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About this book

This unique volume discusses various aspects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Aswan High Dam (AHD) including their positive and negative impacts. It presents up-to-date research findings by Egyptian scientists and researchers covering several interesting hot topics under the following main themes:

· Major impacts of GERD compared with the AHD

· Environmental impacts of the AHD

· Modeling scenarios investigating the impacts of GERD on the AHD and downstream

· Environmental and social impacts of GERD on Egypt

· Status and assessment of the sediment of the AHD reservoir and modeling the impacts of GERD on Lake Nubia sediment accumulation

· Proposed scenarios for maximizing the benefits of the AHD reservoir

· International aspects of GERD and the AHD

The volume also offers a set of conclusions and recommendations to optimize the cooperation between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. It appeals to postgraduate students, researchers, scientists, professionals and policy planners.

Table of Contents


An Overview of Aswan High Dam and Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Egypt is facing many challenging since the year 2011. At the top of these challenges, the freshwater scarcity at the same of the increasing demand of freshwater for the rapid growth of populations and consequently the increasing demand for food. The construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) imposed additional challenges to Egypt due to the expected harm to all sectors in Egypt particularly the agricultural sector which consumes about 80–85% of the freshwater. Therefore, this chapter introduces the basic information GERD and AHD. Also, the major environmental impacts and benefits of GERD compared to Aswan High Dam (AHD) are presented as an introduction to this unique volume about GERD and AHD in the series titled “Handbook of Environmental Chemistry.”
Abdelazim Negm, Mohamed Elsahabi, Mohamed Salman Tayie

Environmental Impacts of AHD on Egypt Between the Last and the Following 50 Years

Egypt will be affected by a countrywide freshwater and energy shortage as early as 2025. The construction of the Aswan High Dam (1964–1971) opened a new chapter in the long and celebrated history of the Nile River with respect to its chemistry, biology, and influence on Egyptian life. Built under a storm cloud of controversy, the Aswan High Dam (AHD) has stood simultaneously as a symbol of the highest in engineering achievement and an example of an environmental threat. The objective of this chapter is to place in perspective important environmental issues related to the AHD. The AHD has now been operational for 50 years. Analysis of the AHD impacts obviously indicates that overall, they have been overwhelmingly positive for Egypt. Based on data gathered over the past decades, this chapter reviews the environmental (positive and negative) impacts of the AHD.
AHD would give Egypt protection against drought and flood. For example, droughts happened between 1979 and 1987 and flood between 1998 and 2002 had no influence on water supply downstream from Aswan. Other AHD benefits were (1) production of electricity, (2) providing water for agricultural land reclamation, (3) converting basin irrigation with perennial irrigation, (4) expanding rice production, (5) development of a fishery in the reservoir formed by the AHD, and (6) improvement of river navigation due to steady water level downstream from the AHD.
The Nile is a silt-bearing river, and the Nile Delta and Valley in Egypt are composed of its sediments. The sedimentation rate in the pre-High Dam era was estimated at 0.6–1.5 mm year−1 with an average rate of 0.8 mm year−1, used to cover the surface of agricultural soil in Egypt. Since 1964, this annual rate ceased to reach the soil surface, with the following consequences. The AHD has faster the coastline erosion (due to lack of sediment brought by the Nile) in Egypt. Problems created by sedimentation are lake infilling, erosion downstream of dam, deepening of the Nile Delta, and loss of nutrients to farmlands and Delta estuary. The incidence of schistosomiasis or bilharzia increased due to the AHD blocking the natural fluctuations in water height. Important factors contributing to the occurrence of schistosomiasis were poor sanitation and limited awareness of how the disease was transmitted.
The (positive and negative) analysis of selected impacts made in this chapter should provide a clear indication of the difficulties of assessing impacts of any large hydraulic structure.
El-Sayed Ewis Omran, Abdelazim Negm

Importance of Aswan High Dam to Egypt

River dams are generally constructed for several purposes such as: to generate hydropower; storing water for irrigation and for long-term uses during low flooding and drought years; and both for hydropower generation and saving water. The beneficial side effects of the river dams are to control the river destruction power during high flooding years, to prevent the siltation in irrigation canal, and finally to save water from being wasted in the sea. The collective benefits of Aswan High Dam (AHD) are increasing the Egyptian water resource, controlling and regulating floods, protecting Egypt from potential frequent droughts, increasing agriculture productivity, and completely regulating the river water. The benefits also include preventing siltation in the irrigation delivery systems, enhancing the agriculture extension and desert greening, changing the agricultural pattern to intensive and continuous cultivation, and increasing the cultivation area of high water-consuming crops such as rice, sugarcane, sugar beet, and green clover. The AHD dam is also responsible for generating 2.1 MW of clean sustainable and environmental friendly power, improving navigation and enhancing tourism which create Nile cruise ship hotels, transforming/alternating the agricultural pattern toward having more cash and export crops, increasing fishery and fish productions, and saving the Nile water from being wasted in the Mediterranean Sea. The dam also has a lot of positive economic effects that can help in improving some infrastructure issues as well as the quality of drinking water.
Nader Noureldeen Mohamed

