The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile river has become a major point of contention between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.
Ethiopia, which hopes to double its electricity generation capacity through the project, is intent to start filling of the dam’s reservoir as early as July 2020.
Egypt, on the other hand, insists that the dam should not go operational before a binding and comprehensive agreement on its filling and long-term operation is reached.
Sudan appears to take a middle ground to help tame the contention between Ethiopia and Egypt.
Notwithstanding the raging dispute over the dam, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan are expected to face a severe water shortage because of population growth, economic development and climate change.
To alleviate a potentially devastating water crisis, they must redirect their focus from short-term problems to a strategic, long-term cooperation to address the expected shortage through water conservation, economic trade and technological adoption.