Collaborative management of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam increases economic benefits and resilience

Mohammed Basheer, Victor Nechifor, Alvaro Calzadilla, Khalid Siddig, Mikiyas Etichia, Dale Whittington, David Hulme, Julien J. Harou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The landscape of water infrastructure in the Nile Basin is changing with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Although this dam could improve electricity supply in Ethiopia and its neighbors, there is a lack of consensus between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt on the dam operation. We introduce a new modeling framework that simulates the Nile River System and Egypt’s macroeconomy, with dynamic feedbacks between the river system and the macroeconomy. Because the two systems “coevolve” throughout multi-year simulations, we term this a “coevolutionary” modeling framework. The framework is used to demonstrate that a coordinated operating strategy could allow the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to help meet water demands in Egypt during periods of water scarcity and increase hydropower generation and storage in Ethiopia during high flows. Here we show the hydrological and macroeconomic performance of this coordinated strategy compared to a strategy that resembles a recent draft proposal for the operation of the dam discussed in Washington DC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5622
Pages (from-to)5622
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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