Impacts of Constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River

The Nile River (NR) is the primary water resource and the life artery for its downstream countries such as Egypt and Sudan. This chapter focuses on the impacts of constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on three main parts of the NR: close to Sudan-Ethiopia border; near Khartoum, Sudan; and the main Nile at the entrance of Lake Nasser, Egypt. The dam is designed to create a storage reservoir that will maintain a holding capacity of about 74 billion cubic meters of water at the full supply level. The impacts are divided into two main categories which are hydrological and environmental impacts. By studying the hydrological impacts, the study delineated the reservoir area to estimate the reservoir volume and its geometrical dimensions for all possible scenarios from starting the dam construction up to reaching the full operation and storage capacity. Results show that the best-accepted scenario for constructing the dam is by filling the dam reservoir with 10 BCM/year or less in 3.8 years. Furthermore, the impacts of the dam breach on Ethiopia and the downstream countries are studied via simulations from HEC-RAS model. In case of dam breach, a severe flood will result in inundation of the Sennar Dam, Sudan, 15 km wide and 200 km long, and the areas in between, until it reaches Khartoum, Sudan. Also, excessive water level with 3 m rise is expected from the dam until it reaches Nasser Lake. By studying the environmental impacts, particularly those of the population displacement, carbon dioxide emissions, agricultural lands, animals, and aquatic life, we will gain a better understanding of potential risks. This chapter discusses successes and many drawbacks of the GERD construction and its hydrological and environmental impacts on the Nile River downstream countries.
Mohamed Helmy Elsanabary, Abdelkader T. Ahmed

Stochastic Investigation of the GERD-AHD Interaction Through First Impoundment and Beyond

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is currently being constructed on the Blue Nile. In the short term, water inflow to the Aswan High Dam (AHD) reservoir will be reduced as water is abstracted during GERD’s first impoundment. In the long-term, the inflow to AHD will be affected due to flow regulation and additional evaporation losses from GERD. This chapter presents a stochastic analysis of the impacts of GERD on AHD. Synthetic Nile flow series that preserve the Hurst exponent of the flow are generated using a Fractional Gaussian Noise (FGN) model. Results from the simulation of 1,000 equally probable Nile flow series using a simplified GERD-AHD system model are analyzed. The results indicate a very high downstream risk when GERD is operated as an annual storage reservoir, which questions the economic attractiveness of GERD in a regional context when operated solely for hydropower energy maximization. Operating GERD as a long-term storage reservoir results in reduced, yet still considerable impacts. Optimal GERD filling and operation policies aimed at minimizing downstream risks through a comprehensive regional economic, environmental, and social analysis are urgently needed.
Khaled H. Hamed

Model-Based Optimization for Operating the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River

Ethiopia has proposed different plans and conducted studies for dam projects on the Blue Nile, but the storage capacity required for such large dams is much higher than the capability of the Blue. Ethiopia unilaterally announced its plan to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile at the very same location of the Border Dam. It increased the storage capacity from 11.1 to 74 billion cubic meter (BCM), which represents 1.5 times the annual flow of the Blue Nile at the Sudanese border and produces 6,450 MW of hydropower. The dam will have negative impacts on the downstream countries, especially shortage in water supply and hydropower generation during filling and operation.
The main purpose of this chapter is to develop a methodology using the GERD-AHD SIM model to determine the best operating policy for the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile that achieves minimum impact on the Aswan High Dam (AHD). The main objectives should be achieving a minimum water deficit in the downstream and a maximum power generation from both GERD and AHD.
The results of the model were tabulated and analyzed using the mentioned criteria to obtain the best long-term regulation policies for GERD. The main two factors that affect the management of AHD due to the regulation policy of GERD are the annual total water deficit downstream AHD and the generated energy from AHD. Those two evaluating factors were taken as the most critical criteria for arranging and choosing the best scenarios based on the results of the model.
Different scenarios were selected and tested. Each scenario has the following inputs: the initial levels of both GERD and AHD, the average AHD level, the average inflow to AHD, the annual evaporation of AHD and GERD, the energy produced from the two dams, the maximum water deficit downstream AHD, the number of water deficit downstream AHD, the number of shutdowns of AHD hydropower station, and the total water deficit.
It is clear that the cooperative management scenarios which preserve water storage in GERD for the need of the downstream countries represent the best regulation scenarios. Comparing cooperative and noncooperative scenarios shows this fact explicitly.
Abbas M. Sharaky, Khaled H. Hamed, Ahmed B. Mohamed

