Essay On Nile River Scarcity

1661 Words 7 Pages
Flowing or stagnant, fresh or salty, cold or warm, lake or river: water is earth’s essential resource. Responsible for the flourishing of life around the globe: this resource can also result in devastating conflict. The Nile River has given life to eleven Northern African countries for centuries. Fed by melting snow in the mountains, meager precipitation, and small tributaries (Swain 2008), this international river has always been a source of animosity. In modern times, as the climate is changing, population is rapidly growing, and as water is utilized in an increasing variety of ways, the water of the Nile River has been flooded with conflict and controversy, especially the three crucial countries of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The root problem
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Several countries in the basin already suffer from critical water scarcity, including Burundi, Kenya, and Rwanda. Egypt and Sudan are projected to experience this same stage of scarcity by 2025 (Brunnée 2008). Even now, every single country in the Basin suffers from some level of water deficiency. Human population growth is one of the key causes of water scarcity, as well as environmental degradation, in the Nile River Basin area. The total population of the Nile Basin countries was around 300 million people ten years ago and over half the population was dependent on the Nile (Swain 2008; Küng 2003). Present trends indicate that the population of only three countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, will grow to total 340 million by 2050 with the same high level of dependency on the Nile (Swain 2008). In Egypt alone the human population will grow from 62.3 million …show more content…
After a period of wars and unrest, countries in the Nile Basin began forming bilateral agreements from the late 19th century on (Swain 2008). In the early 20th century, these agreements resulted in various decisions to limit construction on the river and to restrict storage of Nile water, especially in reference to the countries located more upstream (Swain 2008). After multiple agreements pertaining to water distribution an essential compromise was made. The 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan allowed Sudan to dam and therefore store Nile River water for flood control and irrigation (Swain 2008). containing fixed water allocation quotas for the two countries (Brunnée 2008). Egypt was apportioned a much larger amount than Sudan (Küng 2003). This agreement has been highly controversial. It did not state any routes for renegotiation or alteration in light of changing situations, did not include any equally affected countries such closely proximal Ethiopia that never recognized the apportionment, and did not necessarily give adequate water to each country (Brunnée 2008). This not only caused problems logistically but also created a foundation of distrust among the riparian countries in the coming years of unrest (Brunnée 2008). In 1967, Egypt, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda began one of the first cooperative projects between multiple countries

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