Following several incidents that delayed the publication of the results of technical studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the results are expected to be finalised by the end of January, according to Alaa Yassin, consultant to the Minister of Water Resources.
“The two consulting companies needed a longer duration to better explain the results in addition to the holidays which interrupted their work and the three countries agreed on the extension,” Yassin said in a phone call with Daily News Egypt.
According to Yassin, after the announcement of the studies’ findings there will be a meeting to review the results and sign the contract. The companies commissioned to conduct the studies received a previous extension in May 2015.
“Egypt did not give the GERD adequate attention before June 2014 due to the political instability,” Minister of Water Hossam El-Moghazy told state news agency MENA.
El-Moghazy denied reported claims that an agreement had been reached with Sudan and Ethiopia to change Egypt’s share of water.
Construction of the GERD is 60% completed. The dam has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt since construction began in 2011, with relations reaching their lowest point in 2013.
Egypt, which utilises more Nile water than any other country, fears the dam will have a detrimental effect on its water sovereignty. It rejects the GERD’s current high storage capacity at 74bn cubic metres, claiming that studies have shown it will affect its national water security.
As per the 1929 and 1959 agreements, Egypt annually receives 55.5bn cubic metres of the estimated total of 84bn cubic metres of Nile water flowing downstream each year, while Sudan receives 18.5bn cubic metres.