CAIRO: Nile water levels have noticeably dipped from Upper Egypt’s Minya to Cairo, amid concerns over negative effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the country.
Silt has appeared on the sides of the Nile under Cairo-based October 6 Bridge, raising people’s concerns that the dam, locates on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, is the main reason behind Nile water shortage.
In Minya’s Abu Qerqas city, increased silt deposits have been recorded along the Nile banks, state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported. Local resident Hegazy Salah told the paper that residents suffer water outages that could last for more than five hours.
A small island has emerged in Abu Qerqas’s village of Bani Hassan due to the decreasing level of water, said Walid Mosameh, a local resident.
The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said in a statement Friday water level is normal, and is being controlled by the ministry, which releases water from a reservoir at Aswan’s Nasser Lake.
The ministry added that water level normally goes decreases nowadays due to the harvest season, noting that the deceasing level will last for ten days and will rise again for summer corpses that need big quantities of water such as the rice and cotton. The Ministry also denied that the Ethiopian dam is the main reason behind water shortage.
Egypt has previously voiced its concern that the dam could reduce its annual share of over 56 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Addis Ababa, however, has claimed that the dam is necessary for its development, and will not harm downstream countries.
The three countries have held tripartite meetings to reach guarantees for each; they assigned two French companies to conduct studies on the dam’s environmental and economic impacts on the downstream countries.