Ethiopia dam fact of the day

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam when filled will have capacity to hold 74bn cubic metres of water, more than the volume of the entire Blue Nile. Makes Egypt nervous about water supply in a drought.

That is from Adam Tooze.

Comments

Sure, dams can create potential political issues and tensions, but mostly dams create potential environmental disasters. As to the former, it's not limited to places like Ethiopia and Egypt, for the political issue of our time is building in the western U.S. over the dams and water.

The problems caused by dams are dwarfed by the problems caused by burning fossil fuels.

Let's start with the many wars caused by fighting over who profits from killing jobs. (Can't be cheaper, labor saving, and also increasing labor costs, and too few slaves are created by burning fossil fuel to declare more jobs at lower labor costs.)

Then there are the lives lost and harmed by burning fossil fuels. For example, no mansions are built for the rich by Trump in Appalachia, especially West Virginia, or downstream of coal ash ponds or downwind of coal burning plants. And just in the US, fossil fuel burning drove the massacre of blacks in Tulsa's Greenwood district, as well and the murders and defrauding of thousands in Oklahoma tribes.

Not to mention the longer term destruction of fisheries and destruction of land, eg the Gulf Coast.

Climate change from burning fossil fuels is just a slower, longer lasting harm which will render dams worthless.

I was referring to water wars, not hydroelectric power vs. fossil fuels. Indeed, water wars may well be hotter than the rising heat from carbon emissions.

Hydropower is far more destructive than fossil fuels. In fact hydropower is the most environmentally destructive power.

Nothing destroys more habitat for wild creatures and the rot deep in dead water reservoirs releases tons of CO2.

dams conserve fresh water so on balance are probably good for the environment. Lakes typically teem with life whereas oceans not so much.

Most of the big fisheries of the world are in salt water, despite our best efforts.

Most of the BIG ocean fisheries have disappeared due to over fishing. What little is left will disappear too as demand exceeds supply.

There is over 300 times as much salt water on the earths surfacd than fresh. So not surprisingly there are more fish in the seas than lakes and rivers. But on a volume basis rivers and lakes are far more productive

Reservoirs are not lakes. Hydropower is the most destructive form of power generation, far worse than fossil fuels.

Funny. Brazil's Itaipu is considered one of the wonders of the modern world, yet no one mentions it. I spent a few days in Brazil last year and I can say it is much more developed than China-enslaved Ethiopia and much better led.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itaipu_Dam#Wonder_of_the_Modern_World

We praise President Sahle-Work Zewde for her continued leadership on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. This makes Ethopia a guiding force among all African nations and a shining example to the world. As a dual Brazilian-American citizen I wish we had as competent a leader like Zewde in both of my homelands.

President Captain Bolsonaro, Brazil's leader, is a far better leader than President Zewde. He is a parachutist/black ops national hero and has led Brazil in the most radical economic reforms the world has seen since the Perestroika.

And he's doing a great job keeping Brazil safe from COVID-19.

You see Roman arenas, Roman roads, Roman aqueducts but I don't think I've ever heard of a Roman dam that's survived. Why is that?

Probably because they are not considered very exciting by most people. There are Roman dams still in use today:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_dams_and_reservoirs

The Romans didn't build very many dams. They didn't use water power all that much. Slaves and animals were cheaper. There are darned few ancient Roman cell phones around too, probably due to government regulated cellular service companies.

Would you two like to decide which of you is right?

Well, here's a list that contains potential Roman water mills:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ancient_watermills

And here are Roman mobile phones:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeon_post#Early_history

85% of water that reaches Egypt comes from the Blue Nile that originates in Ethiopia. Egypt takes 55 billion cubic ft, Sudan gets 18 bill. Cubic ft, and 10 nil cu ft evaporated ito Sahara heat. That constitutes 84 nil cu ft, the entire water. Ethiopia gets 0 cubic ft of water even though 85% of water comes its territory. 100% of Egyptians get electricity. Only 35% of Ethiopians get electricity. The Blue Nile constitutes 56% of Ethiopia’s water resources. Ethiopia suffers from consistent draught and
famine but Egypt uses the Nile water for rice paddies and exports fruits etc to Indonesia. Egypt has minimum 500 years of water in its a wider and can desalinate water from the immense sea coast on both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Ethiopia is a land locked country. Ethiopia has 110 million people and Egypt has 100 million people. All humans are equal. The maths doesn’t support Egypt!!!

"The maths doesn’t support Egypt!!!"

Egyptian Armed Forces
Active personnel: 468,500
Budget: US$7.4–11.1 billion (2019)

Ethiopian National Defense Force
Active personnel: 162,000 (2018)
Budget: $330 million

The only maths that matter.

