Building dams on rivers for the purpose of generating electricity or distributing water has always caused discussions and friction because of the need for "green" energy and the transportation of water, versus the desire to preserve the environment and nature. Ethiopia has completed the dam on the Blue Nile and the tension between it and Egypt is increasing
Recently, due to global warming and the rise of water levels in the seas and oceans, the claim that the dams The increase is moderated, is it possible that this fact will moderate the opposition of the "environmentalists" to the construction of dams? Will this be a reason to ease the guidelines on dam planning? Doubtful because in general terms stopping water in dams does not reduce the amount of water that reaches the seas but only moderates the speed and time of arrival, so if there is a change it will only be temporary. In the past I referred to dams in general Here, And here and here (in a report from2006).
Already when the construction of the huge dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia began, the verbal attacks, mainly by Egypt and also Sudan, against the project began, claiming that its implementation would harm the water supply to the desert countries. In the first half of the 1929th century, the British controlled large parts of the basin of the Nile, first in 1959 and then in XNUMX, the English dictated an "agreement" for the distribution of the river's water, the opposition of Egypt and Sudan is also based on this distorted historical agreement.
Now that the dam has been completed "like a miracle", heavy rains are falling in Ethiopia in quantities above normal, which allows the Ethiopians to divert water to fill the dam without detracting from the amount of flow in the Blue Nile. At the same time, it rains furiouslyExtensive areas in Uganda, rains that cause floods in the drainage basin of the White Nile and "blessing" rains that cause flooding in large parts of Sudan In other words, overall there is more water in the drainage basin of the Nile. Will the hawkish parties be able to properly utilize the vital resource?
The Ethiopians declare on "Environmental/tourist dam" that in addition to supplying water to large parts of the country and in addition to producing clean electricity that will also be sold to neighboring countries, will be the artificial lake that will create an attractive site for foreign tourism and thus additional income. These statements do not moderate the opposition of Sudan and Egypt.
The discussions with Egypt and Sudan continue and are held under the auspices of the African Union, the United Nations and the United States. The multitude of sponsors for the discussions emphasizes the importance of the dam for the entire region and confronts the threats of violence from the Egyptians who fear a decrease in the flow of the Nile.
The Blue Nile provides about 85% of the river's total flow and connects to the White Nile at the Khartoum, (which got its name because of the shape of the Khartoum formed by the two tributaries when they join). - For Egyptians the Nile is the lifeline as it is the almost sole source of water for a country of about 100 million inhabitants.
According to a forced "agreement" from the period when the British ruled the region (1929 and 1959), the Nile water will be divided between Sudan 15% and Egypt 85%, - according to the strange and distorted way of the English, the agreement does not refer to the ten countries that sit on the drainage basin of the river. The result is that any attempt by one of these countries to establish a project on the river or to use the water provokes violent opposition from the Egyptians.
Now let's go back to the beginning. The Egyptians demand that in order to mitigate the negative impact, the reservoir created by the dam be filled for 10 years. The Ethiopians are not ready for more than two years. Although the discussions continue and there are no agreements, the Ethiopians began to fill the reservoir when they excuse it in a much richer than average rainy season, so that even though the reservoir is being filled by the Blue Nile, the same amount and even more water flows.
Apparently, factually, this is close to reality, but it does not persuade the Egyptians, also (as I wrote above) floods and floods also plague Uganda and Sudan, floods that are also caused by a significant increase in the amount of rainfall in the drainage basin of the White Nile.
Despite the difficulty of predicting the changes in the weather, according to many forecasts, extreme weather phenomena in which downpours will increase and therefore there are many chances that more rains will be more frequent.
That is, overall, there is much more water in the drainage basins of the White and Blue Nile, which should lead to a much higher flow rate and a stronger flow of water...
It is worth remembering that in the current friction there are two desert countries Egypt and Sudan, facing them is Ethiopia, a country relatively rich in water but poor in the ability to divert water to many areas that remain dry.
In a world where logic reigns, the leaders of the countries join forces and create drainage and water transport systems, systems that will prevent floods and bring water to areas that suffer from drought and dryness. In a world where they act wisely, the leaders would succeed in taking advantage of the rainy season to channel water to those in need and store water to increase the flow in dry seasons, but in light of the experience of history and unfortunately, the chances of sensible and wise activity are dwarfed by the violence.
It is worth remembering that conflicts over water were common throughout history and even today "water wars" take place mainly in arid regions far from the influence of the central government. Areas where the drought and the water wars stimulate the activity of terrorist groups that intensify the oppression and the difficult situation of the local populations.
Following global warming, there are predictions that by 2025, approximately 0100 million people in the Middle East and East Africa will suffer from a lack of water. Many millions more will suffer in large areas of the Sahel (in Africa), these are also the same areas where there is a population explosion.
The forecasts continue and predict that by 2050 the number of people suffering from a lack of water will double and triple, in light of the data and with the understanding that there is also a lack of water in our immediate environment, knowing that Israel has positive relations with African countries, it is clear that conflict immediately affects us as well, therefore it is appropriate to direct the best efforts to help with solutions that will moderate the lack of water
The term "water wars" is known and recognized throughout the world as well as in our regions. Let's hope that we are not on the way to a violent and unnecessary outbreak.
And finally, as usual, it is worth noting that due to the explosion of the population in the area in question, the demand for water is increasing, so it is clear that an important part of solving the developing problem will be when instead of controlling the environment for the sake of the human population, there will be control of the human population for the sake of the environment.
More of the topic in Hayadan: