(Middle East Monitor – Sept 29, 2017)
Ethiopia will start storing water from the Grand Renaissance Dam in a reservoir next year, Egypt’s water resources and irrigation minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati said today according to the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA).
Ethiopia is yet to officially announce when it will start storing water.
“The impact of the Ethiopian dam’s construction is yet to be seen. The water’s inbound flow is still the same,” Abdel-Ati said, adding that the water flow into Egypt “could be reduced next year”.
Consensus between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the dam storing operation, Abdel-Ati pointed out, could minimise the negative impact the dam will have on Egypt’s allocation of Nile water.
The Egyptian minister stressed that his country is “fully committed” to all agreements with Ethiopia and Sudan.
He noted that a meeting for the Tripartite National Technical Committee between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will take place as a follow-up on its gathering last week in Sudan’s Khartoum.
“There are a few technical differences on some of the key issues within the committee,” Abdel-Ati said, stressing that a high-level technical meeting will be held by the committee “to find resolutions for these problems”.
Concerns have risen in Cairo over the possible negative impact the Ethiopian dam will have on Egypt’s allocation of Nile water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic metres.
However, the Ethiopian government has stressed that the dam will not cause “any harm on the downstream countries [Egypt or Sudan],” adding that instead it will help generate electricity.