Aswan Dam


Just north of the border between Egypt and Sudan lies the Aswan High Dam, a huge rockfall dam which captures the world’s longest river, the Nile, in one of the worlds third largest reservoirs, Lake Nasser. The dam, known as Saad el Aali in Arabic, was completed in 1970 after ten years of work.

Before the dam was built, the Nile River overflowed its banks once a year and deposited four million tons of nutrient-rich silt on the valley floor, making Egypts otherwise dry land productive and fertile. But there were years when the river did not rise at all, causing widespread drought and famine.

In 1952, Egyptian president Gamal Abdul-Nasser pledged to control his country’s annual flood with a giant new dam across the Nile river. His plan worked. The Aswan High Dam captures floodwater during rainy seasons and releases the water during time of drought. The dam also generates enormous amounts of electric power more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours every year. Thats enough to power one million colour television for 20 years!

When the Aswan High Dam was built, he entire temple of Abu Simbel was shifted , so it wouldn’t be flooded and destroyed when Lake Nesser filled up.

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