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  • FILE PHOTO: Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019.

    FILE PHOTO: Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 January 2020

The row over the project comes after Cairo expressed that the dam will restrain the flow of the major river and limit its share of water.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have agreed Wednesday to reconvene in Washington on Jan. 28 and 29 to finalize an agreement on a large hydropower dam on the Blue Nile that sparked a diplomatic crisis between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

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Ministers from the three nations will meet again to finalize the agreement with technical and legal discussions, the United States Treasury Department, which hosted the meeting, said in a statement.

The row over the US$4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) comes after Cairo, expressed that the dam will restrain the flow of the major river and limit its share of water, which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent on.

Addis Ababa denies the dam will undermine Egypt’s access to water and argues the project will be of crucial help to its economic development and will generate more than 6,000 megawatts of much-needed electricity. The project began in 2011 and its located near the border with Sudan with approximately 70 percent completed construction.

Egypt wants Ethiopia to release a minimum of 40 billion cubic meters of water from GERD annually. 

It is also demanding for the accompanying reservoir to be filled over a longer period than the four or so years envisaged by Ethiopia, in order to ensure water supplies remain sufficient in the event of droughts.

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