Egyptians tried over the millennia to control Ethiopia. Each time they were defeated. That is why you see an Ethiopia not even colonized by European forces, let alone a third-rate military force from Egypt. Mai-Tai read the history of the region or perhaps better stay in Malaysia. The filling has already started!!

They wouldn't need to "control Ethiopia". It'd just take a few missiles to make the dam go boom.

Followed by a few to the Aswan Dam.

The Aswan Dam is almost an order of magnitude larger than the planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The latter is a high dam built across a narrow gorge, which is where the Blue Nile runs in most of Ethiopia, so evaporation will be much less than for the Aswan, with power generation the primary purpose. The Aswan is a low dam not capable of power generation at the same scale as its reservoir, primarily for flood control and irrigation.

However, between Ethiopia and Egypt is Sudan which can build dam more like the Aswan, and Ethiopia exercising sovereignty can only encourage Sudan to do likewise.

Have you ever heard of anti-aircraft missle defense systems ?
https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/5/19/ethiopia-deploys-missiles-as-nile-dispute-with-egypt-escalates

Egypt has to choose to fight with Ethiopia from approximately 3000km distance or Turkey in Libya which is next door, if they choose for Ethiopia then the military dictator in Cairo is going to loose his power to the Muslim Brotherhood which is on standby in Libya!

And those Ethiopian troops are recently battle hardened against Eritrea. Egypt's army is full of peasant conscripts, they'll fight like they did in the six day war.

Facts!!! Ethiopia's on the brink of massive change and external and internal forces will not stop that - GERD will power the horn of Africa and beyond #EthiopiaNileRights

A British journalist wrote on july 13, 2020 the following article which confirms my comment a day before.

"Cairo is occupied defending its western border with Libya from Islamist Syrian mercenaries operating under the Turkish flag and has no appetite to engage in a military conflict but if push comes to shove, President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi could be left with no choice.

There are those who believe the Muslim Brotherhood-supporting Turkish President is egging him on, which may or may not be true. Turkey has been wooing Ethiopia for years with charitable gifts and investments. Likewise Ethiopia’s relationship with Qatar, another of Egypt’s enemies and a staunch Turkish ally is strong."
https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/ethiopias-stubborn-stance-is-perplexing-1.72553092

85% of water that reaches Egypt comes from the Blue Nile that originates in Ethiopia. Egypt takes 55 billion cubic ft, Sudan gets 18 bill. cubic ft, and 10 billion cu ft evaporates in the Sahara heat. That constitutes 84 billion cu ft, the entire water that reaches Egypt. Ethiopia gets 0 cubic ft of water even though 85% of water comes from its territory. That is the arrangement that Egypt wants to continue.

100% of Egyptians get electricity. Only 35% of Ethiopians get electricity. The Blue Nile constitutes 56% of Ethiopia’s water resources. Ethiopia suffers from consistent draught and famine but Egypt uses the Nile water for rice paddies and exports fruits etc. to Indonesia. Egypt has minimum 500 years of water in its a acquifer and can desalinate water from the immense sea coast on both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Ethiopia is a landlocked country. Ethiopia has 110 million people and Egypt has 100 million people. All humans are equal! The maths doesn’t support Egypt!!!

This is the only math that matters! Ethiopia's sovereignty is not up for debate!

That's about 60 million acre feet, nearly twice the volume of Lake Mead if full. And about 1/3 the volume of the world's largest reservoir, Kariba, in Zimbabwe. For perspective.

But much smaller than the Aswan Dam reservoir.

Game over!
🤐

Yes, if the Ethiopians had more military firepower their allocation of water from the Blue Nile might increase. Military advantage is what allows the US to take practically all of the flow of the Colorado River, leaving a dribble for Mexico.

Egypt spends about 4% of its GDP on the military while Ethiopia spends about 0.39% of its GDP on the military. It's like they're not even trying to be taken seriously.

Ethiopia is in the middle of a growth miracle. Expect more state capacity in the future.

Ethiopia is hard to conquer. It's at 9000+ feet and the logistics are terrible. There's no easy port for water transport, and the roads are rugged. Egypt isn't going to seize Djibouti which has US, Russian and Chinese military bases, a veritable armed UN, and a modern army isn't going to steam up the Nile. The last serious invasion was mounted by the Italians almost a century ago, and it failed. I visited in late 2019 and was impressed with the place even if I could see signs of ethnic tension.

The Egyptian army isn't about fighting wars with foreign powers. It has never been good at that. It exists to keep the local population in line and discourage neighbors from sheltering dissidents, particularly armed dissidents. It's an economic entity with its own farms and factories, and it wants to protect that. A failed war on Ethiopia, or even a moderately successful one, would offer openings to enemies at home.

