The High Dam is one of the most important Egyptian achievements during the last century. It was the new Era’s symbol of the 1952 revolution. It saved Egypt from flooding and provided it with water and electricity. It is 111m high, 3.5km in length and about 1 km wide. It has a hydroelectric plant, with six turbines, capable of producing 2.1 million kilowatts and this is the reason why it is considered one of the most important Egyptian sources for electricity and water. The total investment in order to construct such a huge project cost $1bn. It provides water for around 33,600km of irrigation land. It required some 44 million cubic meters of building materials and a workforce of about 34,000 people to be built. The High dam also has 12 Francis turbines, with a capacity of 2,100 MW to supply electricity for industrial and household use.
The History of the High Dam
The Great President Gamal Abd El-Nasser ordered to build the High Dam after the revolution in 1952 but he was met with the western refusals to co-operate and that’s why he turned to the Soviet Union for their technological and financial support. The work started on January 9th, 1960 and it was completed in 1971 in the spring.
Lake Nasser was the result of the High Dam construction, which is an outstanding lake between Egypt and Sudan. It is the largest manufactured lake. The Egyptian Government made a great effort to save the Nubian monuments from the damage caused by the rising level of water.
The Benefits of the High Dam
The High Dam was mainly constructed to regulate the flow of the River that resulted in supplying irrigation water for all parts of Egypt for the whole year. It also contributed to increasing tourism by having the chance to navigate across the Nile River during Nile cruise packages. Its water is used to feed 12 power turbines. Let’s divide the impacts of the High Dam into categories:
The Economic Impact
The great High Dam has provided the ability for human beings for the first time to control the annual Nile flood. It uses now the floodwater to irrigate thousands of acres, to improve navigation around Aswan, and supply the country with a huge amount of electricity. It also increases groundwater levels. It helped in the generation of hydropower and it caused an increase in industrial activities and diversities because of the availability of electricity. The High Dam contributed a lot in increasing the agricultural land.
The Social Impact
The High Dam gave the country peace and stability because of the economic activities and the higher standard of living. It has also benefited in the settlement issues. It provided huge opportunities for youth to raise their social standard up while finding new job offers.
The Biological Impact
The High Dam led to the incidence of schistosomiasis and it’s one of the negative impacts. It helped in the implications of fish production and has changed the flora fauna.
The Physical Impact
The great High Dam helped in the reclamation of the desert for human beings that helped a lot in the agricultural process. It changed the soil salinity and water logging. It changed the flow in the Nile both upstream and downstream of the dam. It caused sedimentation in the River Nile and Lake Nasser.
Great Facts about the High Dam of Aswan
- More than 90,000 Nubians were relocated as far as 45 kilometers away from their homes during the construction process.
- The construction of the High Dam took about ten years until it was completed in 1970, that you can witness during your luxury Egypt tours
- A polymath and engineer who is called Ibn al-Haytham were given the task of regulating the flooding of the Nile by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah.
- In 1912, a Greek-Egyptian engineer Adrian Daninos presented a plan for constructing the high dam, but King Farouk didn’t like the idea.
- Gamal Abd El-Nasser was the one who really wanted to store the water of Egypt through constructing the High Dam.
- Soviets offered President Gamal $1.12 billion to construct the dam as he needed support.
- The Dam also protected Egypt from the droughts that devastated East and West Africa in 1972–1973 and 1983–1987.
- It crosses the River Nile, which is the longest river in the world.
- It provides about half of the total supply of power in Egypt.
- It generates about 10 billion kilowatts per hour of hydroelectric power.
- This magnificent construction was planned by British engineers but was built by a different team of engineers from the Soviet Union.
- Before it was constructed, many Egyptian monuments had to be moved so that they aren’t affected by the flood just like Abu Simbel that had to be moved so that it stays as it is but with the construction of the High Dam everything changed to be better.
- Lake Nasser was constructed by the High Dam.