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Aswan High Dam

Aswan High Dam: Miracle of Modern Construction in Egypt

The high dam in Aswan, which opened in 1971, compensates for the extreme fluctuation in the flow of the Nile waters. The continuous irrigation made possible guarantees several crops a year. On the other hand, the dam has severe environmental consequences for the ecosystem of the river oasis, including a decrease in soil fertility and salinization of irrigation areas.

The High Dam in Aswan is considered one of the most significant achievements of Egypt during the last century. For many years, he was a symbol of the new era of the 1952 revolution, providing Egypt with water and electricity and protecting the country from floods. The story of the Aswan High Dam

After the July Revolution of 1952, President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced his proposal to build the High Dam. However, it was rejected by the World Bank and the Western world, so he turned to the Soviet Union for technical and financial assistance.

The result was the current boulder-strewn structure. Work began on January 9, 1960, and the dam opened in the spring of 1971.

As a result of its construction, a large lake was formed between Egypt and Sudan – Lake Nasser. It is about 10 kilometers wide in places and 500 kilometers long: the largest artificial lake in the world! Lake Nasser also has a large number of commercially exploited fish.

Since the rising waters caused damage and loss to many Nubian monuments, the Egyptian government, with the help of UNESCO and other countries, made great efforts to save the most important monuments in Nubia.

The Great Aswan High Dam

The High Dam in Aswan is considered one of the most significant achievements of Egypt in the last century. He was the symbol of the new era of the 1952 revolution.

He saved Egypt from floods and provided it with water and electricity. The dam is 111 m high, 3.5 km long, and about 1 km wide.

It houses a hydroelectric power station with six turbines producing 2.1 million kilowatts. For this reason, it is considered one of the most important Egyptian sources of energy and water.

The total investment for such a vast project amounted to one billion dollars.

The dam supplies about 33,600 km of irrigation area with water. About 44 million cubic meters of building materials and approximately 34,000 employees were required for construction.

The High Dam also contains 12 Francis turbines with an output of 2.

The High Dam in Aswan is considered one of the most significant achievements of Egypt in the last century. He was the symbol of the new era of the 1952 revolution, and he saved Egypt from floods and provided it with water and electricity.

The dam is 111 m high, 3.5 km long, and about 1 km wide. It houses a hydroelectric power station with six turbines producing 2.1 million kilowatts.

For this reason, it is considered one of the most important Egyptian sources of energy and water. The total investment for such a vast project amounted to one billion dollars.

The dam supplies about 33,600 km of irrigation area with water. About 44 million cubic meters of building materials and approximately 34,000 employees were required for construction. The High Dam also contains 12 Francis turbines with an output of 2.

Aswan High Dam History

High Dam in Aswan

President Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered the construction of the High Dam after the 1952 revolution. Still, the required cooperation was rejected by Western countries, and they turned to the Soviet Union for technological and financial support. Work began on January 9, 1960, and was completed in the spring of 1971.

Lake Nasser is a product of the construction of the High Dam and is a prominent lake between Egypt and Sudan, the largest artificial lake. The Egyptian government made great efforts to save the Nubian antiquities from the damage caused by the rising water level.

Aswan High Dam Benefits

The High Dam was built primarily to regulate the river’s course, providing irrigation water throughout the year to all parts of Egypt. It also helped increase tourism by allowing navigation cruises across the Nile. Its water is used to drive 12 turbines.

Let’s divide the impact of the High Dam into categories:

Economic impact

The Great Dam allowed people to control the annual Nile flood for the first time. They have now used floodwaters to irrigate thousands of acres of land, improve navigation in Aswan, and provide the country with considerable electricity.

The dam also raised the water table, helped generate hydroelectric power, and caused an increase in industrial activity and diversification due to the availability of electricity. The dam did a lot to increase the agricultural area.

Social impact

The High Dam has brought peace and stability to the country due to economic activity and high living standards. It also benefited from settlement issues, and the project provided tremendous opportunities for young people to improve their social standards while finding new job opportunities.

Biological effect

The dam’s construction led to schistosomiasis (worm disease) infection, one of the adverse effects. This affected fish production and changed flora and fauna.

Physical impact

The Great High Dam helped reclaim the desert for people, which was very useful in agriculture. It changed soil salinity and water absorption, the course of the Nile River at the source and downstream of the dam, and caused sedimentation in the Nile and Lake Nasser.

Facts about the Aswan High Dam

  • Over 90,000 Nubians were moved within 45 kilometers of their homes during construction.
  • The dam took about ten years to build until it was completed in 1970.
  • The Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah commissioned a comprehensive scholar and engineer named Ibn al-Haytham to regulate the flooding of the Nile.
  • In 1912, a Greco-Egyptian engineer, Adrian Daninos, presented a plan to build the High Dam, but King Farouk did not like the idea.
  • The Soviets offered President Gamal Nasser $1.12 billion to build the dam because he needed help.
  • The dam protected Egypt from the droughts that devastated East and West Africa in 1972-1973 and 1983-1987.
  • The dam crosses the Nile, one of the longest rivers in the world.
  • It provides about half of the total electricity supply in Egypt.
  • It generates about 10 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power.
  • This impressive structure was designed by British engineers but built by a different team from the Soviet Union.
  • Before construction, many Egyptian antiquities had to be moved so they would not be affected by floods like Abu Simbel. With the construction of the High Dam, everything changed for the better.
  • The dam formed Lake Nasser.
About the author

Egypt Planners Team is a highly experienced travel agency specializing in memorable trips to Egypt. The team comprises expert travel planners and tour guides with a deep knowledge of Egypt's history, culture, and top tourist destinations.
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