Egypt’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources said on Sunday that the Ethiopian government will not fill the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until the end of this year, state-owned media reported.
According to the ministry, filling the reservoir during this year’s flood is not possible depending on the technical data, due to constructive standards in the body of the dam. The notable decrease in water amount in some Egyptian governorates is normal in this time of the year due to the rise of demand on water for agriculture, the ministry said.
Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty told state-owned Al-Ahram that Ethiopia did not start filling the reservoir of the dam yet, pointing out that about 60% of the construction of the dam has been finished. He also stressed that the declaration of principles which was signed between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia organises the first filling of the dam, storing, and management, and the process depends on coordination between the three countries.
This is the second time the ministry denies that Ethiopia started filling the dam. The controversy took place on 10 July following local media reports publishing satellite images showing water around the dam.
Construction of the GERD started in April 2011. However, Egypt has expressed concerns that the dam could negatively affect Egypt’s share of the Nile.
Egypt fears the dam will affect its historic Nile water share of 55 billion square metres, which it has had access to since the historic 1959 agreement with Sudan.