GERD Failure Analysis and the Impacts on Downstream Countries

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is one of the major dams under construction on the Nile River. Currently, there is a lot of confusion about the impacts of GERD on downstream countries (Sudan and Egypt). One of the major impacts on downstream countries that has attracted a lot of debate is the impact of GERD failure. This paper aims to investigate the impacts of GERD failure in downstream regions using the International River Interface Cooperative (IRIC) two-dimensional analysis model. The study reveals that there could be a catastrophic effect on Sudan especially Roseires, Sennar, and Merowe dams in addition to Al Khartoum City. Also, the study shows that the Aswan High Dam (AHD) will be at risk.
Ahmed H. Soliman, Alaa El Zawahry, Hesham Bekhit

Environmental Impacts of the GERD Project on Egypt’s Aswan High Dam Lake and Mitigation and Adaptation Options

Egypt, which suffers from water scarcity, has been listed among the ten top countries that are threatened due to the rapidly increasing population. With growing concerns about climate change and possible impacts on water shortage, human intrusion and development processes have had undeniable adverse impacts on maintaining healthy lakes. Aswan High Dam (AHD) Lake is considered a source of water to minimize the water scarcity problem. Lake Nasser is facing many challenges. One of these challenges is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). GERD is now under construction on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia. The question still to answer is “will the GERD affect Lake Nasser?” This chapter focuses on two objectives: first is to evaluate the land resources of Lake Nasser and second is to study the impact of GERD on AHD Lake. The challenges facing the sustainable development of AHD lake and their solutions are identified and discussed.
First, soils surrounding Lake Nasser, i.e., Kalabsha, Toshka, El- Dakka, Abu Simbel at the western side of the lake, and Allaqui area on the eastern side, were deposited due to water action (wind action was not evaluated in this study). Wadi soils are heterogeneous and stratified and composed of subrounded grains; this may be linked to the distance of transportation. The parent materials of these soils are wadi sediments, shales, and Nubian sandstones. Sedimentation in Lake Nasser is estimated to be around 31 billion cubic meters, which is enough to be absorbed over 300–400 years. The silt is not regularly distributed on the lake floor but is mostly accumulating (more than 30 m in 1992) at the site of the second waterfall around the ancient city of Wadi Halfa. The amount of silt deposited is estimated as 109 million cubic meters per year. The sedimentation of silt can lead to the blockage of a large part of Nasser’s Lake around the second waterfall at Wadi Halfa. This may result in a significant loss of water due to evaporation and leakage. Because the Lake Nasser reservoir is approaching its maximum storage capacity, the depressions west of Lake Nasser in the southwestern desert of Egypt (Toshka Lakes) are a natural flood diversion basin to reduce possible downstream damage to the Nile Valley caused by exceptional flooding.
Second, the impacts of GERD on AHD are a reduction in the water share to Egypt, reduction in power generated at AHD, increased salinity of Egypt’s agricultural lands, increase in seawater intrusion, and infilling Lake Nasser/Lake Nubia with sediment. Since this chapter aims to suggest some measures to help the decision/policy makers to solve the water shortage problem caused by GERD, a number of management actions and strategies are suggested to secure Egypt’s water demands and to minimize the water scarcity problems. Third, the actions identified to minimize the water scarcity in Egypt are reducing evaporation losses from Lake Nasser, maximizing the use of groundwater wells and rainwater in Egypt, seawater desalination, sewage treatment and reusing irrigation water, maximizing water use efficiency, and starting giant projects out of the narrow valley and delta.
The yearly average of the daily evaporation rate from Lake Nasser is 6.3 mm day−1. The average volume of the annual water loss by evaporation is about 12.5 milliards cubic meter. To save more than 1 million cubic meters of water loss from Lake Nasser due to evaporation, 0.500 km2 must be covered with circular foam sheets with an efficiency of coverage equal to 90%. The circular foam system can be adjusted such that it has no impact on the passage of sunlight to aquatic life. The expected total amount of saved water using all the above strategies equals 40 BCM, which exceeds the expected losses caused by GERD. Adopting all or a combination of the suggested management actions and strategies could help reduce the impact of GERD on Egypt.
El-Sayed Ewis Omran, Abdelazim Negm

