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Water & National Resources in Sudan
2014-04-01 14:20:55

Water & National Resources in Sudan

  The Renaissance Dam In 1904 a study was conducted by the United States Bureau of reclamation. The study identified 26 sites for constructing dams in Ethiopia. The most important site was the current Renaissance Dam project, which located on Alabaly River, the largest river in Ethiopia .  The incoming water was estimated by 25 billion cubic meters, the Dam is situated just about 20 km from the Sudanese border in Bani Shangol Region. In February 2011 the government of Ethiopia declared the start of the construction work of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile for the purpose of ،...

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Home » Issues » Water & National Resources

Water & National Resources in Sudan

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    The Renaissance Dam


     In 1904 a study was conducted by the United States Bureau of reclamation. The study identified 26 sites for constructing dams in Ethiopia. The most important site was the current Renaissance Dam project, which located on Alabaly River, the largest river in Ethiopia .  The incoming water was estimated by 25 billion cubic meters, the Dam is situated just about 20 km from the Sudanese border in Bani Shangol Region. In February 2011 the government of Ethiopia declared the start of the construction work of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation.  The work was inaugurated by the Italian company Salini in 24/4/2011 firstly under the name of Millennium Dam, changed later to Grand Renaissance Dam.

    Location

    The Dam is located in Bani Shangol Region, in an area dominated by metamorphic cracked mineral- rich known as difficult terrain, where a height of 500 to 600 meters above sea level, with an average rainfall of 800 mm per hour.  The estimated height of the Dam shall be 145 meters with storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters. The dimension of the lake is about 100 km with 10 km of width. According to the Dam design there are 15 units to generate 5250 MW. The estimated construction time is 4 years and the estimated cost is about 8 billion dollars.

    The expected benefits of the Renaissance Dam

    1. Hydroelectric power generation.2. Command and control the water of Alabaly River (Blue Nile River).3. Reserve large amounts of silt.4. Reduce the amount of evaporation caused by the high Dam Lake (650 meters) above sea level.

    The potential damage in side Ethiopia

    1. Influence the flow of water throughout the year.2. Negative environmental, economical, social and security affects.3. Plunging about half million hectares of the Ethiopian arable land.4. Displace about 30.000 Ethiopian citizens.5. The high cost of construction (8 billion dollars).

    The expected positive effects on Sudan

    1. Enlargement of the Blue Nile storage capacity for 86% from the Sudan water share according to the 1959 convention that granted 18.5 billion cubic meters to the Sudan who utilized only 13.5 billion cubic meters.2. Reducing the flow of the sedimentation of the Blue Nile.3. The extension of the irrigated area of the Blue Nile from 2 to 14.6 million hectares, the matter that will encourage widely the investment in agriculture. 4. Increase and guarantee the generation of the hydroelectric power from Elroseres and Merawe Dam throughout the year especially during summer season when the level of water rises up and reduce the generated power needed for the industrial sector.5. Provision of cheap hydroelectric power for the Sudan comparatively with the existing electricity tariffs in the country. 6. Extension of the durability for the existing dams in Sudan and the High Dam in Egypt.7. Reduction of the annual evaporation quantity in the dams’lake in Sudan.8. Secure the water supply throughout the year.9. Reducing the water arrangement difficulties, and reducing the cost of the channels and pumps cleaning in the agricultural areas.10. Improving the River shipment throughout the year. 11. The possibility of establishing an agricultural integration between the Sudan and Ethiopian especially within the borders.12. Enable to reserve the ground water stocks so as to keep it stable and not to seep to the river during the draught season.

    The expected negative effects on Sudan

    1. Ignoring the fact of the importance of conducting an agreement between the Sudan and Ethiopia to run the Dam jointly, may create a misunderstanding ground between the two countries in the future. (This issue is under consideration of the trilateral joined committee). 2. The traditional areas of agriculture will be affected by the over flood.3. The negative affect on the sol fertility. 4. The negative affect on the climate in this area on the long term.

    The Egyptian Conservations

    1. The fears to loose 18% of its share, according to the 1959 Convention or 9 billion meters which include 5 billion meters from the Sudan unused share and 3 billion meters coming for river increased average that unused by Sudan and Ethiopia. In addition to 1 billion meters seeped to the ground water.2. Reduction of the rise area irrigated by the Nile water.3. Reduction of the hydroelectric power of the High Dam.4. Reduction of the annual silt necessary to the sol renovation.5. The agricultural development of the Sudan will negatively affect the water flooding to Egypt.6. The historical political relations between Sudan and Egypt will destabilize in case the Sudan manage to realize a real economical transformation especially in the field of agriculture.

    The Sudan Vision

    According to the international law and customs in the field of water, and to the right of making use of the crossing rivers and not harming the other countries share, the position of the Sudan is as follows:1. Sudan not objecting the Ethiopian utilization of the Blue Nile water.2. This utilization should not affect the share rights of the Sudan and Egypt.3. The Sudan government is keen to make use of the Sudan water share for the sake of development and stability without harming the other countries.4. As the Ethiopian generated hydroelectric power is aiming to serve the countries of the region, the Sudan also is looking to its water potential as an assist that can help to secure food and job opportunities for the countries of the region especially for Egypt.

    The Current Procedures

    1. The three countries (Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt) agreed to form a committee of experts two from each country beside other four international experts to study the documents and the designs of the Renaissance Dm. the committee terminated its job and raised its report to the three concerned countries.2. Ethiopia has shown a good spirit of cooperation to execute the committee suggestions and started bilateral contacts with the Sudan to put a framework for the execution of these suggestions, beside it has already realized some of the Sudanese suggestions.3. Sudan is seeking to form a triple framework between the three countries to follow up the construction of the Renaissance Dam and to reach agreements specially after the raise of the differences between Egypt and Ethiopia after the issuing of the experts committee report, having in mind that the Sudan has to play the role of reproaching the two countries.