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Community water war brewing over new river nile dam | Upload Society

Water War Brewing Over New River Nile Dam

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by: Marike Boonstra
water war brewing over new river nile dam | Upload

There is no doubt that water can be the cause of terrible, violent combats. Earlier, we wrote about the imminent water conflict between India and Pakistan. If India dissolves the Indus Water Treaty, this means enormous problems for water supplies for Pakistan. But Asia is not the only country with the threat of a water war: the Nile River also causes significant tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia. The cause is the construction of an Ethiopian dam in the Blue Nile.

Water War: The Nile As The Throbbing Lifeline 

The Nile can be seen as the throbbing lifeline of Egypt. The Egyptian calendar is based on the river, and the fertile mud from the Nile is reflected in many divine stories from ancient Egypt. There is a reason that the Nile has always played a prominent role - the river offers exceptionally fertile soil, up to five kilometers from the shore. The agriculture of the land is almost entirely dependent on the river. About 94 percent of the Egyptian population lives on the Nile today. The Nile is, therefore, a source of civilization, but now also a source of a major conflict with Ethiopia, who wants to build a dam in the Blue Nile.

Recommended: Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives

Water: Extremely Important

Graphic situation Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia
The course of the Nile

Egypt is namely not the only country that needs the river as a source of life. The five thousand kilometers long Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world and is extremely important for water supply in every country it traverses. Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan are also reliant on the Nile.

Recommended: Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu

Ethiopia is currently undergoing significant development: it is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. In the ambition to transform into a middle-income country, the Nile is a valuable pawn. This ambition requires electricity: that is why Ethiopia has been building The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Blue Nile since 2011 so that the country can develop even further. The dam will allow more than six thousand megawatts of electricity to be supplied.

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Grand Renaissance Dam would be seventh-largest in the world and Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant
Photo by Gioia Forster. Grand Renaissance Dam would be seventh-largest in the world and Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant.

Water Benefit: Downstream Countries

At this moment, Egypt has significant political influence over the Nile. This has been the case for thousands of years, with the recent help of British colonialism. But the construction of the Ethiopian dam can change all this - and Egypt is not happy. Egypt is concerned that rival Ethiopia will control the flow of the river. Egypt and Ethiopia have significant disagreement, Sudan is in the middle, and a big geopolitical shift is being played out along the world's longest river. "It's one of the most important flagship projects for Ethiopia," says Seleshi Bekele, the country's Minister for Water, Irrigation, and Electricity. "It's not about control of the flow but about providing an opportunity for us to develop ourselves through energy development. It has a lot of benefits for the downstream countries."


                                                                  Will damming this river lead to war?


Sudan agrees - the dam will promote the flow of the Nile through the country. Now the difference between high and low water in Sudan is eight meters, because of the dam, this difference will only be two meters. "For Sudan it's wonderful," says Osama Daoud Abdellatif, the owner of the Dal Group, which runs farms and irrigation projects. "It's the best thing that's happened for a long time, and I think the combination of energy and regular water levels is a great blessing.

Recommended: Amazon Water War: Fires, Hydro Dams, Climate Change S.O.S.

An International Security Issue

What then is the problem for Egypt? Alastair Leithead writes that any threat to the waters of Egypt is considered a threat to his sovereignty. She spoke with Egypt's minister of water resources and irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aty, who is very concerned. "We are responsible for a nation of about 100 million," he says. "If the water is coming to Egypt reduced by 2%, we would lose about 200,000 acres of land. One acre at least makes one family survive. A family in Egypt is an average family size of about five persons. So this means about one million will be jobless. It is an international security issue."

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Diplomacy And Cooperation

Negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are not going well. The conversations do not come to the point of assessing the impact. Egypt can do nothing about the dam of the Ethiopian dam, which is almost finished - apart from taking extreme military action. To avoid a water war, the only solution, according to Alastair Leithead, is that Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt resolve this conflict with diplomacy and cooperation. ‘But when issues like nationalism and the relative strength and importance of countries are concerned, it muddies the water’.

