1929 Nile Water Agreement
Under the conditions, Egypt would receive 48 billion cubic meters of water per year and Sudan 4 billion cubic meters of water. Egypt would not need the agreement of upstream states to carry out water projects on its own territories, but could veto projects on all tributaries of the Nile in upstream countries, including the 43,130-square-kilometer Lake Victoria. The world`s second largest freshwater lake is fed by direct rainfall and thousands of streams from Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, all located in east central Africa. Sudan and Egypt also signed an agreement in 1959 that shared the waters of the Nile between them. (c) Egypt therefore has 1,900,000 hectares awaiting water and ploughs; In his speech to the House of Commons on July 10, 1924, Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, then prime minister, even went so far as to say, “The Egyptian farmer can be entirely satisfied that Sudan`s independence, under the agreement we are ready for, does not mean that he will enjoy a single pint of water less than if he had it and worked it himself.” The letters exchanged on May 7, 1929 should be interpreted for the purposes of this communiqué. They certainly record a net profit for Egypt. They do so in the teeth of a neutral impartial expert who has not declared that Egypt has a legal or real arrest warrant, in equality or according to customs, to claim all the “unconseded” water that could be needed to give its 1,900,000 hectares of unpaid fertility like his. But the Balagh, spokesman for the Wafd, as the opposition close to the party is called, saw things differently and published on 18 May a long criticism of the agreement. Parliament did not meet when the agreement was signed, so one does not have the means to say what the Fellah thinks of the case.
However, a passionless analysis seems to show that the agreement, perfect or imperfect, takes a big step forward in establishing healthy Anglo-Egyptian relations and records a net benefit for Egypt. No I: Mohammed Mahmoud Pasha to Lord Lloyd, Cabinet Office (Cairo, 7 May 1929) I take this opportunity, etc. Lloyd High Commissioner The Residence Cairo, 7 May 1929 This convention still needs to be approved by all the countries of the Nile basin. Talks in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in May 2009 on this new framework for the use of the waters of the Nile broke down after Egypt refused to sign the agreement. Egypt argued that it would not approve a new framework denying it the right to 55.5 billion cubic metres of water per year and its veto power over projects that would undermine its allocation. On April 2, 2011, Meles Zenawi, then Prime Minister of Ethiopia, laid the groundwork for the construction of the Greater Ethiopia Renaissance Dam. The dam is located on the Blue Nile, in the Benishangul-Gumuz region. Shortly after the announcement, the Cairo authorities immediately launched a campaign of words against what they saw as an attempt by Addis Ababa to interfere with Egypt`s water needs. Mohamed Morsi, then Egypt`s president, angrily declared that while he did not call for “war” with Ethiopia, “Egypt`s water security cannot be violated at all,” that “all options are open,” and that Egyptians would not accept projects on the Nile that threaten their livelihoods. . .