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Agriculture, and the Rural Poor in Egypt

This chapter seeks to provide an overview of the impacts of the reservoir filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the rural poor in Egypt. This requires the analysis of the macro and micro level impacts. To determine the macro level impacts and the micro level implications, three scenarios (4, 6, 8 years) are developed. The macro level assessment shows aggregated water and agricultural land reductions and their subsequent effects on crop value, imports, exports, and employment as well as on government’s policy to safeguard self-sufficiency in strategic crops. For the micro level analysis, the sustainable livelihood framework is used to outline impacts on farmers (landowners and laborers) in governorates with high poverty rates, in Lower and Upper Egypt. The main governorates’ characteristics and farmers’ assets (human, natural, physical, social, financial) and their use in the formulation of livelihood strategies to sustain their livelihoods are presented. The chapter shows that the macro analysis alone does not account for farmers’ strategies dealing with water shortage indicating that the macro level assessment is not sufficient for comprehending dam impacts on the livelihoods of the rural poor and their consequences.
Dalia M. Gouda

Assessment of Sediment Deposition in Aswan High Dam Reservoir During 50 Years (1964–2014)

During the last century, many dams exist along the Nile River for various purposes. The existing reservoirs especially those on the Blue Nile, Atbara, and the main Nile River are seriously affected by sediment deposition at unexpected rates.
Roseires Dam was constructed on the Blue Nile (Sudan) to store water for irrigation; the dam lost 40% of its original capacity in a span of 43 years. Khashm el-Girba Dam was constructed on Atbara River (Sudan); the dam lost 53% of its original capacity in a span of 46 years.
As for the Aswan High Dam (AHD), it created a reservoir behind it which is Aswan High Dam Reservoir (AHDR). The AHDR is the second largest human-made reservoir in the world. The reservoir extends from the southern part of Egypt to the northern part of Sudan. The AHDR has a total length of about 500 km (350 km inside Egypt and 150 km inside Sudan), the average width of the reservoir is about 12 km, and its storage capacity is 162 billion m3.
This chapter is an attempt to assess and analyzes the deposition in the Aswan High Dam Reservoir during the last 50 years from 1964 to 2014, by using different techniques to estimate the effective life span of the reservoir.
The traditional method gives overestimate in the calculation of deposit sediment by almost 10% in comparing by GIS method.
Ahmed Moustafa A. Moussa

Evaluation of Merowe Dam’s Effect on the Accumulated Sediment in Lake Nubia, Sudan Using RS/GIS

Constructing dams upstream Lake Nubia (Sudan) may dramatically alter the distribution of its accumulated sediment via reducing the annual flow deposition rate into this lake based on their design criteria. This chapter aims to estimate the annual inflow sediment rate into Lake Nubia before and after the operation of Merowe Dam. Therefore, the following equal length periods (2000–2003) before its operation and (2009–2012) after its operation are considered to evaluate the effect of the dam construction on the accumulated sediment in Lake Nubia. This will be achieved utilizing remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) techniques by utilizing the 3D profiles of Lake Nubia study area. The results of the present approach based on RS/GIS are compared to obtained results using the complimentary cross sections (the traditional method adopted by Aswan High Dam Authority, AHDA). The results indicate that the annual sedimentation rate was reduced by about 2.57 million cubic meter (2.04%). Also, results indicated that the present approach overestimated the annual sediment rate by about 3.50%, before and after the operation of Merowe Dam compared to the results of the method adopted by AHDA. This low reduction percent indicates that the effect of Merowe Dam on the reduction of the incoming annual sediment rate to Lake Nubia is minor and can be neglected compared to the effect of huge upstream dams such as Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Mohamed Elsahabi, Abdelazim Negm

Impacts of GERD on the Accumulated Sediment in Lake Nubia Using Machine Learning and GIS Techniques

