Will Damming This River Lead to War?


The Blue Nile. It’s one of the most important rivers
on the entire planet. Hundreds of millions of people rely
on this water to survive. Without it, Egypt couldn’t exist. Sudan couldn’t exist. But unfortunately for them, this river doesn’t
start in Egypt. Nor does it start in Sudan. It starts here, in Ethiopia. And Ethiopia is about to build the biggest
dam that Africa has ever seen. Resource wars aren’t new. Wars for water aren’t
particularly new, either. Controlling a river has always been important,
especially in regions plagued by desertification. But now that modern nations are starting to quantify
the value of being the source of that river, regions that are at the top of the world’s most important waterways are starting to realize just how much money there
is in controlling this resource. All it takes to turn the Blue Nile green
is a dam. And that’s exactly what they’re doing. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is one of the largest architectural projects ever undertaken in Africa. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that
it’s among the most important undertakings this region has ever seen in all history. Once completed, it will be the largest dam
on the continent, and the seventh largest on Earth. It will hold a reservoir of water three times
the size of the nation’s largest lake and produce more electricity than
any other single national source. While some have rightly criticized it for overengineering and propagandistic output expectations, nobody’s questioning if the building of this dam will be
a massive step up for Ethiopia. That is, if their neighbours
let them build it at all. Because for all its upstream benefits, some of those living downstream are seeing little but problems. For Sudan and Egypt, the Blue Nile could
not be more important. Depending on the time of year, it accounts
for between 50 and 80% of all water flowing through those desert nations. If it were to stop today, a hundred and fifty
million people would lose their jobs in an instant, with another hundred and fifty million
following close behind. It would be more than just a pinch
to their wallets. It would effectively dry them out. Large numbers of people
would almost certainly die of thirst. There’s little question that their governments would collapse in the face of such an unprecedented change. That said, it doesn’t have to be
entirely negative. There are ways to make
this dam work for everybody. After all, the Blue Nile doesn’t flow
the same all year round, it’s highly seasonal and sees a vast majority of its water arrive
during the rainy season. To put it simply, that means repeated, overwhelming
floods for any community that lives on its shores. And in Sudan they’ve already built
two smaller scale dams just to control the river
as it heads through their territory. They’re publicly on board with the Ethiopian project, because it seems likely to help control
that flooding further. But for Egypt, the story is more complicated. Many of their farmers rely on the floods. Inland farms that only receive
water during the bulge have for thousands of years come to count on that natural destructive power to give their crops life. While the cycle may not be perfect, it is a cycle that hundreds of thousands have built their lives around. Even if in the long-term it would be safer
and more reliable for people living in its wake, in the short-term it can be devastating. So, naturally, they’re going to fight it. Because the important question here is not
whether or not Ethiopia should build a dam, but how to deal with a river that crosses
international boundaries. This isn’t just a problem of the Blue Nile. It’s a problem that’s repeated around
the world, and as water is becoming more scarce, more polluted, and more valuable, upstream nations
are finding themselves in tough geopolitical positions. Ethiopia needs electricity. In our first five days here, we saw power outages
due to brownouts at least two dozen times. And that was in the capital. For a country that’s trying to change
from agriculture to industry, they need all the energy they can get. This dam is Ethiopia’s best bet
to grow into the future. But, as I’ve mentioned, if they build it, and raise their economy to the heights they want it to achieve, they will be doing so at the expense of a more historically powerful nation. Egypt, for all its stumbles over the last
few decades, is still a strong regional power. Beyond their theoretical military might,
the Suez Canal gives them political muscle
over nations an entire world away. There are more countries looking to please
Egypt than there are Ethiopia. In light of this, they aren’t just going to let Ethiopia
take away their economy to build their own. They aren’t going to willingly hand over
the keys to their stability to a nation that they can’t control. If all it takes in theory to cause a historic flood
in Egypt is for Ethiopia to open a single gate, and all it takes to dry them out is to close it, that forces a huge amount of trust
between the two nations. And I’ve rarely seen two nations acting
with that much faith for long. Considering that the dam is being built
almost exactly on the Ethiopian border, it seems almost purpose-built to be used
for geopolitical intrigue. Opening and closing the gates would do
little harm within their own borders, but would have devastating
consequences downstream. For all else that it will be, the dam is
an undeniable flashpoint for war, and Egypt is driving that point home
at every opportunity. In 2013, in talks with the president of Egypt,
political leaders from around his country discussed how they were going to destroy
the dam upon completion. Inspiring rebel groups from
inside Ethiopia to bomb it. Many just said that it was television cameras
catching them off-guard, but to others it seemed like political maneuvering, letting Ethiopia know what was on the table
if they didn’t come back and bargain. So what is Ethiopia to do? Being upstream comes with benefits,
but this sword has two edges. When Sudan and Egypt build dams,
they don’t need permission from those upriver. They just build
what they wanted to build. But Ethiopia doesn’t have that luxury. If they fail to manage the resource in a way
acceptable to their neighbours, they might wake up one day and watch the continent’s
most impressive piece of infrastructure floating downstream as a pile of rubble. Deciding who controls a river is more complicated
than where it starts and ends, especially when that river is vital to the survival
of entire nations. Considering their neighbours have already
built dams in their own territories, it would be hard to say that Ethiopia
has no right to do the same, but right and reality are
not always on the same side. But when push comes to shove,
don’t be surprised to find that Egypt eventually stops barking
and starts to bite. The water wars are beginning, and anyone
who has gone without it for a couple days knows that man is not humanity’s worst enemy. Thirst is. This is Rare Earth. I’m gonna start pointing.
You like my point? Ethiopia needs electricity… [laughing]
I’m gonna do that.

