84% of 2023 Blue Nile flooding held in Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam



Wed, 06 Sep 2023 - 03:53 GMT


Wed, 06 Sep 2023 - 03:53 GMT

FILE - Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam - Google

FILE - Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam - Google

CAIRO – 6 September 2023: Professor of Geology and Water Resources at Cairo University Abbas Sharaky posted Tuesday on Facebook a satellite image of the Nile showing the impact of the fourth filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).



Sharaqy clarified that Ethiopia held 84 percent of the 2023 flooding of the Blue Nile. That is 21 billion cubic meters out of 25 billion cubic meters. It is noted that the Blue Nile's flooding composes 60 percent of the total flooding of the Nile.  


The geologist noted that the decline is unprecedented in history, even during drought, saying that millions of Sudanese farmers had been hit hard by such practices.


Sharaqy pointed out that the reservoir currently contains 38 billion cubic meters, and the amount might reach 41 billion cubic meters. The height of the dam's middle wall is now 623 meters but the target is 625 meters. As such, the amount of the fourth filling may stand at 24 billion cubic meters, and that is more than that of the former three combined (less than 17 billion cubic meters).


The professor highlighted in a post on August 27 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 this 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 of the same year, 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.



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