CAIRO: The head of the department of trans-border rivers in the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy, Faqih Ahmed, said his country suggests resuming trilateral negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the last week of August in Khartoum, Anadolu reported Tuesday.
This came in response to a previous Egyptian suggestion to resume trilateral negotiations late July in Cairo.
“Time is limited and we have prior engagements. The meeting requires preparation so Ethiopia is informing the Egyptian side of the suitable time and place for the meeting,” Ahmed told Anadolu.
Ahmed expects Egypt and Sudan to accept the Ethiopian suggestion. He said that Sudan is the “suitable place” for resuming the trilateral negotiations because the previous negotiations took place there in early January and were “successful.”
Ahmed said that negotiations will start from the point they ended at last time when negotiations led to the formation of a committee from the three countries to study the dam’s hydrological, environmental, social and economic effects.
A report published by the Egyptian government on May 5 warned the dam could aggravate the water scarcity crisis in Egypt. The report said that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is expected to be operational in 2017, will reduce Egypt’s annual share of Nile Water by 12 billion cubic meters, Al-Ahram reported.
To confront these effects, the report recommended using alternative ways to obtain water, like desalinization. This requires increasing the quantity Egypt currently desalinizes, now estimated at 600 million cubic meters annually.