Study warns of GERD collapse

A recent Egyptian scientific study warned of the dangers of the collapse of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, after it detected a drop in the project site amid doubts about the dam’s safety, Shorouk news website reported.

The study, which was prepared by a research team including the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty, analyzed about 109 vertical scenes from December 2016 to July 2021, using radar technology.

The gatherings indicated “different-directional offsets in different sections of the concrete (main) dam as well as the dam (saddle or auxiliary dam).”

“There is an uneven vertical displacement in different sectors of the two dams (the main and auxiliary), which shows a subsidence in the dam site and poses risk,” according to researcher Hisham al-Askary.

Further analysis of the data at the site of the construction of the dam showed “an inconsistent decline in the outskirts of the main dam, especially the western side of the dam, where varying displacements ranging from 10 mm to 90 mm were recorded at the top of the dam.”

This displacement prompted Ethiopia to halt the second filling of the dam before it was complete, Askary said.

Askary expected that the storage process will cause problems when the water reaches a certain limit, between 25 to 30 billion cubic meters.

The study confirmed that the filling of the Renaissance Dam is taking place at a rapid rate and lacks sufficient analysis on its potential consequences.

The study added that filling the Renaissance Dam not only affects the hydrology of the Blue Nile basin’s water storage and flow, but also poses major risks in the event of a collapse, especially for 20 million citizens in Sudan.

Askary refused to talk about the Renaissance Dam negotiations – which are expected to resume soon – in light of the results of the study, saying that the Egyptian state is fully aware of the study and its results.

“The matter is dangerous,” Askary stressed, ruling out the implementation of the entire project, as planned, or the storage of 74 billion cubic meters and water reaching the dam, as Ethiopia claims.

The collapse of the Renaissance Dam could cause catastrophic repercussions on Sudan mainly, he warned.

In July, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty, warned of serious defects in the Renaissance Dam. He pointed out that some of the defects “have been announced and some have not,” stressing that the Egyptian government “will not allow a water crisis to occur in Egypt “.

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