Egypt gives greenlight to Ethiopia over Renaissance Dam Filling.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, has announced that Egypt has officially granted that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) be filled within seven years.

This comes as a result of finding ways to resolve the disagreement between Cairo and Addis Ababa about the ongoing construction Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The Egyptian High Committee for Nile Water held a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli in the presence of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry; Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aatti; representatives of the Ministry of Defense, General Intelligence, and the Administrative Control Authority, and Specialized Experts to discuss the dispute over the Renaissance Dam.

Egypt is keen to ensure filling of the dam’s reservoir is done without causing harm to the downstream countries’ water share (55.5 billion cubic meters).

Egypt has carried out a study that recommends that the dam should be filled in seven years.

Ethiopia expects that the Renaissance Dam would start producing electricity after 15 months and work should be officially completed by 2023.

The problematic point between Egypt and Ethiopia was a technical one related to the period of filling the dam’s reservoir with water.

Ethiopia had requested for 5-6 years to fill the reservoir, while Egypt asked Ethiopia to abide by the Nile water quantity flow in filling the reservoir to avoid any significant damage on the downstream countries.

Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began in 2014.  One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries should not be affected by the construction of the dam.

Source: Middle East Monitor