dam on Blue Nile in Ethiopia is escalating tensions in region. African Union-led talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam broke down on Monday. There are fears that filling of dam could lead to armed conflict. Ethiopia is constructing dam to supply electricity to its rural areas. It is largest hydroelectric dam in Africa and is two-thirds finished. Ethiopia has started filling dam, which has raised alarm in Cairo. Egypt views dam as "existential threat" and is concerned the dam will reduce its water supplies. Most of Egypt's water comes entirely from the Nile, particularly during times of drought.
The Blue Nile originates in natural springs above Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It supplies majority of the water for the Nile River. The Blue Nile merges with White Nile near Khartoum in Sudan. The waterway becomes River Nile from point of confluence of two rivers. Ethiopia calls the dam "existential necessity". Taxes from Ethiopian citizens have largely paid for the dam. Ethiopia's government says the dam is essential as nearly half country's population lacks access to electricity. Egypt has said it could share electricity with Ethiopia instead of dam being used. Egyptian politician said: "One nation's need for electricity is pinned to another nation's need for water."