Archives For November 2008


The total available water supply in the Nile River Basin is about 74 billion m3, but demand has risen to about 90-142 billion m3. Egypt’s demand is about 70-75 billion m3 and Sudan’s is about 32 billion m3. Egypt is willing to allocate 2 billion m3 to Ethiopia, but Ethiopia’s demand is about 5 billion m3. Demand from the equatorial states is about 5 billion m3. Thus, there is a deficit of 16-68 billion m3 (Soffer 69-70). Rogers and Lydon (308) predict that Egypt and the Sudan will exceed their own water resource bases by 2025.

This deficit is clearly a problem. Furthermore, faced with water shortages, Egypt and Sudan oppose any change in the status quo of the division of Nile water. Egypt’s average annual population growth rate is 1.682% (2008 est.) and the Sudan’s is 2.134% (2008 est.) (CIA – The World Fact Book). Most experts agree that Egypt and Sudan will be forced to cooperate. However, Egypt has very little incentive to change the status quo and Sudan lacks the power to do so (Soffer 71).

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