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