In Summary
  • The three countries gathered in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss how to fill up the new Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) without affecting the flow of water to Sudan and Egypt.
  • But the ministers of water resources and technical delegations failed to merge their divergent views on how long it should take to fill the dam.
  • Egypt fears that the dam will reduce its share of the Nile water while Ethiopia stresses the need for the dam to generate electricity.
  • It is now expected that ministers from the three countries will meet in Washington next week to provide more details on the results of the talks.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have failed to reach an amicable deal on how to fill up the controversial dam on the Nile, opening another round of uncertainty on how to share the waters.

The three countries gathered in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss how to fill up the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) without affecting the flow of water to Sudan and Egypt.

The countries had hoped that the final negotiations would solve technical issues as well as the related rules of filling and operation.

But their ministers of water resources and technical delegations failed to merge their divergent views on how long it should take to fill the dam.

TIME NEEDED

The negotiations, first proposed by the United States and supported by the World Bank, were meant to ensure that Ethiopia’s $5 billion GERD on the Blue Nile fills up for its planned irrigation, and hydro-electric power production, without affecting water supply to Sudan and Egypt.

The two countries heavily rely on the Nile, 80 per cent of whose water is sourced from Ethiopia.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Egypt disagreed on the time needed to fill the dam.

While Addis Ababa argued for seven years, Egyptians suggested between 12 and 21 years, which they said will sustain Cairo's water supply needs as the dam fills slowly.

KEY CONCERNS

Egypt fears that the dam will reduce its share of the Nile water while Ethiopia stresses the need for the dam to generate electricity.

Page 1 of 2