100 thoughts on “Will Damming This River Lead to War?

  1. 12- wind turbines to generated electricity could also suckers moisture to make water + alot of Waters

  2. 13- in USA 🇺🇸 we burn chemical at the peak of the mountains
    To makes rainy rainy
    So much Waters

  3. 15-In USA 🇺🇸 + Japan
    They using charcoals to filter out Waters from sea Waters

  4. 16- in Vietnam we plans the millions Waters melon and coconut trees to gets Waters

  5. Ethiopia is a name of ancient Africa.Get back and open the pages of history. Ethiopia as representative of Africa had shown it's mighty to Egypt in 8 B.C. as well as twice in 18 century.Now, Every one knows there are lots of ugly propaganda spewing from Egypt, which is sad.Suffice, let the Egyptian wake up and know that patience of Ethiopians should not taken as weakness. Again, I refer you to history, I mean you have been defeated and know you were assisted by American mercenaries when you come for the second time in 18.century. As an African, I am giving you my advice to live in peace and cooperation Ethiopia. If you refuse and come to fight and destroy the dam.First, know Ethiopians will destroy Aswan dam, Second, will fight to the end to stop the flow of Abbay to the land of Egypt accupied by the Arabs.The choice is in You hands.You can lose it or enjoy it.

  6. You sound like you a pro Egypt and Ethiopia has no right to use its resources. Ethiopia has every right to improve its economy

  7. Africa – a huge nation with a large population and still many natural resources. As we moved in to the future, all of Africa will become a major the focal point of world

  8. The hypocritical Banksters once again have position themselves to exploit a resource that is not to be owned. There exist multiple solutions for this man made problem including miny hydro electric turbines that could be placed all along the river to provide energy or Ethiopia is a dessert which has lots of Sun hello solar energy. We humans can always solve problems without war given if we take beneficial actions to avoid them. But the British Banksters want war and are completely indifferent to life so we get what we have here which is the way the Banksters want it so they get it.Balance and harmony for a United Earth with out The British Banksters attacks.

  9. DAMS cuses floos and wine one brackets it a drster and nather dos not goin LIGHT YOU keep THEAR up the RIVER'S and the toexion in the RIVER'S edge to poison the people a ROCK SLIDE IS COMNG IN to this county and the RIVER'S will BE turend to the WEAST WINDS GOIN BELOW UP THE rivers and the the rock's are GOING BLOCK of THE HIGHEST quality of THE KINGS WATER and THE lower classes people this GET the chance to see what they have not seen in 1000 year's and you all get cult OFF and THE POOR PEOPLE going to rise UP and the kings of the nationes destroy

  10. Seems if they depend upon the "rainy seasons", then they would really want solar, wind system as well.
    Do the project in a manner in which it doesn't totally halt water flow. Take longer to fill your pond, then you have less stress on both sides.
    But… Man is too impatient, especially when hot and thirsty.

