Sudan, another war for Israel: Will Nile water go to Israel?

Medical supplies to be sent to Gaza arrive at Khartoum airport, January 2009
~~~

North Sinai Pipelines And The Politics Of Scarcity
by Ronald Bleier (rbleier@igc.org)

The
vital importance of the Nile to Egypt, the river’s furthest downstream
state, is widely accepted and well documented. Throughout recent
history Egypt has exerted the greatest degree of control over the Nile
both politically and physically. Egypt’s dominance over the Nile is a
function of the influence of colonial agreements, the shifting, yet
timely alliance and support from global superpowers, and the power of
Egypt relative to the instability of the upstream states. As a result,
Egypt has been able to make unilateral decisions regarding out-of-basin
use of Nile water.

Unfortunately some of these decisions have
put into question the responsibility and justice of Egypt’s stewardship
of Nile waters. Indeed, under the pressure of a burgeoning population,
as well as for political reasons, the Egyptian government has for two
decades embarked on a misguided program of diverting billions of cubic
meters of precious Nile water out of basin and into land reclamation
and development projects in the Sinai desert.

One of the most
costly and politically and economically dubious of these efforts is a
huge land reclamation project in the North Sinai desert called the
North Sinai Agricultural Development Project ( NSADP). The North Sinai
development is currently estimated to cost about $1.5 billion (about 5
billion Egyptian pounds) and is going forward despite the warnings of
its own environmental impact study. Since 1987 this project has been
diverting Nile water to agricultural development plots west of the Suez
Canal.                                                       More……………………….

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