Ethiopia is heading to a fourth breach in international accords over GERD

The Professor of Geology and Water Resources at  Cairo University Abbas Sharaky said that Ethiopia is heading to a fourth breach in international accords over filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Sharaky added that the rainfall in July is expected to be higher than the average, stressing that work on the heightening of the middle part of the GERD means that Addis Ababa intends to work on storing water.

During a phone interview with Ahmed Moussa’s TV program “Ala Massoulity” (By My Responsibility) on Sada el-Balad Channel, Sharaky that the Ethiopians will store about three to five billion cubic meters of water during the flood season.

“Ethiopia aspires to store 10 billion; the Egyptian citizen will not feel the effects of this storage,” he added.

He added that the water that Ethiopia will store is deducted from the water that would have been provided to the High Dam in Egypt, noting that if storage occurred in the month of July; this means that Ethiopia is breaching international agreements and norms for the fourth time.

Sharaky pointed out that Egypt has taken measures so that the citizen does not feel that Ethiopia is storing water; and there is no fear for Egypt, even if Addis Ababa stored 10 billion cubic meters of Nile River water.

He explained that this confusion makes Sudan confused in the process of storing water through its dams, pointing out that Khartoum does not have enough information to be conserve water due to the Ethiopian measures regarding the GERD.

“Sudan is afraid of Addis Ababa storing 5 billion cubic meters or more,” he said.

Negotiations over the GERD have officially stopped since April 2021, after Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia failed to reach an understanding before the start of the second filling of the dam, which Ethiopia implemented in July.

Cairo and Khartoum reject Ethiopia’s insistence on filling the dam before reaching a binding agreement on filling and operation.

Egypt, which relies considerably on freshwater from the Nile, has voiced fears that the GERD would negatively impact the country’s water supply.

Egypt has also insisted that measures be put into place to protect downstream countries in case of drought during the dam’s filling process.

Egypt and Sudan say they want a legally binding agreement, while Ethiopia says any pact should be advisory.

Egypt and Sudan consider the dam a threat to their vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it essential for development and doubling its electricity production.

The downstream nations fear possible blows to water facilities, agricultural land, and overall availability of Nile water.

Negotiations over the dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have stalled for years, with the three parties ultimately failing to reach any concrete agreement.

The disputed dam is the largest hydroelectric project in Africa, with a cost of more than four billion dollars. The construction of the dam began in 2011.

It is considered to be one of Egypt’s most serious water issues.


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