The GERD Conflict: Challenges to Egypt’s Water Security

The phenomenon of conflict, within the international relations framework, has a set of intellectual theses that may contribute to the interpretation of the external behavior of states, within the priorities of national and international institutions in conflict resolution. Trying to simulate these theses is done to solve the conflict with the least possible losses. Therefore, we must understand the stage of severity of which this crisis has reached to tackle realities realistically, especially in the pre-armed conflict phases. In these earlier phases, the conflict management is broader particularly in adapting issues to pressures while retaining the ability to choose between alternatives that are available to each side involved directly or indirectly.

In recent decades, access to energy resources has become the most important form and cause of conflicts and wars and, in the future, conflicts will be about the world’s most expensive natural resource, water. Water is a strategic necessity for all people as it is the basis of life on Earth. It is associated with socio-economic development as well as food and energy production and is at the heart of climate change adaptation. Water has also become a rights issue as the world’s population increases. With the need to create a balance between community requirements and the available resources, the challenges involved in the following years will be even more pressing. While water covers 72% of the earth’s surface, all freshwater represents only 2.8% of the overall volume. Of this 2.45% of the freshwater is represented as ice-shaped and groundwater. Thus, humans have only 0.35% of the world’s total water supply1. And according to FAO* this will be reduced during the coming years due to climate change. In return, 17 countries in the world suffer from a severe shortage of water resources, 12 of them are located in the Middle East and North Africa2. Hence the importance of establishing the GERD subject, the main cause of the conflict over the Nile waters between Egypt and Ethiopia, because Egypt is coming to a real problem that will affect its water security and its existence as a state. To understand it and the impacts on Egypt’s water security, we must go back in history.