Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil says the Nile River dam which Ethiopia is building is an "act of defiance" and stressed that Egypt will not give up "a single drop of water."

Kandil told Egypt's interim parliament on Monday that the country will work diplomatically, legally and technically to negotiate with Ethiopia over the dam.

Egypt is facing the prospect of a worsening water shortage when the so-called Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is completed.

Experts estimate that Egypt could lose as much as 20 percent of its Nile water in the three to five years needed for Ethiopia to fill a massive planned reservoir.

Last week, Egyptian political leaders caused uproar after proposing to aid rebels against the Ethiopian government and sabotaging the dam itself. Ethiopia demanded an official explanation.