War brewing over Nile dam

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UndercoverElephant
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War brewing over Nile dam

Post by UndercoverElephant »

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... with-egypt
Ethiopia began filling the reservoir of its giant Nile dam without signing an agreement on water flows, the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp. reported, citing Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Seleshi Bekele -- a step Egypt has warned will threaten regional security.

The minister denied the report, the Associated Press said.

The development comes two days after the latest round of African Union-brokered talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam failed to reach a deal on the pace of filling the 74 billion cubic-meter reservoir. Egypt, which relies on the Nile for almost all its fresh water, has previously described any unilateral filling as a breach of international agreements and has said all options are open in response.
Good article on the background here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... r-dam.html
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

When I read that Trump was chairing negotiations between the two countries I realised that failure is pretty sure! The negotiations need to be centred around the filling rate of the dam not whether or not Trump gets the Nobel Peace Prize. What a twat he is!
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

kenneal - lagger wrote:When I read that Trump was chairing negotiations between the two countries I realised that failure is pretty sure! The negotiations need to be centred around the filling rate of the dam not whether or not Trump gets the Nobel Peace Prize. What a twat he is!
Maybe he fancies a Pyramid burial ?
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Post by adam2 »

Provided that the initial filling of the dam is relatively slow, there should only be a very slight reduction in the water available to Egypt.
The new dam might even benefit those downstream by reducing floods.

OTOH, the simple existence of the dam might well be blamed for unrelated reductions in river flows.
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

adam2 wrote:Provided that the initial filling of the dam is relatively slow, there should only be a very slight reduction in the water available to Egypt.
The new dam might even benefit those downstream by reducing floods.

OTOH, the simple existence of the dam might well be blamed for unrelated reductions in river flows.
There's also a power issue. Ethiopa may have no intention of restricting Egypt's water supply, but it now has the power to do so if it wanted to. This potentially has a knock-on effect on other issues.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Mark wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:When I read that Trump was chairing negotiations between the two countries I realised that failure is pretty sure! The negotiations need to be centred around the filling rate of the dam not whether or not Trump gets the Nobel Peace Prize. What a twat he is!
Maybe he fancies a Pyramid burial ?
Do we have to wait until he has died?
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

UndercoverElephant wrote:
adam2 wrote:Provided that the initial filling of the dam is relatively slow, there should only be a very slight reduction in the water available to Egypt.
The new dam might even benefit those downstream by reducing floods.

OTOH, the simple existence of the dam might well be blamed for unrelated reductions in river flows.
There's also a power issue. Ethiopa may have no intention of restricting Egypt's water supply, but it now has the power to do so if it wanted to. This potentially has a knock-on effect on other issues.
Once the dam has filled the amount that they can restrict the flow will be limited unless there is an extended period of low rainfall which lowers the water level behind the dam.
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Post by clv101 »

adam2 wrote:Provided that the initial filling of the dam is relatively slow, there should only be a very slight reduction in the water available to Egypt.
The new dam might even benefit those downstream by reducing floods.

OTOH, the simple existence of the dam might well be blamed for unrelated reductions in river flows.
When filled, there's a non-trivial amount of evaporation.
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Post by adam2 »

I suspect that the loss by evaporation would be relatively trivial as a percentage of the annual flow in the Nile.
Anyone want to have a go at calculating or estimating the evaporation loss ?
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Post by BritDownUnder »

adam2 wrote:I suspect that the loss by evaporation would be relatively trivial as a percentage of the annual flow in the Nile.
Anyone want to have a go at calculating or estimating the evaporation loss ?
In Australia the evaporation rate in most parts of the country exceeds the rainfall amount by often a large amount. I would expect that the evaporation could be in the range of 1000 to 2000 mm per annum. In other words if you had a swimming pool 2000 mm deep in one year it would have all evaporated even allowing for any rainfall that may refill it.

The argument for having dams in Ethiopia is that the evaporation rate is much less than the evaporation rate in reservoirs in Egypt or Sudan, presumably as Ethiopia is less desert and maybe more rainy and cloudy. I think that in Lake Nasser which is Egyptian controlled the evaporation rate is much higher but Egypt considers that water is its water to waste and the Ethiopians are not allowed to waste any of "Egypt's water". From what I read, Egypt considers all the Nile water to be its own.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Ethiopia is a mountainous country with comparatively heavy rainfall and humidity so evaporation rates will be low. Also the surface area of the water will be quite low in comparison to the volume because of the height of the dam, especially compared to the Aswan dam in Egypt. This lower surface area will also reduce the rate of evaporation.

Egypt has ruined much of the distribution of fertility to the lower Nile basin and Delta as the annual flood used to bring a dose of new silt and clay to the land every year. This is now building up behind the Aswan dam and is lost to the country.

Mind you, in a hundred years or two there will be a very large area of new highly fertile land emerging from under the waters of Lake Nasser and the flooding of previous centuries will be restored to the lower Nile.

Some of the silt from the Ethiopian Nile will also build up behind the new dam but this will take longer to silt up as the height is much greater and the silt loading at that point higher up the river will be lower.
Last edited by kenneal - lagger on Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by BritDownUnder »

Agree with all of the above.

Looks like from this article that Lake Nasser loses about 15% of the Nile flow of water per annum to evaporation. It is relatively large and shallow. Maybe some of the water evaporated falls as rain somewhere else and benefits someone.

By the way Egypt's population went over 100 million this year. Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock booooom!
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

BritDownUnder wrote:..................By the way Egypt's population went over 100 million this year. Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock booooom!
A major source of mass migration into Europe in the near future!
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Post by adam2 »

Meanwhile, president Trump suggests that the dam "could be blown up"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-54674313
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Post by BritDownUnder »

I don't think that will go down too well. However as Sudan is America's new best friend then maybe there is a bit of politics going on there.

Most likely the dam will continue to fill and there will be a small effect on Nile flow and everyone will forget about it once the dam is full and hopefully generating useful electricity for the region.
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