Friday, October 28, 2016

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Treaty signed - International Water Power

A tri-partite treaty agreement between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt has been signed in Khartoum for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, sparking the launch of a water resources modeling study and a hydropower simulation assessment.
The 11 month study, which will start in November and cost EUR 4.45 million, will assess the Dam’s trans-boundary environmental and socioeconomic impact, and will also asses how long the dam’s reservoir will take to fill.
Briefing local and foreign correspondents on 21st September, Water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister Motuma Mekassa said that the will run in parallel with the continuing construction of the dam.
Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is more than 70% complete and it has already begun production, which will amount to 800MW of electricity by 2017. Once complete, it will be Africa's largest dam.
Motuma stressed that Ethiopia is constructing the Dam “to harm no one” but to utilize its natural resources for the common benefit of the upper and lower riparian countries. "The findings of the study are expected to be final, legal and binding upon all parties. This study is about “restoring confidence between the three countries," he noted.
In addition to its economic advantage, the GERD will create regional integration among the East African countries and beyond, he said. Ethiopia is cooperating with Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda to further expand power line supplies.
Rwanda will import 400mw from Ethiopia by 2018. Sudan and Djibouti already import Ethiopian electricity generated from previous hydro dams, but there is also a plan to extend more power lines to Sudan, Djibouti and also to Somalia through the Eastern African Power Pool, which is working in 11 countries.
The study is being conducted under the supervision of the Tripartite National Committee (TNC). "We are keen to have everyone satisfied with what we are doing... we are for regional integration and prosperity," said Mohamed Abdel Aati, Egypt's water resources minister.
"We need to make sure that the outcome of these studies will strengthen our cooperation and ensure that the three countries benefit from the dam," concluded the Minister.
In 2015, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt signed a declaration of principles on the dam project that tacitly approved the dam construction but called for technical studies. The French engineering consultancy Artelia and BRL groups have been selected to undertake the dam impact studies. The UK-based law firm Corbett & Co has been selected to manage the legal affairs of the tripartite committee.
The multi-billion-dollar dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20km from the Sudanese border, with a capacity of 74 billion cubic metres, and will generate up to 6000MW of electricity once complete.

Water Conflict: Egypt and the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam | Geopolitical Monitor

drought, cc Flickr Shever, modified, Conflict: Egypt and the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam | Geopolitical Monitor: "Water Conflict: Egypt and the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam October 27, 2016 Geopolitical Monitor   Summary The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could well end up as a template for water conflict in the 21st century. The dam is currently under construction in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia on the Blue Nile. Once completed, the dam will be the largest of its kind in Africa, producing an expected 6,000 MW of electricity. The Renaissance Dam will bring some obvious economic and development benefits for Ethiopia in the form of electricity production, employment, and drought protection. These, along with the sheer size of the endeavor, have helped the government present the Renaissance Dam as a patriotic cause célèbre for Ethiopians, who have been lining up to buy GERD bonds and demonstrate their love of country. Downriver the mood is more somber. The Renaissance Dam could be a game-changer for Egypt’s water supply, restricting agricultural output, impacting livelihoods, and incurring new costs as the Egyptian government looks to more capital-intensive options to deal with its coming water shortfall. All the while Cairo must face up to a grim geopolitical reality: it is at the mercy of Addis Ababa’s decisions on the Renaissance Dam’s initial fill rate (currently 5-7 years; the longer it is, the more staggered the impact), and any future decision concerning reservoir levels. A lack of technical details is further clouding matters. No one knows just how much of an impact the Renaissance Dam will have, and reports assessing the hydrological and social impacts of the dam are expected to be published after construction is complete."

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