Egypt says Ethiopia dam mustn't reduce Nile's flow

Jun 03, 2013
The Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during the diversion ceremony last week. President Mohamed Morsi Monday warned that Egypt would not allow its share of the Nile to be diminished by "one drop" after Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile as part of a giant dam project.

President Mohamed Morsi Monday warned that Egypt would not allow its share of the Nile to be diminished by "one drop" after Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile as part of a giant dam project.

"We cannot let even one drop of Nile water be affected," Morsi said during talks with political and broadcast live on state television.

The talks revolved around a report of a tripartite Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia commission on Ethiopia's decision to divert the Blue Nile for a massive dam project, sparking fears of a major impact on downstream states Egypt and Sudan.

"It is necessary that we take steps to ensure Egyptian ," Morsi said on his official Twitter account without elaborating.

"The current situation necessitates unity among our ranks to prevent any threat against Egypt."

Egyptian officials estimate that Ethiopia's move is largely technical and will not alter the that is vital for both Egypt and Sudan.

Boats from the Blue Nile Sailing Club float on the river in Khartoum on March 10, 2007. Both Sudan and Egypt, arid nations that rely heavily on the Nile for water including for agriculture, are extremely sensitive about projects that could alter the flow of the Blue Nile.

But Khaled al-Kazzaz, an adviser to Morsi, said the issue was one of "national security" for Egypt, with the cabinet last Wednesday reiterating that was opposed to all projects which could affect the flow of the Nile.

The Blue Nile joins the White Nile in Khartoum to form the Nile river which flows through Sudan and Egypt before emptying into the Mediterranean.

Ethiopia has begun diverting the Blue Nile 500 metres (yards) from its natural course to construct a $4.2 billion (3.2 billion euro) known as Grand Renaissance Dam.

Members of the Ethiopian Orthodox church walk in the source of the Blue Nile in northern Ethiopia on August 17, 2010. The Blue Nile joins the White Nile in Khartoum to form the Nile river which flows through Sudan and Egypt before emptying into the Mediterranean.

The first phase of construction is expected to be complete in three years, with a capacity of 700 megawatts. Once complete the dam will have a capacity of 6,000 .

Egypt believes its "historic rights" to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959 which allow it 87 percent of the Nile's flow and give it veto power over upstream projects.

But a new deal was signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allowing them to work on river projects without Cairo's prior agreement.

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Jonseer
1 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2013
If Egypt is so worried, why doesn't it instead demand The Sudan stop building the Mero Dam which when completed will result in about 13-18% loss of water flow in the Nile via evaporation thanks to the lake it will form having a vast surface area vs a vs the narrow Nile it will replace.