  11. EGYPT President doesnt care snd its working as a puppet president, his moder was a jew..

  12. And again, another awesome commentary. Thank you for the knowledge

  13. Petro dollar blue print Monte Santos seed infection oil vinager economy salad

  14. Maybe Egypt could put up solar panels and sell some of that power upstream in exchange for some dam consessions? Mutual Mass Cooperation?

  15. You might be the first westerner to take an interest in this. Thanks for that.

    The problem here, is mostly due to the ineptitude of the Egyptian nation. For the past century or so, the country has mired itself in pointless regional conflicts against powers it had no chance of beating as opposed to investing in it's own infrastructure, food and water security.
    Even now and despite their economic crash, if they wanted to, they could easily build enough solar desalination plants to cover the entire country's water needs. Sunlight and sea water aren't exactly in short supply nor is the technology all that advanced.
    But they won't because the government of Egypt is, in effect, a few petty squabbling extended families loosely herded together in the same pen by a strongman from the military whose sole ambition is to establish his own family among the herd. None of them are motivated by the progress of the nation since they all assume it will last forever regardless of their actions. All of them are out for the security of themselves and their kin.
    Indeed, a once venerable quality in family loyalty has deformed into Egypts greatest vice, nepotism.
    And it has roots embedded in every level of society.
    The population itself will never do anything about it because the ones that want to stay, care more about the maintainance of Islamic traditions (which are very partial to the tribalism of the day) than the honest pursuit of a better nation.
    When confronted on this, whether a leader or an average citizen, the quintessentially Egyptian response is to swear by the fantasy that some other party is causing the problem.
    Depending on who constitutes them, "the people" will blame the government, the rich, the mullahs, the minorities, America, Israel and whomever else they can think of besides themselves.

    The fact is if the Egyptian people had ever once taken serious strides towards a stronger, more developed, independant and thereby more stable Egypt, then the effects of a long overdue dam in Ethiopia would not be so dire.

    That's the long and the short of it anyway.

  16. Yeah we want zero point technology or whatever they're using in the tr3b.

  17. The solution ought to be, calculate or measure the volume of the river and portion the water out proportional to each country's population. And lowering the birth rate is necessary all over the planet.

  18. I think the truth of the matter is you cannot always put the benefits and allow One Nation without sharing the benefits of these projects with other nations it is the responsibility of a nation to ensure the interests of all those people who depend on this river for their livelihood and for their existence quite often projects are thought to be in the interest of bringing Nations out of poverty but sometimes the consequences of those policies greatly affect the surrounding Nations and very rarely lead to the enrichment the normally lead to the enrichment of one particular nation there are winners and losers in such projects and I think the benefits need to be taken into account on the other side of the argument the document do those people who depend on these resources for the existence it seems to be our will to do good and finance such large projects I quite often can end up with advancing One Nation and the destruction of others water has always been finance finance resource in the third world's and the Middle East but to give control 2:1 group is normally the document to the many there is a debate to be had on how we can create cooperation and benefits to all the take part in such projects projects like these are much needed to stabilize many countries we resources need to be Sheared and those surrounding those countries but not at the detriment of the many by the few

  19. Why can't the people below the Dam build their dams. Enough to were the next rains come in?

  20. Turkey has done this to Iraq's "cradle of civilization". Also, the Aural Sea that turned into a dessert.

  21. All Ethiopians I've known were smart and very reasonable. Honest good people.

  22. Egypt produces electricity more than it needs, by far. how about giving us energy that we dearly need and negotiate??? or get no water from us?? fuckiingg brainless Arabs

  23. Capturing a natural resource, such as the Nile and denying its natural flow to other nations that have always depended upon it is a crime. Ethiopia should consider its neighbours and other countries that depend upon shared resources.Ethiopia do not own the Nile – they are joint custodians, and should respect their downstream neighbours.