Before you go!

Recommended: Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

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Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage'.

Water War Brewing Over New River Nile Dam

There is no doubt that water can be the cause of terrible, violent combats. Earlier, we wrote about the imminent water conflict between India and Pakistan . If India dissolves the Indus Water Treaty, this means enormous problems for water supplies for Pakistan. But Asia is not the only country with the threat of a water war: the Nile River also causes significant tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia. The cause is the construction of an Ethiopian dam in the Blue Nile. Water War: The Nile As The Throbbing Lifeline  The Nile can be seen as the throbbing lifeline of Egypt. The Egyptian calendar is based on the river, and the fertile mud from the Nile is reflected in many divine stories from ancient Egypt. There is a reason that the Nile has always played a prominent role - the river offers exceptionally fertile soil, up to five kilometers from the shore. The agriculture of the land is almost entirely dependent on the river. About 94 percent of the Egyptian population lives on the Nile today. The Nile is, therefore, a source of civilization, but now also a source of a major conflict with Ethiopia, who wants to build a dam in the Blue Nile. Recommended:  Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives Water: Extremely Important The course of the Nile Egypt is namely not the only country that needs the river as a source of life. The five thousand kilometers long Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world and is extremely important for water supply in every country it traverses. Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan are also reliant on the Nile. Recommended: Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu Ethiopia is currently undergoing significant development: it is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. In the ambition to transform into a middle-income country, the Nile is a valuable pawn. This ambition requires electricity: that is why Ethiopia has been building The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Blue Nile since 2011 so that the country can develop even further. The dam will allow more than six thousand megawatts of electricity to be supplied. Recommended:  Recycling Asphalt: An Amazing Electrified Process Photo by Gioia Forster. Grand Renaissance Dam would be seventh-largest in the world and Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant. Water Benefit: Downstream Countries At this moment, Egypt has significant political influence over the Nile. This has been the case for thousands of years, with the recent help of British colonialism. But the construction of the Ethiopian dam can change all this - and Egypt is not happy. Egypt is concerned that rival Ethiopia will control the flow of the river. Egypt and Ethiopia have significant disagreement, Sudan is in the middle, and a big geopolitical shift is being played out along the world's longest river. "It's one of the most important flagship projects for Ethiopia," says Seleshi Bekele, the country's Minister for Water, Irrigation, and Electricity. "It's not about control of the flow but about providing an opportunity for us to develop ourselves through energy development. It has a lot of benefits for the downstream countries." {youtube}                                                                   Will damming this river lead to war? Sudan agrees - the dam will promote the flow of the Nile through the country. Now the difference between high and low water in Sudan is eight meters, because of the dam, this difference will only be two meters. "For Sudan it's wonderful," says Osama Daoud Abdellatif, the owner of the Dal Group, which runs farms and irrigation projects. "It's the best thing that's happened for a long time, and I think the combination of energy and regular water levels is a great blessing. Recommended:  Amazon Water War: Fires, Hydro Dams, Climate Change S.O.S. An International Security Issue What then is the problem for Egypt? Alastair Leithead writes that any threat to the waters of Egypt is considered a threat to his sovereignty. She spoke with Egypt's minister of water resources and irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aty, who is very concerned. "We are responsible for a nation of about 100 million," he says. "If the water is coming to Egypt reduced by 2%, we would lose about 200,000 acres of land. One acre at least makes one family survive. A family in Egypt is an average family size of about five persons. So this means about one million will be jobless. It is an international security issue." Recommended:  Fog Catchers: Magicians Making Water Out Of Air Diplomacy And Cooperation Negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are not going well. The conversations do not come to the point of assessing the impact. Egypt can do nothing about the dam of the Ethiopian dam, which is almost finished - apart from taking extreme military action. To avoid a water war, the only solution, according to Alastair Leithead, is that Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt resolve this conflict with diplomacy and cooperation. ‘But when issues like nationalism and the relative strength and importance of countries are concerned, it muddies the water’. ’ Before you go! Recommended:  Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about catching or collecting water? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage' .
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