Esayas Alemayehu (Prof., Dr.-Ing)
Jimma institute of Technology, Jimma University, Ethiopia
Nile Basin Countries (NBCs) are blessed with abundant water resources: the world’s largest fossil water aquifer system, plentiful nonconventional water resources (infinite saline water and enormous used water) as well as the Nile River. But the countries still face considerable freshwater crises. The main reasons that are causing water crises in the region are: i) inefficient water management practices due to poor awareness of water resources issues, including mismanagement of the water supplies; ii) fast population growth that doubles almost every 25 years while the water supply for various purposes has remained the same; iii) very low levels of modern energy, except Egypt. Hence, lack of adequate electricity causes multiple obstacles particularly to upstream countries affecting their economy, health, education, food and technological advancement; iv) water quality degradation due to uncontrolled waste disposal. The consequences will be increased eutrophication, micropollutant contaminations, biodiversity destruction and diseases. These situations are worsening by climate change, which is already having a negative impact on water availability in the region. Among these crises, inadequate energy is the primary limiting factor in the region while the hydropower (HP) potential across the Basin is more than 145,000MW. The use of HP for generating electricity and driving water treatment technologies is a potentially sustainable solution to the region’s water crisis issue. This is the frame in which GERD can play a valuable role; basically, to generate clean and reliable power, with an expected capacity of 6,000MW, which will increase water supply in a cheaper and more efficient manner in the region. Using the framework of technological innovation and water supply augmentation, this presentation highlights the recent and ongoing research-based interventions, such as hybrid adsorption and desalination technologies (HAD) that supplements natural freshwater and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) that recycles unprecedented quantities, which aim to contribute new knowledge and potential solutions to the region’s water scarcity issue. Furthermore, the presentation includes a discussion on the contribution of GERD to ensure reliable alternative water resources and achieve a more sustainable form of development.
Keywords: Abundant water resources; renewable energy; sustainable solution; technological advancement[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]