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Water 2017, 9(10), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100728

Management Scenarios of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Their Impacts under Recent and Future Climates

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), RD II Climate Impacts & Vulnerabilities, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
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Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract

Close to the border with Sudan, Ethiopia is currently building the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa with a storage volume corresponding to approximately 1.5 years of the mean discharges of the Blue Nile. This endeavor is controversially debated in the public and the scientific literature. Contributing to this discussion, by shading some light on climate change issues, an eco-hydrological model, equipped with a reservoir module, was applied to investigate downstream hydrological impacts during filling and regular operation, the latter considering climate change projected by an ensemble of 10 global and regional climate models. Our results show that at the earliest after 20 months, the dam could produce hydroelectric power. Full supply level may be reached after four years or not at all, depending on filling policies and assumptions of seepage rates. Under recent hydro-climatic conditions, the dam may produce 13 TWh a , which is below the envisaged target of 15.7 TWh a . The ensemble mean suggests slightly increasing hydropower production in the future. Almost independently of the operation rules, the highly variable discharge regime will be significantly altered to a regime with almost equal flows each month. Achieving a win-win situation for all riparian countries requires a high level of cooperation in managing the Eastern Nile water resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: water resources management; Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam; Blue Nile; reservoir operation scenarios; climate change water resources management; Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam; Blue Nile; reservoir operation scenarios; climate change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liersch, S.; Koch, H.; Hattermann, F.F. Management Scenarios of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Their Impacts under Recent and Future Climates. Water 2017, 9, 728.

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