This chapter aims to study and discuss the effect (hypothesis) of constructing the GERD on the deposited sediment amount in the AHDL. To achieve the objective of this chapter; a machine learning approach represented in a regression tree (RTs) model was used and calibrated to simulate the changes in bed levels and water velocities in the study area within AHDL by using the field measured data and GIS analysis for the year 2008 (reference case). Furthermore, a model verification process has been done to ensure the applicability of the applied model using the available field data in the year 2012. The results of the bed levels and velocities during calibration and verification of the model show low values of RMSE % (for calibration 2.90 and 2.57 for bed levels and velocities, respectively, and for calibration 4.66 and 4.98% for bed levels and velocities, respectively) and high R2 (for calibration 0.9975 and 0.9978 for bed levels and velocities, respectively, and for verification 0.9921 and 0.9959 for bed levels and velocities, respectively), indicating that the model was efficiently calibrated and verified. It shows good agreement between the simulated and measured data (by comparisons of simulated longitudinal and cross sections with the measured ones). Thus, this model is considered trustful and reliable to the prediction of sediment and erosion (bed changes) in the study area within AHDL after GERD construction. Accordingly, four of the possible scenarios are performed through the well-calibrated and verified model by reducing the flow quantity and its associated annual sediment rate by 5–10 and 60–65%, respectively. These scenarios are considered as prediction cases after GERD construction. The impact of GERD construction is then studied by comparing some sections along and across the studied lake portion before and after GERD construction (applied scenarios). This impact appeared clearly as a reduction in the amount of the accumulated sediment (decrease in bed levels) accompanied by an increase in erosion amount. Based on the applied scenarios, results showed that the amount of sediment was reduced by 25–27%, 52–55%, 76–81%, and 90–97% in the year 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2060, respectively, compared to the predicted amount of sediment in the year 2020 without GERD operation/construction. As a positive impact of the GERD construction, the lifetime of the upstream AHD reservoir will be prolonged due to the decrease in the amount of the accumulated sediment. This study provides decision-makers with a preliminary knowledge about the impact of GERD operation/construction on AHDL sediment pattern and consequently on Egypt and Sudan. Moreover, the current study opens new windows for future research to investigate the impacts of the different aspects of GERD of AHDL.
Abdelazim Negm, Mohamed Elsahabi, Mohamed Abdel-Nasser, Karar Mahmoud, Kamal Ali

Dredging the Clays of the Nile: Potential Challenges and Opportunities on the Shores of the Aswan High Dam Reservoir and the Nile Valley in Egypt

The Aswan High Dam (AHD) Reservoir has become a major storage for sediments over the last 50 years. The southern part in Sudan called Lake Nubia is heavily silted and is developing a new delta. The construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is expected to retain an important volume of silt and lower the levels of the water in the AHD Reservoir during fill‐up. The impact is a reduction of the storage capacity in Sudan and Egypt, but the silver lining is an opportunity for development of small communities through dredging and the construction of onshore sediment ponds that can be turned into farm land.
The large accumulation of clays requires a special approach for dredging. Lake Nasser, clay fractions can range from 30 to 90% of the sediments in Egypt, after that the coarse material had deposited in Lake Nubia in Sudan. For the fraction smaller than 0.42 mm, its plasticity index is used as measure of the tendency to form balls of clay – which would slow greatly dredging efforts. There is a dearth of data on the plasticity index of clays from the AHD Reservoir, but comparative studies can be done at Kalabsha, 50 km south of Aswan, at Aswan, Toshka, Qena, as 2% of the sediments mostly clays manage to pass through the AHD. At AHD Reservoir, they are composed of a large portion of smectite (~70%), kaolinite (<25%), and illite (<10%) particularly in Lake Nubia. Illite is typically of volcanic origin. The new delta forming within the Aswan High Dam Reservoir contains high portions of kaolinite through the erosion of the shores and from wind-transported material. Kaolinite-rich sediments reach 50% of the central and northern sections of Lake Nasser in Egypt.
While high plasticity index is a challenge to dredging, it is a positive property for building dykes around sediment ponds, quick formation into impermeable layers to prevent seepage of water, and the manufacture of bricks and for a local ceramic industry. Balls of clays sediment much faster than particles of clay and would cut down the size of settling ponds for farming.
To simulate the potential problems in Egypt, samples of natural clay sediments were dredged in the USA and sent to the slurry lab of Splitvane Engineers. Samples with a plasticity index of 32% were tested at a different velocity from 1.4 to 5.8 m/s and over different periods of time to simulate pumping over 8 km. No similar ablation wheel was found in Egypt or Europe at the time of writing this chapter. The results of lab tests are presented to understand the potential challenge of dredging the clays of the AHD Reservoir and should be repeated on samples from the Nile sediments by building a dedicated testing facility in an Egyptian Research Institute. These natural clays showed a different degradation rate than previous tests conducted by the USACE on synthetically composed clays. The degradation was dependent on properties of the sample, the tangential velocity of the drum, and the distance of pumping. These tests should be repeated on samples from the AHD Reservoir for better planning the development of new ceramic industries and small communities.
Baha E. Abulnaga

