1st Edition

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Nile Basin Implications for Transboundary Water Cooperation

    224 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will not only be Africa’s largest dam, but it is also essential for future cooperation and development in the Nile River Basin and East African region. This book, after setting out basin-level legal and policy successes and failures of managing and sharing Nile waters, articulates the opportunities and challenges surrounding the GERD through multiple disciplinary lenses.

    It sets out its possibilities as a basis for a new era of cooperation, its regional and global implications, the benefits of cooperation and coordination in dam filling, and the need for participatory and transparent decision making. By applying law, political science and hydrology to sharing water resources in general and to large-scale dam building, filling and operating in particular, it offers concrete qualitative and quantitative options that are essential to promote cooperation and coordination in utilising and preserving Nile waters. The book incorporates the economic dimension and draws on recent developments including: the signing of a legally binding contract by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to carry out an impact assessment study; the possibility that the GERD might be partially operational very soon, the completion of transmission lines from GERD to Addis Ababa; and the announcement of Sudan to commence construction of transmission lines from GERD to its main cities. The implications of these are assessed and lessons learned for transboundary water cooperation and conflict management.

    Chapter 1: A Multi-disciplinary Analysis of the Risks and Opportunities of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for Wider Cooperation in the Nile

    Zeray Yihdego, Alistair Rieu-Clarke, Ana Elisa Cascão

    Chapter 2: The Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement: Disentangling the Gordian Knot?

    Salman M. A. Salman

    Chapter 3: Agreement on Declaration of Principles on the GERD: Levelling the Nile Basin Playing Fields?

    Salman M. A. Salman

    Chapter4: International Law developments on the Sharing of Blue Nile Waters: a fairness perspective

    Zeray Yihdego and Alistair Rieu-Clarke

    Chapter 5: Changing cooperation dynamics in the Nile Basin and the role of the GERD

    Ana Elisa Cascão and Alan Nicol

    Chapter 6: GERD and hydropolitics in the Eastern Nile: from water to benefit sharing?

    Rawia Tawfik and Ines Dombrowsky

    Chapter 7: Analyzing the Economy-Wide Impacts on Egypt of Alternative GERD Filling Policies

    Brent Boehlert, Kenneth M. Strzepek, Sherman Robinson

    Chapter 8: Economic Impact Assessment of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Under Different Climate and Hydrological Conditions

    Tewodros Negash Kahsay, Onno Kuik, Roy Brouwer and Pieter van der Zaag

    Chapter 9: From Projecting Hydroclimate Variability to Filling the GERD: Upstream Hydropower Generation and Downstream Releases

    Ying Zhang, Solomon Tassew Erkyihun, Paul Block

    Chapter 10: Managing risks while filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

    Kevin G. Wheeler


    Zeray Yihdego is a Reader in International Law at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

    Alistair Rieu-Clarke is a Professor of Law at the University of Northumbria, UK.

    Ana Elisa Cascão is currently an Independent Researcher/Consultant, and until recently was a Programme Manager at Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden.

    "The multidisciplinary volume The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Nile Basin: Implications for Transboundary Water Cooperation is published at the right time to take a closer look at the impacts of the GERD on the Nile and its riparians from the perspectives of law, political science, economics and hydrology.

    [The book] serves as an initial platform for the urgently needed analysis and discussion of pertinent problems and potential solutions for transboundary water cooperation in the Eastern Nile Basin at a crucial point in time. By providing ample space for varying views within and between disciplines, it makes a valuable contribution to the future resolution of conflicts and the fostering of cooperation on the sharing of the Nile waters in the future." - Götz Reichert in the Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law 2017

    "This important and unique collection captures a living experiment in the Nile Basin. Ethiopia shattered the basin's status quo by launching construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Africa's largest hydroelectric project. Important precedents in managing transboundary resources may be set as Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia thrash out sharing benefits as well as water. The contributors address the legal issues, the regional politics and the projected economic impact of Ethiopia's unilateral action." - John Waterbury, President Emeritus, the American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    'This important volume examines the impacts of the GERD project through an interdisciplinary lens, incorporating insights from the fields of law, political science, economics and hydrology. As the contributors show, the game-changing nature of the GERD may introduce a new era of cooperation on the Nile." - Stephen McCaffrey, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, USA

    "Cooperative management of transboundary fresh waters is a great challenge of our time – nowhere more so than in the Nile basin, with eleven riparian nations and the world’s longest river. This scholarly book makes an invaluable contribution at a turning point in Nile history. The authors, many with long experience studying Nile issues, have woven together an important interdisciplinary study of the risks and opportunities arising from the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, linking Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt." - David Grey, Visting Professor of Water Policy, University of Oxford, UK