CAIRO – 27 August 2023: Professor of Geology and Water Resources at Cairo University Abbas Sharaky Abbas Sharaqy posted Saturday on Facebook satellite images showing that the height of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam's (GERD) middle wall was close to reach 620-621 meters above sea level, which is below the maximum target of 625 meters.
Sharaky estimates that, by the end of August, the water held in the reservoir within the fourth filling will will be 19 billion cubic meters, making the total 36 billion cubic meters.
The professor added that the rainfall rate on the Blue Nile Basin in August had been 500 million cubic meters per day, which was the normal rate. Yet, it will drop to 400 million cubic meters per day throughout September.
"Our siblings in Sudan have to get ready to receive flood water they used to count on to cultivate the land, for the first time year, as it got late for two months," Sharaky said.
Sharaky said in August 2022 the third filling was conducted between July 11 and August 11, and that the quantity of water held was just nine billion cubic meters.
The first filling of the GERD took place on July 1- 21, 2020 with 4.9 billion cubic meters, while the second was carried out on July 4 – 18, 2021 with around three billion cubic meters.
The professor further noted that construction works in the dam would persist for 5-6 years because the middle wall needed to be more heightened for the reservoir's capacity to become 74 billion cubic meters as initially planned.
The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters].
Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The dam is located on the Blue Nile with a planned reservoir capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and was expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.
However, it is estimated to generate only 3,000 megawatts, as the number of turbines to be installed has been reduced to 13 turbines down from 16. At the beginning of this year, the first turbine was installed but no more so far.