  24. The other countries should start building thier own dams and start storing water

  25. Since Egypt believe themselves to be the master race, let them fight for water.

  26. all of this may add up to nothing !
    if global warming and planet Earth magnetic field reversal is a reality then the Sahara Desert will go back to the Lush environment that it was 5000 years ago ,
    subtropical Africa would become a desert ,
    you have left out the main troublemaker agitators in the whole situation which is the Zionist ,
    after all they have hopes to get water through the Nile to the southern of occupied Palestine in to the Negev Desert ,
    the Zionist worked so hard to split Sudan only to give them a Civil War much worse than the one they had before ,
    this is the kind of evil Africans have to deal with hopefully not for long .

  27. In essence if 300 million people are going to parish because Ethiopia wants cheap electricity then Ethiopia and is asking for a declaration of war against Egypt and the Sudan. Next time put some maps in your video because most people don’t even know where the Atlantic in the Pacific ocean are that’s how stupid they are so remember always teach at a 3rd to 4th grade level if you want to reach a lot of people because most people are dumb

  28. Flooding is a natural fertilizer. Hell, the Aswan Dam caused huge famine across Egypt. Building new dams today is totally anachronistic. They are justifiable as pumped storage power plant, but rarely anything else. African countries with huge stretches of uncultivable land should look to solar and wind. Revenues are produced earlier, the project can be run more homogenic and there are less adverse effects. And Ethiopia has the potential to building pumped storage power plants as well.

  29. We're seeing this exact same problem today, with Brazil's Amazon that the rest of us rely on.

  30. I hope Egypt don't provoke war with Ethiopia over the Nile. In the case it does, Ethiopia would crush Egypt like an egg. And rightfully so .

  31. One of the reason Egypt need so much water is their uncontrolled population explosion, don't just blame /invade Ethiopia. In recent history, Arabs do not do well in wars, unless led by foreigners.So reducing your population is the safest bet. The Chinese /N. Korea can always exploit the situation by having the Ethiopians build warehouses which they will lease and store a few scud missiles inside……..with nuclear warheads ! Go ahead and invade, or blow up their dam, anyone??

  32. From somalia I know how it feels egypt. They did this to our two rivers which comes from ethiopia. They built dams in ganane and shabelle rivers and now sometimes you can even play soccer on the river bed. While othertimes it floods very bad. But the way egypt is behaving is bad they think they can do what they want but it wont happen. If war breaks out all horn afric will fight you and we will see whay susan does. Either side with their brothers or side with the invadors egypt. But either way is not gonna be good for egypt.

  33. Building a dam doesn't stop the river, it just makes a lake. Once full output matches input.

  34. As the earth heats up and there is a lot less rain fall.

    Fresh water one day will replace money as the main currency .
    And country will go to war over it.
    And common people will kill for it.

    And the people who have it will have power as long as they can protect it.
    Because fresh water is life humans and anything that grow on land needs it to survive and even salt water needs it.

    So when we pollute our freshwater rivers and streams and creeks and under ground fresh tables and rivers.
    We are slowly but surely killing and destroying our future generations to come.
    Where only the powerful and strong will survive.
    And some countrys will vanish all together into big wast lands where nothing can survive in it and will be just a memory.

  35. Egypt could build their own dam 100 meters into their own border effectively making Ethiopia's just a reservoir unless they cooperate.

  36. All countries that have the sources of the Nile, should sign a defense pact. It may be easy for Egypt to scare just Ethiopia or Uganda but it'll be impossible to scare Ethiopia and all the East African community countries.

  37. Why not use the silos Jacob built thousands of years ago to store grain. With large food reserves in storage in Egypt, Ethiopia could go ahead and fill it`s dam.

  38. I think if Egypt would have gotten mad enough to start a war the would have done it with the several Sudan Dams built.

  39. 6:00 why can't they just fill it up extremely slowly
    and maybe a good faith supervision of someone from Egypt

  40. Something similar occurred in the SW US. The Colorado river flows through several states, and Arizona and California need that water. Allotments were allocated to give each state
    a share, and probably that is what Ethiopia should do to reduce the risk of war over water.

  41. After going to Egypt last year. Honestly they don't deserve the Nile with the amount of trash in it.

  42. You said for Sudan and Egypt the Nile couldn't be more important, Your comment resonate the colonial treaty which did not included Ethiopia . The Nile is just as important for Ethiopians. Ethiopia has every right to use their own resources. Egypt should find other ways of meeting their country's water need.

