Grand Renaissance Dam – UPSC Prelims

  • The Grand Renaissance Dam is being constructed by Ethiopia on the river Nile.
  • There is a dispute over this dam among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
Dam’s Importance for Ethiopia:
  • Ethiopia believes this dam will generate approximately 6,000 megawatts of electricity which will support its industrial growth.
  • It can also export surplus electricity to neighbouring regions to generate revenue.
  • Neighbouring countries like Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and South Sudan also suffer from electricity shortages and they can also benefit from the hydropower project if Ethiopia decides to sell electricity to them.
Egypt’s Concern:
  • Egypt lies downstream and is concerned that Ethiopia’s control over the water could result in lower water levels within its own borders.
  • Egypt depends on the Nile for approximately 97% of its drinking water and irrigation supplies.
  • The dam would jeopardise food and water security and livelihoods of ordinary Egyptian citizens.
Sudan’s Stand:
  • Sudan too is concerned that if Ethiopia were to gain control over the river, it would affect the water levels Sudan receives.
  • Sudan is likely to benefit from the power generated by the dam.
  • The regulated flow of the river will save Sudan from serious flooding in August and September. Thus it has proposed joint management of the dam.
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