Research Article // Water-food-energy nexus for transboundary cooperation in Eastern Africa
By Hamdy Elsayed and colleagues. This paper proposed a WEF nexus-based simulation framework to analyse cooperation opportunities as well as understand associated risks with a multi-reservoir system in shared river basins. The authors developed a mechanism to achieve cooperation on the ground through a joint operation of system reservoirs where agreed additional water volumes could be released from an upstream reservoir to downstream users when needed assuming that countries collaborate to mitigate potential drought related risks.
Figure 1 | The Nile River Basin, NBI (2012)
Establishing cooperation in transboundary rivers is challenging especially with the weak or non-existent river basin institutions. A nexus-based approach is developed to explore cooperation opportunities in transboundary river basins while considering system operation and coordination under uncertain hydrologic river regimes. The proposed approach is applied to the Nile river basin with a special focus on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), assuming two possible governance positions: with or without cooperation. A cooperation mechanism is developed to allocate additional releases from the GERD when necessary, while a unilateral position assumes that the GERD is operated to maximize hydropower generation regardless of downstream users' needs. The GERD operation modes were analysed considering operation of downstream reservoirs and varying demands in Egypt. Results show that average basin-wide hydropower generation is likely to increase by about 547 GWh/year (1%) if cooperation is adopted when compared to the unilateral position. In Sudan, hydropower generation and water supply are expected to enhance in the unilateral position and would improve further with cooperation. Furthermore, elevated low flows by the GERD are likely to improve the WFE nexus outcomes in Egypt under full cooperation governance scenario with a small reduction in GERD hydropower generation (2,000 GWh/year (19%)).
Elsayed, H., Djordjevic, S., Savic, D., Tsoukalas, I., & Makropoulos, C. (2022). Water-food-energy nexus for transboundary cooperation in Eastern Africa. Water Supply.
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