Washington Meeting on GERD Wraps-up

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Ena January 16/2020 The last and fourth meeting on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) being built on Nile River concluded on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting was held in Washington, D.C. on January 13-15, 2020 in the presence of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Water Resources of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

It is to be recalled that last week trilateral technical meeting was held here on GERD concluded without agreement due to Egypt’s ‘Negative Gesture’ which the country has proposed a new proposal on the filling of the dam.

The US Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank participated as observers at the meeting that aims to resolve deference on the filling and operation of the dam.

The three countries agreed on the filling of the dam to be executed in stages and to be undertaken in an adaptive and cooperative manner that takes into consideration the hydrological conditions of the Blue Nile and the potential impact of the filling on downstream reservoirs.

The filling will take place during the wet season, generally from July to August, and will continue in September subject to certain conditions, according to a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting.

The initial filling stage of the dam will provide for the rapid achievement of a level of 595 meters above sea level and the early generation of electricity, while providing appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt and Sudan in case of severe droughts during this stage.

The subsequent stages of filling will be done according to a mechanism to be agreed that determines release based upon the hydrological conditions of the Blue Nile.

This will be the level of the GERD that addresses the filling goals of Ethiopia and provides electricity generation and appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt and Sudan during prolonged periods of dry years, drought and prolonged drought.

The Ministers agreed to meet again in Washington, D.C. on January 28-29 to finalize a comprehensive agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.