Friday, April 2, 2021

Are Ethiopia and Egypt Headed toward Conflict over Nile Water?

 The Washington Post published on 1 April 2021 a commentary titled "Egypt and Ethiopia Are Heading toward Conflict over Water.  It's Time to Intervene" by Ezzedine C. Fishere, Dartmouth College.

The author argues that Egypt and Ethiopia are slowly inching toward conflict over the filling of the reservoir behind the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile.  Both countries have good relations with the US and China, which together with other international partners should intervene to prevent conflict from developing.

This piece repeats the same mistake that most recent reports on this topic are making when they say the Blue Nile accounts for 85 percent of the Nile water reaching Egypt.  Three Ethiopian tributaries (Blue Nile, Atbara, and Sobat) provide a maximum of 85 percent of the water reaching Egypt.  Although the percentages vary from year to year and the "experts" disagree on the precise amount of water contributed by each of the three tributaries, the percentage for the Blue Nile varies between 55 and 70 percent, for the Atbara between 12 and 14 percent, and for the Sobat, which flows into the White Nile south of Khartoum, a smaller percentage.  

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