The Water Conflict in The Nile Valley


This study deals with the current - and the potential future - conflict about the water crisis between countries of the Nile Valley, which could escalate even more fiercely during the next 20 years. The study will discuss the crisis of (ligitimate and aquired) water rights and illustrates the differences between the countries of origin and those of estuary which stick to the international treaties that had been signed by those countries or by the colonial countries on their behalf, acted as their proxy during the colonialism era. While the countries which became independent later on, claiming that those treaties are obsolete, Egypt regards them still valid, and the independent countries are still bound by those treaties, therefore they are bound to honor them until new treaties are written up to deal with the crisis.

The study consists of five chapters, supported with tables, maps and appendices.


Chapter one:

This chapter illustrates the topography of the River Nile and the most important branches and the origin of water supplies which feed it. It also covers the areas which are included in the valley in the related countries and the demographics of each country. The emphasis is on the main aspects of the water crisis and the conflict between the countries of the valley, discussing the three main areas of the conflict, interests, position and power and the possible consequences which could result from this conflict against Egypt.

This conflict forced Egypt to adopt a policy of threat and intimidation  against those countries which intend to build dams in the upper Nile to decrease the shares of waters to the countries of the lower Nile. This policy has pursued diplomatic approaches to minimize the risks of conflict and to find the means of co-operation between the countries of that region instead of confrontation.


Chapter Two:

This chapter discusses, in detail, the rational uses of the waters by the three main countries of the valley, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, in addition to demonstrating the requirements and the water resources of other countries of the Valley.

The discussion has concentrated on the different constructs built on the Nile, particularly the Aswan dam and the proposed constructions in the future in the three countries alluded above. The study has also looked at other water resources in the region such as underground water, and how to invest to make the maximum benefit from these resources in order to cover the ever increasing demands on water for agricultural as well as other needs.


Chapter Three:

This chapter sheds light on the different views of the countries of the valley and their stance from the international treaties, concentrating mainly on the differences between Egypt and Sudan, and Egypt and Ethiopia.

The international treaties related to the Nile valley have been discussed and demonstrated chronologically, referring to the organizations established by these countries to run the valley. There is also a discussion on the standpoint of these countries from the previous international treaties. The author puts his own views about theses treaties, by comparing them with similar treaties and taking into consideration the international laws dealing with such problems.


The chapter also looks at the current options available for the legislation of controlling water resources, taking into account the ethical and moral issues regarding the rights of controlling water access between these countries.

There is also a detailed discussion of the projects to develop and grow  water resources of the Nile valley from the viewpoint of the countries related and the demands of Israel to share her needs of water from the Nile.


Chapter four:

This chapter discusses the pollution problem of the Nile water, its causes and the measures which need to be taken to remove this pollution by better control on the industrial manufacturing which pours large amounts of toxic chemicals into the Nile with dangerous effects on the life of humans, animals and plants within that ecosystem.


The author has discussed in detail plans for fair distribution of water between the countries of the valley, taking into consideration the population of each country and their needs for food and water and to evaluate the constructions built, and those yet to be built, on the Nile and to take the necessary practical measures to achieve the ideal and economic uses of the water.


Chapter five:

This chapter shows the comparisons between the Tigris, Euphrates, Jordan and Nile valleys in the Middle East, and the conflicts which have arisen over the water supply in that region. With the clear use of tables and charts, the main characteristics of these valleys are illustrated.

Also the chapter shows the main international interests in the waters on the Middle East, in particular narrowing the differences between the views of the beneficiary countries, in order to diffuse the tension and to establish fair and friendly relations between them.



The supplements illustrate how the agricultural, legal and political aspects are being used in wrong ways to mislead people by making unscientific judgements.

They also include a number of tables, charts and maps of the Aquarius projects in the valley countries in order to support the scientific view by giving evidence of figures and maps to most accurate and comprehensive pictures about the Nile valley, followed by illustrations of the main reliable references in the study.


The Arabic and foreign references which relied on in this study are also included in the bibliography of the journals as well as this summary in English included for the benefit of the institutes and the centers of scientific studies about this research work.