Six Points You Need To Know About Ethiopia and Egypt GERD Confrontation

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-sisi attends a signing ceremony for the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project in Khartoum March 23, 2015. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - RTR4UIKO

1. On Dec. 27, the negotiating parties found themselves forced to announce that they had signed a document calling for “continued” cooperation and trust-building in an attempt to contain mounting public pressure in Egypt and Ethiopia. Yet the parties failed to find a solution that preserves the Nile water interests of Cairo and Addis Ababa.

2. Egypt remained skeptical, especially after Ethiopia announced Dec. 26 — just hours before the start of negotiations — that it was diverting the Nile’s course to run through the dam for the first time. This step confirmed Addis Ababa’s refusal to delay construction on the dam until the end of the negotiations.

3. The Egyptian delegation rejected Ethiopia’s request to store at least 3 billion cubic meters of water (2.4 million acre feet) in the dam to carry out construction safety tests.

4. Ethiopia rejected Egypt’s request to extend the period to fill up the dam to 11 years or reduce the storage capacity of the dam to 50 billion cubic meters from 72 billion cubic meters.

5. Egypt and Ethiopia were both satisfied with Artelia, which has provided its services in major projects in the two countries. It has a permanent office in Egypt and participated in the studies and technical and economic assessment of the GIBE III 1.870 MW hydropower project in Ethiopia.

6. Ethiopia officially rejected Egypt technical proposal to increase the number of lower water gates to secure a daily flow in the event of any malfunction or maintenance of the main gates or the associated tunnels.