Debunking Ethiopia’s Plentiful Freshwater Resources vis-à-vis Egypt: A Closer Look at the Hydrologic Inputs

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By Tekleab Shibru Associate Professor of Geomatics, Chicago State University

Summary

Egypt has registered an impressive diplomatic success in convincing that Ethiopia has ample alternative freshwater to Nile river water. International communities and financial institutions are effectively persuaded and built a perception, which condemns Ethiopia’s moral virtues of using Nile water, the allegedly, only source of water for 95 million Egypt’s population as well as its entire agriculture. Such perception emanates from sole Ethiopia’s highlands rainfalls pattern, sources of various transboundary rivers, supporting the livelihoods of people in neighboring downstream countries. A rather credible water resources of the two countries or sub-basins can only be assessed and compared by analyzing and accounting all relevant components of the sub-basins’ water budget. Rainfall, as side, Nile river sub-basin of these countries receives water through stream inflow, extraction of groundwater, and desalinization of seawater. While Ethiopia’s Nile sub-basin obtains 456 BCM water per annum from rainfall, Egypt’s Nile sub-basin receives 202 BCM of water from combined stream inflow, extraction of groundwater, and desalinization. Accordingly, although, Ethiopia edges Egypt in the amount of water received, this has evidently exposed flawedness of diplomatically pushed perception against Ethiopia’s right to use Nile water. Further inventory of other components of the sub-basin’s water budget shall only legitimize and re-enforce this right . …..Read  More …….


1 Comment

  1. I really admired TekleAb’s thorough analysis of water storage in the ground for the sake of fair comparison of availability of water for use in Ethiopia and Egypt. That must be the measuring stick in the availability of water for all year round use for farming. Just because Ethiopia gets so much millimetre of rainfall more than Egypt, it doesn’t mean it has all that water at its disposal for use, as shown empirically and analytically.

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