Egypt and Sudan agree to Ethiopia’s proposed GERD timetable
Did we just make progress on GERD? Egypt and Sudan agree to Ethiopia’s proposed timetable for dam filling: Egypt and Sudan have reportedly accepted Ethiopia’s proposal to start filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) reservoir in June 2020, when there will be high rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands, according to a report in Ethiopian news outlet Ezega picked up by Ahram Online. According to the latest agreement reached by the three countries in the recent meetings of irrigation ministers, GERD is set to hold 4.9 bcm of water by mid-2020, which would allow Ethiopia to launch preliminary power-generating activities late next year. If rainfall is sufficient, Ethiopia will fill the reservoir of the dam within four years, although the filling period may be extended to up to seven years if rainfall is low, a member of Ethiopia’s negotiating team has said.
What happens from here?The meeting in Addis Ababa focused on technical discussions to resolve issues of how GERD will be filled and operated, and what should happen during periods of drought. It constitutes the first of four pre-arranged talks, the second of which will be held in Cairo on 2-3 December, and a further two meetings to be held in Washington on 9 December 2019 and 13 January 2020.