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Egypt discusses Nile flood scenarios, raises preparedness alongside filling of Renaissance Dam

August 2, 2022 at 2:00 pm

A view of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a massive hydropower plant on the River Nile that neighbors Sudan and Egypt, as the dam started to produce electricity generation in Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia on February 19, 2022. [Minasse Wondimu Hailu – Anadolu Agency]

An Egyptian meeting, Chaired by the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aty, discussed on Monday the Nile flood scenarios and the continuation of raising the degree of water readiness in conjunction with the commencement of the third filling of the Ethiopian “Renaissance Dam” on the river.

This came in a statement by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation after the meeting, which is the first Egyptian action that discusses water measures after Addis Ababa notified Cairo of the commencement of the third filling of the dam, and then Egypt moved to the UN Security Council in protest to that.

On Friday evening, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, in a statement, that Ethiopia had notified Egypt of the beginning of the third filling of the “Renaissance Dam”, and that Cairo had sent a letter of protest and rejection of this filling to the UN Security Council.

The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation stated that “the Permanent Committee for Regulating the Nile’s Revenue, headed by the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Mohamed Abdel Aty, held its meeting in the presence of the executive leaders of the Ministry and the National Water Research Centre to follow up on the situation of the Nile’s revenue.”

The participants of the meeting discussed the rainfall rates at the headwaters of the Nile, determined the quantities of water reaching Lake Nasser (southern Egypt), and discussed the different scenarios about the upcoming flood, according to the statement.

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The Egyptian Minister, who is also responsible for the technical team in the negotiations of the Renaissance Dam, said that “the Ministry’s directorates are simultaneously monitoring the rainfall rates at the headwaters of the Nile.”

He explained that “the rainfall rates were average during July”, without mentioning their quantity or the amount of storage that took place in Lake Nasser.

“The committee will continue to hold periodic meetings to take the necessary measures to deal with the river’s revenue and follow up on the water situation,” the Minister said.

The Minister ordered his Ministry to “continue to raise the degree of readiness to maintain safe levels in canals and drains, and to secure all water needs for the current agricultural season.”

The two countries at the mouth of the River Nile, Egypt and Sudan, are insisting on first reaching a tripartite agreement to fill and operate the “Renaissance Dam” to ensure the continued flow of their annual quotas of the Nile water and the safety of their water installations.

However, Ethiopia rejects this. It says that the dam, which began to be built almost a decade ago, is essential for development and is not intended to harm any other country.

Ethiopia implemented the second filling in July 2021, a year after the first filling, despite the rejection by Egypt and Sudan as they considered this as “unilateral measures”.