Blowing up a dam like the GERD might shut down its generators, but it isn't going to magically get one a lot of water. Seize the dam and open the spill gates, and good luck holding the place. You'd think Egypt would have handled this better since they are in a terrible bargaining position.

The Maths Doesnot Support Egypt
The Egyptian Armed invaded Ethiopia in 1874. Their army was decimated.
Egypt tried to invade Ethiopia again in 1876. This time the Egyptians were trained and led by officers of The US Confederate army.They lost in a one day battle.
The "most powerful army in the Middle East lost wars in 1948, 1956,1967 and 1973.
In 1948 Egypt was defeated by Medinat Israel; population 600K.
Their prime Minister was assassinated.
1967 : 80% of Egyptian Land Forces were decimated in four days! The Air Force in three hours.
1973: The cease fire agreement was signed near Cairo. Egypt's Third Army was surrounded by Israeli forces. Did not even have water to drink. All these wars were started by Egypt. All were shamefully lost.
Don't they read history?

I understand that the Egyptian politicians and their military industrial complex is in a state of chaos. They wrongly believed their bilateral cooked treaty with the Sudan to be binding to any country on planet Earth. They are loud and shouty on this and they knock on every other country’s foreign office for diplomatic support. What is ironic is they make a thunderous noise just because Ethiopia build a non-consumptive hydroelectric dam. As anyone with half a brain would understand this dam is not going to have significant impact. And the Egyptian experts know this.

The problem is political paranoia. Egyptians believe that the own the Nile river because their colonial masters told them so. It is a long time coming for denial, anger, sadness, bargain and accept the realty on the ground. The GERD is here to exist. If Egypt is nervous and frenzy on the GERD, then they should start building psychiatric hospitals for themselves as other upper riparian countries are preparing to claim their fair share from their Nile river.
God forbid, if the Egyptian continue their anger and dared to take a military action on the GERD, that will be committing suicide for the fear of death. GERD is the life of 65 million Ethiopians and its destruction makes diversion of every tributary in the Ethiopian high lands a fair game. Ethiopia does not need long range missiles to counter the damage. Simply diverging the small tributaries is enough and that will give the Egyptians what they chose to have.
Should they dare to control the source of the blue Nile, Ethiopians have the blue print on how to punish them. They should remember what happened to their old leader medic Ismail pasha.

Better of, Egypt should accept that circumstances have changed to live the GERD.

Mai Tai < Egypt has to choose to fight with Ethiopia from approximately 3000km distance or Turkey in Libya which is next door, if they choose for Ethiopia then the military dictator in Cairo is going to loose his power to the Muslim Brotherhood which is on standby!

Ethopians are waiting for Egypt to pull the trigger. I am not sure they can hit the dam. The minute they pull the trigger, they violated the international law. Then we find blue Nile powering to the Red sea.

Ethiopia need not to go to war.

Not to the upper red sea, but lower by the Indian Ocean.

A meaningless statement that says nothing about the flow rate of the river relative to the lake volume.

It should make Egypt nervous - as this dam has been pushed by Israel as part of its "Coalition of the Fringes" which means backing the non-Arab states that surround the Arab ones. Often using dams. So Turkey is damming Iraq and Syria's rivers. And Ethiopia is damming Egypt's.

Of course none of those alliances last long in the Middle East but the potential is there.

Personally I think the solution is obvious - give all the water to Eretria

This battle and all the other conflicts in the headwaters of the world's major rivers, the Nile, the Mekong, the Brahmaputra and so on, is right out of the much maligned Club of Rome report from the 1970s. You'd almost think they had simple arithmetic back then.

The misperceptions of Egyptians is the root cause for all what we have seen so far, particularly the people of Egypt has been told this river is a gift of God! That is fine but they shuold have been told the source of the Nile, It is Ethiopia that contributed 85% of the water. But Egyptian History shows that they have from GOD. Just this is poletics of their leaders, thier Medias like Aharm, how many times a day they write about something they don't have, sometimes am just wondering that is this Nile river flow from Egypt to other Afeican countries, so , The Egyptian should accept the reality, the source of the Nile is not under their imaginery controll, or Historical right! They have to delet this thinking to reach an agreement, they have to look and find where really in the world the source of the Nile is! Egyptian should thank Ethiopian people for not using the river for thousands of years , where they slept on the river and just wake up, they should find alternative sources to support their economy than telling thier african brothers not to touch the water, so far that worked out but now, in this modern world how thier magic can work, Imagine How a PM shout everyday whenever he wakes up in the morning. Now African think and do what anyone do and thinks globaly, Every shout is ckear to the world.

Time for a new Nubian Dynasty in Egypt?

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