Egypt presidency issues summary of tripartite report on Ethiopia dam

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Jun 2013

Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam project may adversely impact Egypt's ability to generate electricity and provide water for irrigation, presidency's summary contends

nile river
Boats travel in the Egyptian Nile River in Cairo May 28, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian presidency on Monday published a summary of a final report issued over the weekend by a tripartite commission – including Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian representatives – tasked with studying the potential impact on downstream states of Ethiopia's controversial Renaissance Dam project.

Despite Ethiopia's insistence that the project would not have an adverse impact on either Sudan or Egypt, the summary states, most studies conducted by Ethiopia have been insufficient or out of date.

The summary goes on to assert that Ethiopia had failed to conduct the necessary studies before building the dam, including one on the possible repercussions on the entire region in the event of the dam's collapse.

The summary also states that Ethiopia had failed to conduct the needed studies on the dam's potential environmental and social impact on downstream countries.

The ability of Egypt's High Dam to generate electricity, meanwhile, will likely be affected by the Ethiopian dam project, especially during the Nile's high and medium flood seasons, the summary contends.

Meanwhile, if the Renaissance Dam's reservoirs are full during drought periods, the presidency's summary goes on, this will lead to a drastically negative impact on Egypt's ability to generate electricity and provide water for irrigation.

The summary also highlights the negative environmental and social impacts that might come as a result of the dam's construction, including the negative impact on Ethiopia's ecosystem and Egyptian agriculture.

The summary goes on to describe Ethiopian reports on the dam's ostensible advantages for Egypt as undependable, since, the summary asserts, they were not based on extensive studies of the dam's various operational conditions or the Nile's hydrological system.

Last Sunday, Ethiopia's ministry of water and power, for its part, had stated that the Renaissance Dam's design was in line with international standards.

On the same day, Ethiopia's foreign ministry had stated that the tripartite report had shown that the dam project would "not greatly harm" Egyptian or Sudanese interests. 

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