate Student at Addis Ababa University specializing on African Economics and Human Developemnt. I read the article. The article has some imbalance reports.Lets me quote one of them. "The bulk of these agreements specify that no dams or other irrigation projects should be built on the Nile without prior notification to all the Basin states. This is a precondition consistent with international law and with the applied regulations adopted by the basin states of other rivers." What does this statement indicates about? Are you saying that Ethiopia should get the consent and permission of Egypt to construct its dam on its own river? This is what we Ethiopians makes angry. Conversely, Egypt should get the full consent and permission of Ethiopia(who owned 85%)even for drinking. Most importantly Ethiopia has the full right to sell her own blue gold for other down stream countries including Ethiopia. We know that you have petroleum(which you sell it in billions dollars), and Nile water is our petroleum(which we want to sell it in trillions in the near future). Thanks Ahram online
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dina ahmed
11-05-2013 05:08am
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Basin Countries
If you read carefully, you will notice that the article says clearly, " The bulk of these agreements specify that no dams or other irrigation projects should be built on the Nile without prior notification to all the Basin states." It also states "Ethiopia is one of the nine Basin countries..." Therefore, none of those countries can build anything without the consent of the other nine Basin countries. It isn't just Ethiopia.

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