Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan to Develop Technical Rules on Filling, Operation of GERD

By Staff Reporter

GERD-meeting-DCDecember 10, 2019 ( -- Ethiopia Egypt and Sudan are set to develop technical rules on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), define drought conditions and decide on mitigating measures to be taken if drought occurs in the upcoming meetings to be held in Sudan and Ethiopia.

The consensus was made after the foreign ministers of the three countries met in Washington on Monday in the presence of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass in an effort to resolve the dispute which has lasted several years.

According to the joint statement issued on Monday in Washington DC, Foreign Ministers Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan said they have agreed to hold two meetings in the coming weeks in a bid to reach conclusive results over the technical issues mainly on filling and operating of the dam project on the Nile River.

This is the third meeting of four rounds of talks being held in accordance with an agreement reached in a US-brokered meeting between the three parties in Washington in November to break the deadlock in negotiations.

The natural flow of water in the given year and water release rates from the GERD will determine measures that will be taken to mitigate drought, the statement reads.

It also added Ethiopia will implement the technical rules and guidelines in filling and operating the dam.

However, the statement further reads, all three countries may jointly participate in adjusting the implementation of the technical rules and guidelines in filling and operating the dam in accordance with the hydrological conditions in the given year.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three countries agreed to meet in Washington, D.C. on January 13, 2020, to review the results of the upcoming meetings in Khartoum and Addis Ababa.

"Two more technical meetings will take place in coming weeks centered on coming up with rules and guidelines for the filling and operation of the dam," according to a joint statement issued by the US Treasury Department on Monday.

Ethiopia will carry out the implementation of these technical rules, but all three countries have the right to readjust them in accordance with water conditions in any given year, according to the statement.

“The ministers recognize that there are substantial benefits to all three countries in developing rules and guidelines to address drought conditions,” the statement read.

The officials will meet again in Washington DC on January 13th to assess the results of the technical meetings which will be held in Sudan and Ethiopia, with the goal of finalizing an agreement.

Ethiopia is building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile which it sees as essential for the supply of electricity in the country, but Egypt is concerned that the dam will reduce the flow of the Nile which provides roughly 90% of its water supply.

Ethiopia has once again explained that the dam will not cause significant harm to Sudan and Egypt.

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