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Egypt considers alternatives as Renaissance Dam second filling looms

Egypt is currently studying plans to mitigate “possible” risks of the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced on Sunday.

“We have four major plans to mitigate the effects of any potential water crisis,” the ministry’s spokesperson Mohamed Ghanem told Masrawy, stressing that all the scenarios were prepared in the event of “worst possible conditions”.

Ghanem added that the ministry had begun implementing a: “Water rehabilitation project of lining 8,200 kilometres at a total cost of £80 billion ($5.1 billion),” noting that the project would allow water flow at the ends of the lands and reduce waste rates.

“Our second risk plan is the maintenance and construction of 92 water mixing and lifting stations that efficiently operate and drain water, especially during high demand peak times,” he explained.

The official pointed out that the ministry’s third plan was to launch the: “Sahara Al-Mahsama project to discharge one million cubic metres per day, and the Bahr El-Baqar drainage station – the largest in the world treating five million cubic metres per day. In addition, the ministry is planning to inaugurate the new Hammam plant that serves all the new Delta projects,” Ghanem clarified.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have long been in dispute over Cairo’s fears that the dam could potentially affect its annual share of the Nile River water – the country’s main source of clean water. Ethiopia has confirmed that it will again fill the reservoir behind the giant hydropower dam after seasonal rains start this summer, a move that both Sudan and Egypt oppose.

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