Community Development by De-silting the Aswan High Dam Reservoir

Siltation of man-made reservoirs on the Nile is a very ancient problem dating back to Lake Moeris built more than 4,000 years ago in the Fayum area, in Middle Egypt. While this engineering work functioned trouble-free for 1,500 years until the Ptolemeans closed down some of the canals to dry out the shores and convert them to farmlands, modern problems following the construction of new reservoirs in the twentieth and twenty-first century suffer from rapid deterioration on a large scale. It is estimated that the Blue Nile transports 207 million cubic meters of sediments a year on the average, but most will now be retained by the GERD.
De-silting the large reservoirs of the Nile such as the Roseires, Sennar, Girba, and the Aswan High Dam, and in the future the GERD, should be done at the national and international levels through government- and private sector-sponsored programs. These programs can also offset the loss of reservoir capacity, increased evaporation losses due to the reduction of the surface to volume ratio, accumulation of weeds, and loss of hydroelectric power production due to sedimentation.
A careful analysis of the sediments in Lake Nasser with a preponderance of plastic clays reveals a sensitivity to potential dredging. The plasticity indices satisfy the conditions for the formation of balls of clays that would slow down dredging. It is therefore critical for Egyptian engineers to develop the technology for pulverizing the plastic clays when cutting them. Egypt can also become a platform for the development of technologies for de-silting the various reservoirs in Sudan and for training Sudanese engineers. Ultimately these efforts can lead to the development of small communities. The construction of a fleet of 80 dredgers with a minimum number of 240 booster pump stations and slurry pipelines averaging 5 km from the reservoir to the shores would be needed to dredge 100 million cubic meters each year and gradually restore the storage capacity of the various reservoirs. This effort would emulate the COAST 2050 project carried out in the USA in 2000 and the 2010s at more than US$15 billion.
Baha E. Abulnaga

Harvesting the Skies of Egypt: An Option to Recover the Evaporation Losses from the Aswan High Dam Reservoir

The Aswan High Dam Reservoir (AHDR) is one of the largest man-made reservoirs with a surface area of 6,000 km2. It was built in the aridest zone of Egypt and Sudan. Evaporation losses range from 5 to 10 mm/m2/day throughout the year and average 7.4 mm/m2/day leading to an estimated loss of 16 km3 or 20% of the annual consumption of water by Egypt for farming, industrial, and domestic applications.
These losses cannot be prevented and are difficult to reduce. Schemes to compensate for the evaporation, namely, weather modification and water harvesting from the air, are examined in this chapter. Evaporation losses are transported at low levels of a few hundred meters but also at heights of 1,500–4,000 m as there are different patterns of lower and upper winds.
For the lower levels, there are two important technologies that have grown in other countries to extract water vapor from the air: fog harvesting and dew harvesting. The success of these technologies is very much dependent on the geography of the site and its climate. Efforts to utilize nocturnal radiation for refrigeration and natural ice making at night are not a recent phenomenon; the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Persians were champions of nocturnal refrigeration where the intense cooling radiation to a black sky was used to freeze water and produce natural ice. This technology can be adapted in an Egyptian context. Fog collectors must be capable of resisting the strong “khamsin” windstorms between March and June.
Egypt has an interesting pattern of inversion of temperature between night and day. This leads to the formation of dew and fog and low clouds particularly over the Delta and Cairo during certain periods of the year and just for few hours to few days but also to vigorous vertical currents rising to 4,000 m and transporting evaporated water.
The direction of the winds over the Aswan High Dam Reservoir tends to blow from the north and northwest. This would suggest that water lost by evaporation tends to flow along the axis of the reservoir south toward Upper Nubia or Northern Sudan and southeast toward the Egyptian Eastern Desert, the Halayeb region, and the Red Sea coast. The Hadley cell pattern over the Earth forces the water lost by evaporation at the AHD Reservoir back to the equator. Coriolis forces due to the rotation of the Earth curb this flow slightly toward the east. While the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will deprive the AHD Reservoir of waters, the AHD Reservoir will continue to feed back the sources of the White Nile and the Blue Nile with water by evaporation. The governments of Egypt and Sudan should embark on weather modification to capture these losses. The clouds are overcast at 5–25% over Lake Nubia and Lake Nasser and will require a carefully planned approach.
The technology of weather modification can also be tested on the northern coast of Egypt from Salum to Rafah and certain parts of the Delta where annual precipitation ranges from 50 to 200 mm/year. The Ancient Egyptians, the Greek, and Roman rulers had developed in the past a complex system of deep wells and water storage schemes for storing rainwater that should be revived in parallel to weather modification schemes.
Cloud formation over the AHDR is at its peak during the flood season of July and August, while it is at a minimum over the north coast of Egypt. This opens an opportunity to maximize utilization of aircraft all year round with an emphasis on the north coast in the winter and on Lake Nasser in the summer. Weather modifications must be viewed as a carefully planned project. The conditions favor high-altitude cloud seeding at 4000 m to avoid the errors and pitfalls of low-altitude failures.
Egypt and Sudan do not have currently a program for weather modification or cloud seeding. This chapter is, therefore, an attempt to open the discussion on the merits of this technology.
Baha E. Abulnaga

