Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Sileshi Bekele has disclosed through his Twitter handle that the construction of two bottom outlets (BO) of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been completed. Minister Bekele added that the BO’s, which will provide the release of water into the downstream, have also been tested and they are operational.
The 2 BO’s according to the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, have the capacity of passing the entire annual Abbay flow in a year. This he said is an assurance of the flow of water downstream without disruptions. Other 13 such outlets are under construction adding a huge capacity of downstream release.
Minister Bekele explained that “in the rainy season these BO’s guarantee downstream flow while filling takes place as inflow exceeding outflow at the reservoir.”
Egypt says Ethiopian statement that the BO’s can enable the average flow of Blue Nile is incorrect
A day after the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy made the announcement about the two BO’s, the Egyptian ministry said that the claims were “incorrect” explaining that the maximum flow of the two BO’s is estimated at 3 billion m3 per month and that does not exceed 50 million m3 / day.
“This amount of water thus does not meet the needs of the two downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) and it is with no doubt not equivalent to the average of water release coming from the Blue Nile,” said the ministry.
In its statement, Egypt also added that the second filling process due to unilaterally implemented in mid-July by Ethiopia and seizing a large amount of water which will largely affect the Nile river system, and that the situation will be more complicated starting from the flood season (Next July) as the BOs will release an amount lower than usual in July and August.