The Nile waters negotiations: Egypt declares failure

Summary: negotiations over Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam have broken down. Successive Egyptian regimes have promised to defend the country’s water supplies but these days Egypt has a weak hand.

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2 thoughts on “The Nile waters negotiations: Egypt declares failure”

  1. Prof. Waterbury’s question is a very important one. I have not seen a reliable figure for exactly how much evaporation loss would be saved by storing water in the GERD reservoir rather than in Lake Nasser. Perhaps the answer is contained in the technical report over which Egypt and Ethiopia are now arguing but I have not had access to that document.
    However, it does seem likely that a significant volume of water would be saved through the reduction of evaporation losses by storing it in Ethiopia rather than Egypt. This is partly because, as Prof Waterbury says, the GERD is at a higher elevation than Lake Nasser and partly because of the respective profiles of the reservoirs. On the latter point, Lake Nasser has a surface area of 40 sq. kms for every billion cubic metres (bcm) of water stored while the reservoir behind the GERD has a surface area of 25 sq. kms for every bcm stored. But further work by someone with better technical qualifications than mine would be required to establish precise figures.
    I am sorry not to be able to offer a more definitive answer.

  2. How solid is the assumption that surface evaporation at the GERD site will be significantly lower than at Aswan? The GERD site is obviously at higher elevation than the AHD but it is in a hot, arid, wind-swept area close to the Sudanese border. Can Mr. Shapland clarify this point?

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