‘Nile water level stable despite Ethiopia’s 2nd filling of dam’

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A Sudanese official said that the water level in the Nile River has been stable despite Ethiopia’s second filling of the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“Since April, the Al-Daim station on the border with Ethiopia has not monitored any drop in the daily level of the water coming from the Ethiopian Plateau to Sudan,” Hamid Mohamed Ali, director of Sudan’s Al-Rusaires Dam, said in a statement on Sunday.

“Although Ethiopia started the second filling of the GERD, yet the daily water amounts are stable,” he noted.

But Ali stressed that, despite Ethiopia’s start of the second of filling of the GERD, a legal and binding deal should still be signed regarding filling and operating of the dam, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Al-Rusaires Dam on the Blue Nile, which lies some 100 km from the GERD, was established in 1966 with a storage capacity of 3.35 billion cubic meters.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been in talks for years, under the umbrella of the African Union, over the technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Sudan proposed a mediation quartet of the UN, the European Union, the US and the African Union on solving the GERD dispute.

Ethiopia, however, has rejected this proposal.

In February, Ethiopia said it would carry on with the second-phase 13.5-billion-cubic-metre filling of the GERD in June.

The volume of the first-phase filling last year was 4.9 billion cubic metres.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the dam project.

While Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the Nile river for its freshwater needs, are concerned that the GERD will affect their shares of the water resources.

–IANS

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