When Ethiopia Recently started diverting the flow of the Blue Nile to facilitate the construction works of the “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam”, many concerns in Sudan and Egypt, countries that are highly dependent on the water of the world’s longest river, arose.
Sudan and Egypt have serious concerns about the project; Egypt, according to some media reports, has even threatened to go to war over its “historic rights” to Nile River water allocations, and the Dam construction was viewed as a declaration of war. In a live televised discussion, with President Mursi, some Egyptian political leaders suggested methods to destroy the dam, including support for anti-government rebels.
Some media reports said Egypt has requested that it be allowed to inspect the design and the studies of the dam, in order to allay its fears, but Ethiopia has denied the request unless Egypt relinquishes its veto on water allocation.
Experts from both countries, Sudan and Egypt, expressed varied concerns about the possible environmental impacts of the dam.
Specialists say the precise impact of the dam on the downstream countries is not exactly measured or known, and there are no published scientific studies that fully researched the impact on the three countries, including Ethiopia itself.
Egypt and Sudan fear a sure reduction of their water share, though temporary it might be due to the filling of the dam, but most of their fear is centered on a permanent reduction of water share because of evaporation from the reservoir. The reservoir volume is about equivalent to the annual flow of the Nile at the Sudanese-Egyptian border (65.5 billion cubic meters). Though this loss of water share to downstream countries would most likely, as Ethiopia say, would be spread over several years, the downstream countries (Sudan and Egypt) are still skeptical.