Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam, Blue Nile Water Flow and Impact on Egypt

Writing for the Christian Science Monitor on 25 June 2013, William Davison produced an excellent analysis on the impact of filling the reservoir behind Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam, which is now under construction.

Rendition of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam/Wikipedia
Titled "Will Ethiopia's 'Grand' New Dam Steal Nile Waters from Egypt?" the article addresses the critical issue that impacts Egypt:  how long will it take to fill the reservoir behind the Renaissance Dam and how much water will this process siphon off annually until the reservoir is filled.

Once the reservoir is filled, the Blue Nile flows as before with only an adjustment for evaporation from the reservoir.  But this could be an advantage because the rate of evaporation will be lower than if the water is stored in the much hotter area behind the Aswan High Dam.

For those of you interested in the technical aspects of this hugely important issue, I recommend a 2008 study titled "Sediment in the Nile River System" by Abdalla Abdelsalam Ahmed and Usama Hamid A.E. Ismail and a 2010 article in the Nile Basin Water Science and Engineering Journal titled "Investigation of Step Trends of the Nile River Flow Time Series" by Ageel I. Bushara and Tagreed Abdelrahim.  All of these authors are Sudanese.  They explain the importance of the variable flow of all Nile tributaries from one year to another and the timing of the high and low flows of the rivers.  

1 comment:

  1. hehehehehe... Serves them right! I had the Egyptian Minister for water in my office for 2 hours and lectured him, I quote - "you are a superpower in Africa, come as a friend with GIANT re-afforestation projects, not as a bully to stop development"!!!