Rates of rainfall over Nile’s headwaters in June promising: Irrigation minister

Nada Nader, Sunday 19 Jun 2022

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati said on Sunday that the rates of rainfall over the Nile’s headwaters in June are “promising.”

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati presides at a virtual meeting with the Permanent Committee for Nile s Revenues. Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation


Abdel-Ati’s remarks came during a meeting with the Permanent Committee for Regulating the Nile’s Revenues that was held on Sunday, a statement by the ministry said.

The Nile’s flooding season, which takes place from July to September, is caused by heavy rains in the Ethiopian highlands. Some 85 percent of the river’s waters flow from the Ethiopian highlands through the Blue Nile — one of the Nile’s two main tributaries along with the White Nile.

The minister reviewed the various expected scenarios in the coming flooding season to deal with the period of maximum needs effectively and meet the current agricultural season’s water needs.

The Permanent Committee for Regulating the Nile’s Revenues  convenes regularly throughout the year to ensure water resources are optimally managed to provide for the country’s water needs.

Egypt — which is considered one of the most water-scarce countries in the world — receives around 60 billion cubic metres (bcm) of water annually, mainly from the Nile. However, its needs stand at around 114 bcm, placing the 102-million-plus country well below the international threshold for water scarcity at 560 cubic metres per person annually.

The large gap in water resources in Egypt, which is one of the driest countries in the world, is overcome by importing 54 percent of its virtual water and reusing 42 percent of its renewable sources, Abdel-Ati said in an earlier statement.

Access to the Nile’s waters is one of the outstanding points in the long-running Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute between downstream countries Egypt and Sudan from one side and upstream country Ethiopia on the other.

Despite the opposition of the downstream countries to filling the GERD without signing a binding agreement that could secure the three countries’ water needs, Ethiopia is getting ready to execute the third filling of the reservoir in August and September, according to remarks by Kiffle Horo, the GERD’s project manager.

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