Tirusew Asefa, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F. ASCE



When complete, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that is being built on the Blue Nile, a major tributary to the River Nile, will become Africa’s largest hydropower facility generating an estimated more than 15,000 Gwh in a year with economywide benefit to both Sudan and Egypt. Despite over a decade long negotiation among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, there are no breakthroughs yet because of a hardline instance taken by Egypt under the disguise of “historical right”, “existential threat”, “extended drought” for anyone who dares to drink a drop of the Nile water. While most scientific studies stress the need for basin-wide cooperation in water resources management and agree on sufficient resources today, political narratives and media frames have taken the issue in different directions, confusing the general public. Looking at both the supply and demand side of the Nile resources, this presentation highlights some of the key differences in tripartite negotiations, the challenges in translating science to action, and innovative approaches that may help break the impasse.

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