The coming water wars


A new dam will give Ethiopia control of the Nile, and imperil Egypt's security. Will the two come to blows? Water is a matter of national security for all of the countries which rely on the Nile river system. Burundi, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda all monitor the flow of the river through their borders, but none are as at risk as Egypt, and none are less at risk than Ethiopia; 80% of Nile water originates in the Ethiopian mountains.

These facts mean that the Egyptians are going to have to compromise and get used to the idea that after millennia of being the pre-eminent Nile power, times have changed. The Greek historian Herodotus described Egypt as the gift of the Nile - but what the Nile gives, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam can take away.