How can Egypt really deal with Ethiopia over the Nile?

Martin Plaut

By appealing to Ethiopia and making better use of water supplies and conservation, while controlling its population, Egypt can get through this crisis. Threats and sanctions will not resolve this problem.

First: Has the dam started filling?

There are conflicting reports about whether Ethiopia has begun filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the blue Nile.

The BBC said the filling had begun. But Ethiopia’s Water Minister, Seleshi Bekele, denied the reports. He told the Associated Press that satellite images showing the waters behind the dam rising simply reflected heavy rains, resulting in inflow being greater than the outflow. He later tweeted saying it had created “natural pooling.”

Screenshot 2020-07-16 at 07.38.17

But even if filling has not begun yet, the reality is that Ethiopia will start filling the GERD soon. This is the rainy season – if the water is not captured soon, then another year will be lost. The dam costs…

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