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New study offers potential solutions to avoid conflict over Nile River dam

According to latest USC research, speedy building of an enormous dam on the headwaters of the Nile River, the world’s largest waterway that sustains tens of millions of individuals, could minimize water provides to downstream Egypt by greater than one-third.

If left unchecked, a water scarcity of that dimension could destabilise a politically delicate area of the world by lowering arable land in Egypt by as much as 72 %.

Agriculture’s financial losses are estimated to be $51 billion, in keeping with the analysis.

The drop in GDP would drive unemployment to 24%, displacing numerous individuals and destabilising economies.

Our research forecasts dire water provide impacts downstream, inflicting what could be the biggest water stress dispute in fashionable human historical past

stated Essam Heggy, a researcher from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and lead writer of the research.

Averaging losses from the entire introduced filling eventualities, these water shortages may almost double Egypt’s current water provide deficit and may have dire penalties for Egypt’s economic system, employment, migration and meals provide.

Despite worldwide discussions, no progress has been made within the decade-long battle.

The $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is nearing building on the Nile’s headwaters, is on the centre of the controversy. It might be Africa’s largest hydroelectric undertaking, with a reservoir holding 74 billion cubic metres of water, greater than twice the working capability of Lake Mead on the Colorado River. It is now within the second section of building.

It will take years to fill since it’s so giant, and relying on how lengthy it takes, the water diversions might need disastrous downstream penalties. Egypt and Sudan have water rights on the Nile, however Ethiopia has been given no particular allocation. However, because the Nile River basin’s water and power calls for rise, Ethiopia is expressing its want for hydropower and irrigated farmland to assist progress.

The USC research checked out a number of dam filling eventualities and the consequences on Egypt’s water provide. According to Ethiopia’s present short-term filling plans of three to five years, Egypt’s water deficit could almost treble; 83 % of the elevated water loss could be resulting from dam limiting movement and evaporation, and 17 % could be misplaced owing to seepage into rocks and sand.

“There is a real need for sound science to resolve the ambiguity surrounding this controversy,” Heggy stated.

“Our analysis doesn’t point fingers, yet it shows a dire water situation that will result downstream, which is forecasted as the largest water stress dispute in human history. It can be avoided if proper support is made to the water, energy and environment research in the Nile basin.”

The report comes throughout a ten-year standoff between Egypt and Ethiopia over Nile River water provides. The events need a world answer, however 4 years of discussions coordinated by the US State Department and involving the European Union and the United Nations have yielded little progress.

As local weather change impacts growing international locations experiencing quick enlargement, the battle is symbolic of broader water shortage disputes. Political instability and violence are attainable alongside the Mekong, Zambezi, and Euphrates-Tigris rivers, amongst others.

Based on the coverage alternate options recognized within the research, Heggy believes a win-win answer for the Nile River could probably be reached. However, progress has been hampered by a shortage of dependable knowledge on downstream water availability and financial penalties. Better knowledge and projections on the implications on human civilization in addition to ecological results alongside the Nile River would nearly definitely be required to succeed in an settlement.

The outcomes of the study have been printed in Environmental Research Letters.

Image Credit: Getty

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