A fight over the world’s longest river is a preview of climate change diplomacy.
Ethiopia is the source of the Blue Nile, the river’s largest tributary, and the source of 86 percent of the water reaching Egypt after traveling through Sudan. Ethiopia’s government has dreamed of building a dam on the river for decades, but was consistently opposed by Egypt, the most powerful country in the region. In 2011, with Egypt still reeling and distracted from the recent overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, Ethiopia began work on the GERD, near the border with Sudan, with a budget of $4.8 billion. When fully filled, likely after another four to six years, it will contain up to 74 billion cubic meters of water—the largest hydroelectric plant in Africa. more….