  43. for Ethiopia to wage a war is just a mater of polluting the water. Egypt had better negotiate fairly

  44. I always thought that archieology was my calling.. it moves me.. but the Rare Earth series has me reevaluating what I want… and what I can do.. thank you to everyone that has put this together… Isn't the stories of the human race something.. something indescribable.. more than breathtaking.. more than amazing..

  45. No one know Egypt rage , Egypt has the power to clear anyone from earth if only think to touch a drop of our water

  46. Egypt for 6 years and more trying to diplomaticly negotiate with the ethiopian governments but the ethipoians evading of any solutions they want to build the dam and make a high reserve of water behind the dam in a short period which will affect the Egyptian share which is 55 Billion cubic of annualy water ,Egypt demanding filling this dam in 5-8 yrs and the Ethiopians want to fill the dam in 1-2 yrs.

    The Ethiopians dosent care about the catastrophic situation which would happen to Egypt, and Egypt still seeking for a diplomatic solutions and Ethiopians evading of any meetings with Egyptians and the European Consultants .

    i guess if Ethiopians did what they want and harmed the Egyptians that would mean a 100% war ..

  47. Egypt should have reforestred its deserts long time ago, that would have established a hydro cycle, cooled down the environmental temperature thus lessening nile Evaporation and induced more rain thus establishing new ravines and water bodies….this is the problem with Arab desert mentality.

  48. It was a cool documentary but dominated by Egypt's point of view. While less than 30% of Ethiopians have electricity, and millions ravaged by famine annually, and while industries have no power to run on. Let us face it Nile is a matter of survival for both countries; so they need to learn to work together. The mumbo jumbo around military action is a sign of desperation from Egypt politicians and they now it doesn't bring a lasting solution.

  49. Egypt has been trying to demolish and destabilise the security and economy of Ethiopia for centuries for the sake of our blue Nile. They built Aswan dam and do whatever they want , however, Ethiopia struggling with poverty and drought and famine due to lack of water. Does building a dam on our own water and filling the dam little by little create any problem?
    God bless Ethiopia!!!

  50. Egypt can go to hell. They don't own R Nile. It's only that colonialist cheated to them. Ethiopia build that fucking dam. We are going to use water from L Victoria to irrigate Northern Kenya. Let the Egypt drill boreholes!!!

  51. Egypt has been spoiling for war with Ethiopia for ages. Well, I guess the EAC better start preparing for an influx in refugees again

  52. I would respect Ethiopia if they had proposed this dam before 2011, but there were two revolutions in Egypt and the removal of two regimes

    Ethiopia was given the opportunity to work in secret and force Egypt to accept fait accompli

  53. The rain falls in Ethiopia. So, they have the right to use it. It is theirs!!!

  54. As an Egyptian, Im not worried about water because either way the problem will be solved Ethiopia will have to pick which outcome they want, filling the dam in a period of 15 years or the bombing of their 4billion $ dam

  55. Well, white people are getting something to think about now. I think they look like bored because the ISIS war is over and there is no tsunami or word disaster to hang out so now they are starting wound up to create a war between Egypt and Ethiopia. Hell no,

  56. To our ethopians brothers and sisters. We dont want war we just dont want to be flooded. The argument is about the time for the dam to be filled so we dont get flooded. You have a right to build anything on your land. We just negotiation to be fair.

  57. Ethiopia: "we need energy"

    Wind, Solar, Nuclear, Thermal, Fossil Fuels etc.

    Energy can be Obtained from many methods.

    Water? Opposite.

  58. Won't be long now soon the madness will begin.
    And a lone wanderer with v8 interceptor named Max will begin his journey across the wastelands

  59. Y’all need to forget about that greedy bitch( Egypt). We got her, Let her scream 😱

  60. Consult China expertsif any possibility to divert part of the river just for Ethiopian use? And still allow water to flow to Sudan n Egypt?

  61. Egypt isn't mad about the dam. They want more flexibility when it comes to operating it.

    But Israeli and American investors are pushing against the modifications in operating the dam to ensure Egypt's water supply won't be affected.

  62. Egypt bombed that dam before in the 19s. Pretty sure they won't mind doing it again.

  63. Good luck to any nation wanting to invade Etheopia. Historically that doesn't tend to work.

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