Foreign Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet today in Cairo to discuss the filling and operation of the
Foreign Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet today in Cairo to discuss the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The GERD—being constructed on the Blue Nile River—aims to generate some 6.45 GW of power at a cost of $4 billion and be completed by 2023.
Egypt—downstream of the Blue Nile—has opposed the project, citing a water loss of 55 billion cubic metres. Cairo claims the project will affect its water-intensive crop cultivation. Sudan—the only other Blue Nile downstream nation—counters that Egypt’s figures are overstated.
In March 2015, the countries signed an agreement that set out how to mitigate the effect of the dam’s construction on downstream countries. Towards this, Egypt handed in a technical report to Ethiopia on August 2, which officially recommended that the dam filling be protracted over seven years to minimise water loss. Ethiopia wants to do so within three years.
While Egypt and Ethiopia seem unlikely to agree on the filling period in the near future, they may work towards a consensus before the dam starts producing electricity in 15 months.