Egypt's irrigation minister visits Sudan to talk Ethiopian dam consensus

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Oct 2015

After meeting with the Egyptian president Saturday, Minister Hossam Moghazi heads to Sudan for talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam (Photo:Al Ahram)

Egypt's minister of irrigation and water sources, Hossam Moghazi, headed to Khartoum Sunday to meet Sudanese officials for talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Informed sources from Egypt's water ministry told Al-Ahram Arabic website that minister Moghazi headed to Sudan in order to find consensus over the GERD project and what it means for downstream nations. 

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi held a meeting with Moghazi in Cairo Saturday to discuss the latest developments regarding the Ethiopian dam project. 

A tripartite meeting that was supposed to be held in Egypt last week was postponed upon the request of Addis Ababa. 

Egypt had already invited Ethiopian and Sudanese officials, along with representatives from the consultancy firm studying the impact of the dam, to a meeting headed by the Egyptian National Committee of the Grand Ethiopian Dam (TNC) in Cairo.

The meeting was to discuss recent differences between the countries over the building of the dam following the failure of consultancy firms to present their technical reports on the dam and its impact, and the withdrawal of the Dutch consultancy firm from the process.

Despite Ethiopian assurances that the dam would not affect Egypt's share of Nile water, Egypt is concerned that the new dam, which to be completed in 2017, will lower its annual Nile water share. 

Egypt, with a share of 55 billion cubic metres, is currently suffering from a water deficit of 20 billion cubic metres, which it compensates for through water recycling, a stopgap that is not viable in the long run.

The dam will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.

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