By Aya Nader,
EGYPT rejects the current Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) high storage capacity, as studies showed it will affect its national water security, reported state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) Sunday.
The dam’s storage capacity reaches 74bn cubic meters. Calling such capacity “unjustified and technically unacceptable”, Egypt asked Ethiopia to reduce it to what was agreed before the start of negotiations over the years-of-filling and operation of the dam.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the three countries involved, are facing difficulties in technical negotiations, said Alaa Yassin, Advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation and spokesman for the GERD file, according to state news agency MENA.
Yassin hopes that all parties adhere to the August agreements that took place in Sudan “without procrastination and time-wasting”, while the three countries are trying to overcome these difficulties.
“Egypt’s share in the historic Nile River water red line cannot be crossed,” Yassin told MENA.
Ethiopia began constructing the dam in 2011, and since then Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked in a diplomatic dispute, which reached a peak in 2013.
Egypt, which utilizes more Nile water than any other country, fears the dispute will have a detrimental effect on its share of Nile water.
As per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959, Egypt annually receives 55.5bn cubic meters of the estimated total 84bn cubic meters of Nile water produced each year, with Sudan receiving 18.5bn cubic meters.
– – – –
Senior Egyptian Ministers Sign Pledge to Protect Nile River
By Al-Masry Al-Youm,
PRIME Minister Ibrahim Mehleb and other seven ministers and a number of media hosts, journalists and artists signed Monday a document pledging to protect the Nile water.
“In light of the fierce attack against the Nile River which is the lifeline for Egyptians and the gift of their presence, and out of respect for the Constitution of Egypt, to which we all swore and which recognizes the state’s commitment to the protection of the Nile River, the preservation of the historic rights of Egypt in the [Nile], [instructs] rationalizing and optimizing the use of [Nile] water and avoid wasting or polluting it, stresses the right of every citizen in enjoying the Nile River and the prohibits violating its sanctity, I declare joining the Nile Guards Committee to protect the river from infringement,” read the document.
“I will have a monitoring social role, will follow up the Nile’s affairs, join the popular awareness campaign…and I swear not to contaminate or infringe it,” the document added.