Our major new framing of the future of the Nile is presented in Nature Communications. We analyze the impacts of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during three ‘eras’. The first era is the filling process of the GERD Reservoir; second era is a New Normal that could govern the perceptions in the Basin after the GERD Reservoir is filled; and third era is the implications of a multi-year drought similar to that which occurred in the 1980s. Perceptions of the benefits and the risks are highlighted in each of these eras, and provides an urgent call for policy makers to seek an compromise and agreement long before a critical drought condition arises.

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