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Aswan High Dam information

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Nasser asked first of all financial and technical assistance of the USA and Great Britain, which, as a first step, agreed to help in its construction, with a loan of $ 270 million on their part. But the project was cancelled in July 1956, for reasons still unclear. A contract with secret weapons Czechoslovakia (Communist Bloc) and recognition by Egypt of the People's Republic of China are the likely reasons put forward by historians. Shortly afterwards, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, in order to finance the dam by the cost of passage. This episode gave rise to the crisis of the Suez Canal, which ended with the order of the United Nations to France, Britain and Israel to evacuate Egyptian territory, and thus the victory of Nasser. Also to build this dam, Egypt sought to be part of the Soviet sphere of influence and Nasser turned to the Soviet Union, which will assume one third of the construction and provide about 400 technicians. The Egypt then ceased to be part of the Non-Aligned Countries.

Construction of the Aswan high dam

Aswan on the Nile north of Lake Nasser construction lasted about eleven years and mobilized some 30 000 workers. Built 6 km upstream of the old Aswan dam is a huge book of 42.7 million cubic meters, 3600 meters long, 980 meters thick at its base and 40 metres at its summit and back to 111 metres. Maximum 11 000 cubic metres of water per second can pass through the gates of the dam. Moreover, in an emergency, 5 000 cubic metres per second can be discharged through the Toshka canal connecting the tank to the Toshka depression. The reservoir formed Lake Nasser, along about 550 km over 10 km wide on average (35 miles maximum), over an area of 5 250 km2 and a capacity restraints of 157 km3 of water.

The dam contains twelve electric generators of 175 megawatts each, generating 2.1 gigawatts of hydropower. The operation began Electric in 1967. When the dam reached for the first time its maximum electricity production, then it produced half of the Egyptian electricity (and even 15% in 1998) and allowed to link most Egyptian villages to the electricity grid for the first time. The effects of dangerous floods of 1964 and 1973 and drought threatening the 1972-73 and 1983-84 could be mitigated. A new industry related to fishing has been created around Lake Nasser, although its distance from markets it poses some problems.

Positiv aspects of the construction of the Aswan high dam

Powers the countries in water.

The flooding of the Nile are regulated and this allows an irrigation system throughout the year (and hence the intensification of agriculture, which ultimately leads to higher yields) and improves navigation.

The dam provides electricity to the entire country.

Aswan Dam


The Aswan High Dam was built in 1970 to 7 km north of Aswan on the Nile in Upper Egypt. It is said that he is one of the biggest in the world. Its capacity restraint east of 169 billion cubic metres of water. This places it among the largest dams in the world.


History of the Aswan High Dam

Without the Aswan High Dam, the river still inonderait The Nile every summer the fertile plains of the valley, because of the influx of waters from across Africa. These very dramatic floods have shaped the history of the people of Egypt. These floods brought nutrients and minerals (silt), which made it fertile soil of the Nile valley, and allowed farmers to their land cutivés become fertile. With the decades that have passed, we had to control the flash floods of the Nile. néLes years of "major flooding", entire crops were lost, while in years when the flood was less, the population suffered from drought and famine. The aim of this project was to control flooding, generate electricity for the country, and constitute a reservoir of water for agriculture.

Design of large Aswan dam

In 1952, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser initiated this project with the aim of making water available throughout the year, to expand irrigated areas, improve navigation on the river and produce the electricity. It will also mitigate the damage caused by floods or droughts.


























Environmental issues related to the construction of the Aswan high dam

It seems that various problems have emerged over the years since the building of the dam:

The temples of Abu Simbel of the pharaoh Ramses II have been displaced in the 1960 lakeside Nasser for not being inundated by the waters of the Aswan Dam.
A worm group acœlomates appointed bilharzie (bilharzia: underscored by Theodore Bilharz) settles in stagnant water and cause diseases (parasitage organs - kidneys, bladder, liver, spleen - causing bleeding).

The erosion and the provision of silt is more balanced, leading to the geological change of the Nile delta. The Nile flows faster than before and erodes his bed at a rate of 1.7 cm per year.

The salt water is entering a more important role in land near the delta, and the water table back.

The silt fertilisateur is retained by the dam, which involves its sedimentation and the use of chemical fertilizers to farmers.


The flow of the Nile is low, there is no longer against the current at the mouth of the Suez Canal which limited the exchange of water and fauna between the


Mediterranean and Red Sea. The emergence of new invasive species via the Suez Canal to reach the Mediterranean has increased significantly since the construction of the dam.

Having water in abundance, farmers are less and less attention to the quantities they use. This could be dangerous for the future of Egypt