A study on the effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be completed in six months, but less than one year, and will be binding, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Moteleb said on Saturday.
Abdel Moteleb told state-run MENA that the scientific study will be binding for Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, adding that it will guarantee the interests of “everyone”.
The water ministers of the three countries met in Khartoum in November and December and have agreed to meet once more in January.
Talks have yet to produce an experts committee that will oversee the implementation of recommendations made by the International Committee of Experts on dealing with the effects of the dam.
Egypt fears that the Ethiopian dam will affect its current majority share of the Nile water. In accordance with agreements signed in 1929 and 1959 Egypt is guaranteed 55.5 billion cubic metres of the estimated total of 84 billion cubic metres of Nile water produced each year.
Abdel Motaleb said Egypt’s current share of water is insufficient for its agricultural and human consumption, adding that the “population growth imposes challenges to make up for this shortfall of 20 billion cubic metres”.
Although tensions have now eased, the Ethiopian dam was the cause for strained relations between Egypt and Ethiopia earlier this year. In May, Ethiopia began diverting water from a tributary of the Blue Nile, raising Egyptian concerns.
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said in October that there is “no alternative to cooperation between Nile Basin countries,” adding that the water issue is not a “zero-sum game”.