Impact of the International Context on the Political and Legal Dimensions of the Aswan High Dam (1952–1960)

The Aswan High Dam (AHD) was the beginning and most strategic base for all developmental projects in Egypt. However, the establishment of the AHD was coupled with highly complex political conditions due to the historical phase Egypt experienced both on the domestic and international levels. At the domestic level, Egypt witnessed a transitional phase in its political history, the transition from monarchy to the republican system in addition to completely ending British colonization. At the international level, this period witnessed the crystallization of the bipolar system and the escalation of the conflict between the super polar powers with the consequent complications in the political and regional interactions, particularly those relating to the AHD.
It became evident that the international context was the decisive factor in influencing the political and legal dimensions of the AHD since the AHD was politicized as shown in the scientific, political, legal, and economic debates around it, in addition to the political conditionality associated with its financing.
Thus, the study raises the question: What is the impact of the international context (the regional and global levels) on the political and legal dimensions of the High Dam in Aswan?
Mohamed Salman Tayie

Continuous Dispute Between Egypt and Ethiopia Concerning Nile Water and Mega Dams

This chapter discusses the continuous dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia within the last 100 years concerning the use of Nile water and the building of mega dams. The one-sided decision by Ethiopia to construct the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a mega dam, exploited Egyptian circumstances after the January 2011 revolution by announcing the construction of what will be the biggest dam in Africa and one of the ten biggest dams in the world, a dam that will profoundly harm Egypt. With that announcement, and the previous recent history of Ethiopia in aligning some upstream countries against Egypt to sign the Entebbe agreement, in May 2010, a deep dispute has begun between Egypt and Ethiopia. Egypt believes in the use of the total water resources of the Nile Basin, while the upstream countries believe only in using the water stream that flows between the white river banks. The Entebbe agreement, or the “Nile River Basin Cooperation,” which was signed by six upstream countries, was the first step in the current broad breach between Egypt, Ethiopia, and most countries of the White Nile Basin. The Agreement considers that the history of Nile treaties and agreements began in 2010, canceling all former agreements or treaties. Egypt has suggested building on this Agreement by cooperating in collective work to control the huge water losses in the upstream swamps, wetlands, and on the shores of the upstream lakes, a process which could increase the river discharge by another 100 billion cubic meters, to be shared by all the riparian countries. The upstream countries claim absolute territorial sovereignty over the river water and its tributaries, while Egypt seeks absolute territorial integrity, as outlined in the 1997 United Nations (UN) river water law “Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses”, which describes and locates the relationships between riparian countries. Some countries, such as Ethiopia, claim that Egypt prevents them from producing food for their people, while in reality, of the Nile riparian countries, Egypt has the least agricultural land area (3.5 million ha), while Ethiopia has 35 million ha, Tanzania has 50 million ha, Sudan has 83 million ha, and Kenya has 33 million ha. The area under cultivation for biofuel crops in Ethiopia exceeds all of Egypt’s agricultural land by twofold. The policy of some upstream countries has been to turn to biofuel instead of food and to suggest that other countries are doing the same. The Ugandan parliament has called for Egypt to pay for Nile water that Egypt has rights to. All these issues and others will be discussed in this chapter to highlight and confirm the specific water rights that Egypt has in regard to Nile water, and to stress that these water rights should not be affected by any other upstream countries. On the other hand, Egypt can support the upstream Nile Basin countries to achieve their water and hydropower development projects unless these projects cause harm to Egypt and its Nile water share.
Nader Noureldeen Mohamed

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Ethiopian Challenge of Hydropolitical Hegemony on the Nile Basin

