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Getting the Nile Hydro Dam over the Finish Line

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan say they have reached a preliminary agreement aimed at clearing the way for the filling and operation of Ethiopia’s $5 billion dam project on the Nile River. The project, called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, is around 70% complete and promises to provide much-needed electricity for Ethiopia’s 105 million people. Egypt, which gets around 90% of its water from the Nile, is concerned that filling the reservoir behind the dam too quickly could significantly reduce the amount flowing into its borders from the upper Nile basin. The joint statement, released after three days of meetings in Washington on Wednesday, didn’t give details on how long it would take to fill the dam, saying only that it would start in the 2020 rainy season and occur in stages.