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Report to the Atkinson Center on the Topical Lunch of the International Water Group Fouad Makki (Development Economics) led a discussion with students and faculty concerned
 

Summary: Report to the Atkinson Center on the Topical Lunch of the International Water Group
Fouad Makki (Development Economics) led a discussion with students and faculty concerned
with international water issues at a Topical Lunch hosted by the Atkinson Center and the
International Water Group on Tuesday, October 25th
. Professor Makki's introduction, entitled
"Large-scale Land Acquisitions in Contemporary Ethiopia: Implications for Water," offered a
fascinating overview of the historical and political events that led to the large-scale acquisition of
agricultural land by foreign and local investors in Ethiopia. He reminded the audience of the
recent nature of the so-called "land grab" in his country, most of which has taken place since
2008. Concerns about the effects of this sudden change in land-use on inhabitants of the
Ethiopian lowlands, on biodiversity, and water have been voiced by national and international
organizations but ignored by the government. Ethiopia plays an important role among the
riparian nations of the Nile Basin since of 84% of the Nile's water originates in the Highlands of
Ethiopia. The construction of a large dam in Ethiopia is causing concern to downstream
countries, but recently the new Egyptian administration has entered into discussions with
Sudanese and Ethiopian delegations about the future of the Nile.
The audience for Professor Makki's discussion was broad and included a large number of
students. This was pleasing but in talking with Professor Di Salvo following the presentation, it
was clear that there is a need for a more active water research team on the campus. The
international water group, led by Steenhuis and Holst-Warhaft, will draw up a list of research

  

Source: Angenent, Lars T. - Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

 

Collections: Renewable Energy; Engineering