It is clear that recent developments in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file are witnessing an escalation of the conflict in hydropolitical interactions between the Egyptian and Ethiopian sides.
Although “the Renaissance Dam” – known previously as “Border Dam” – was one of the dams and water projects proposed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) in its 1964 report on the exploitation of the waters of the Blue Nile, yet the new version of the Border Dam as reflected in the GERD version is considered as a stimulus for an Egyptian-Ethiopian conflict. This comes true especially in the light of Ethiopia’s quest for imposing a fait accompli, the deliberate consumption of time in negotiations, and the non-making of concessions in addition to the unilateral moves.
Constructing GERD, Ethiopia aims to achieve some developmental declared goals in addition to some undeclared political and strategic objectives. Among these objectives is the imposing of “hydroelectric hegemony” on the Nile Basin which would consequently lead to achieving political and geostrategic leadership in that Basin. In its turn, this would lead to sieging of Egypt politically and strategically in the vicinity of its African circle/region.
The study aims at verifying the following major hypothesis: The more the Ethiopian intransigence and obstinacy and its insistence on the construction of GERD in accordance with the declared technical specifications, the increased risks, damage and negative effects on Egyptian national security. Furthermore, Ethiopia would be able to achieve hydroelectric hegemony on the Nile Basin.
Does Ethiopia aim to build GERD to achieve hydropolitical domination as well as development goals? What is the evidence?
Mohamed Salman Tayie

Impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Gezira Groundwater, Sudan

The Gezira area has one of the most massive agricultural projects in the world. Groundwater is one of the most critical water resources in Sudan. About 80% of the people in Sudan depend mainly on groundwater. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is under construction on the Blue Nile at 15 km from the Sudan’s border, creating a reservoir of 74 km3. The environmental studies of the GERD effect on Egypt and Sudan are vague. The present paper deals with the assessment of groundwater in Gezira using geochemical analysis, stable isotopes, remote sensing, and GIS. The impact of land use/land cover on groundwater quality was studied using supervised classification techniques of multidates (multitemporal) satellite images. Also, it covers the investigation of water interaction between the surface water and Gezira groundwater aquifer. The surface water includes the White Nile and the Blue Nile that will be controlled entirely by the GERD. If there is a direct recharge from the Blue Nile, the GERD will increase the recharge because it will keep the water in the Blue Nile always at a high level all year, resulting in increasing the seepage to the aquifer. The agriculture will also be all over the year, so water infiltration to groundwater will be increased. The major ions, nitrate, ammonium, heavy metals, and stable isotopes (δD and δ18O) were measured to achieve these goals. The results of hydrochemical data were mapped using ArcGIS 10.3 and Aquachem software. The results indicated that there are no any evidence for the groundwater pollution resulted from the anthropogenic activities in the study area. Although agricultural projects have been started with full capacity, since 1960, the pollution traces were not detected. The stable isotopes of the 2H and 18O confirmed that the groundwater of the Nubian aquifer in the study area is recharged from the Blue Nile through the Gezira aquifer. Moreover, away from the Blue Nile, the influence of recharge is negligible, but the water of the Nubian aquifer still mixed with water of heavy isotopic composition. The chemical and physical characteristics of groundwater indicate that the GERD will increase the recharge because it will keep the water in the Blue Nile always at a high level all year, resulting in increasing the seepage to the aquifer. The agriculture in Sudan will also be all over the year, so water infiltration to groundwater will be increased.
Abbas M. Sharaky, Hossam H. Elewa, Alaa M. Kasem

Update, Conclusions, and Recommendations for Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Versus Aswan High Dam: A View from Egypt

This chapter summarizes the key information and findings for the book Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam versus Aswan High Dam: A View from Egypt. Also, the major conclusions and recommendations are provided. Some findings from a few recently published research work related to the covered themes as an update for the information covered in the book are reviewed and presented. Also, the main current challenges facing Egypt due to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) due to the probable improper operation without cooperation with Egypt and Sudan are provided. The chapter is meant to provide a brief synopsis of some of the issues that have been identified in the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) including how these will impact the existing Aswan High Dam (AHD) and Egypt’s water resources and the society as well. Varieties of negative and positive impacts of both GERD and AHD are summarized. Modeling analysis of these impacts into the future is also characterized and assessed. For instance, it has been shown that, depending on its initial impoundment plan and operational policy, GERD can have significant impacts on the downstream, for which the associated costs have not been taken into consideration. In particular, operating GERD solely for hydropower energy maximization involves extremely high risks for the downstream, particularly Egypt which depends almost on the water coming from the Nile. Based on the information, investigation, analysis, findings, and writings throughout this book, a set of conclusions and recommendations are presented.
Abdelazim M. Negm, Sommer Abdel-Fattah, El-Sayed E. Omran

Erratum to: Impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Gezira Groundwater, Sudan

Without Abstract
Abbas M. Sharaky, Hossam H. Elewa, Alaa M. Kasem


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