Mon. May 20th, 2024

Nile water share among the stake holder countries.

Nile water share among the stake holder countries – by Asrat Birhanu

I received a message stating that, according to unconfirmed reports, Ethiopia was in negotiations with Sudan and Egypt in UAE regarding a claim to 18 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water from the Blue Nile.

Based on this, what would your rough estimate be?
24 Billion cubic meters!

Firstly, let’s update the population ratio. The current (2023) population in of Ethiopia is approximately 123.1 million, and the total population of all Nile Basin countries is estimated at 487.3 million.

So, Ethiopia’s share based on population would be:

(123.1 / 487.3) * 100 = 25.26%

Secondly, regarding the river flow contribution, it was indicated that contributes over 85% of the Nile’s streamflow, and 59% of the water that reaches Egypt originates from the Ethiopian highlands via the Blue Nile. However, the Blue Nile contributes 80-86% of the water of the Nile proper during the rainy season.

For this calculation, let’s take the average of these percentages:

(85 + 59 + 83) / 3 = 75.67%

To get a simple average of these two percentages, you would add them together and then divide by 2:

(25.26 + 75.67) / 2 = 50.465%

So, a rough estimate based on these two factors alone would give Ethiopia a 50.465% share of the Blue Nile’s waters.

Now, to convert this percentage into a volume of water in billion cubic meters (BCM), we can use the Blue Nile River’s annual discharge of approximately 48 BCM:

50.465% of 48 BCM = 0.50465 * 48 = 24.22 BCM

So, a rough estimate based on these two factors alone would give Ethiopia a share of approximately 24.22 BCM of the Blue Nile’s waters.

However, this calculation still has limitations. For instance, we have not taken into account the annual rainfall in Ethiopia, which ranges from 2000 mm over the south-western highlands to less than 300 mm over the south-eastern and north-eastern lowlands. This rainfall significantly contributes to the water volume of the Blue Nile. Furthermore, many other factors such as climate change, evapotranspiration, water needs for agriculture, and geopolitical considerations would influence the actual allocation of the Blue Nile’s waters

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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