Ethiopia has not yet started storing water from the Grand Renaissance Dam, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced yesterday.
Responding to several satellite images that have been circulated online showing the formation of a lake on one side of the dam, the ministry stressed that the lake was formed due to a flood.
The Blue Nile flood starts in June and lasts until the end of September each year. The river receives the largest chunk of its water during the flood period with its water levels decreasing the remainder of the year.
Concerns have risen in Cairo over the “possible” negative impact the Ethiopian dam will have on Egypt’s allocation of Nile water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic metres.
For its part, the Ethiopian government has stressed that the dam “does not represent any harm on the downstream countries [Egypt or Sudan],” adding that it helps generate electricity for the south African country.
“The current lake’s water level does not represent any harm to Egypt’s annual water quota,” the ministry stressed.
“The lake size will witness a bigger expansion than last year, due to the increase in construction works,” the ministry pointed out, stressing that the lake will gradually shrink after the flood ends.