Aswan “Nubia Egypt” is a wonderful city in Egypt. In Aswan, you can find many temples and monuments. Most of the temples in Egypt are on the banks of the Nile River. The annual flooding of the Nile since ancient times turned the nearby lands of the Nile into fertile land but because of the rising flood levels, the crops were lost.
Then the temples sank completely. That is why it was necessary to build a dam to save the temples that are on the banks of the Nile. The High Dam is very important not only as a tourist destination, but it is also important in the life of the whole country.
The History of the Aswan High Dam
In 1889 the construction of the first Aswan Dam “the Lower Aswan Dam” was started. The Low Dam was completed in 1902. The Low Dam was 54 m high and later increased its height in two phases; from 1907 to 1912 and from 1929 to 1933.
In 1946 the Low Dam was about to overflow so they decided to build another dam 8 km upstream. In 1952 the construction of the new “High Dam of Aswan” was started during the time of President Gamal Abd El-Nasser. At first, the United States offered a loan of $270 million but it was withdrawn until mid-1956.
In 1958 the Soviet Union (at the height of the Cold War) offered a $1.12 billion loan at 2% interest. The construction of the High Dam was completed in 1970.
The Construction of the Aswan High Dam
The High Dam is located 13 km south of Aswan. It is 3600 m long and 111 m high. The base is 980 m wide and the summit is 40 m wide. From the construction of the High Dam, Lake Nasser was derived which is considered the largest artificial lake in the world. Lake Nasser is 500 km long, 16 km wide, and occupies 6 thousand m2 of water.
The Benefits of the Aswan High Dam
Economic impact; the High Dam created a new fishing industry around Lake Nasser The Dam has 12 generators of 174 megawatts each so it is considered an important source of hydroelectric production that is half of the electricity needed by all of Egypt.
Ecological impact; the construction of the Dam has effects on the balance of the millennium, which would have on the fauna, flora, and the economy of the inhabitants. That’s why animal species disappeared.
-Great number of the Nubians (almost 90 thousand) lost their houses due to the flooding of the Nasser Lake after the construction of the High Dam.
What are the negative effects of the Aswan High Dam?
The negative impact of the High Dam is that due to filtration and evaporation processes, there are losses of about 12% to 14% of the reservoir’s annual contribution, and there has been a decrease in storage capacity due to the accumulation of sediments from the Nile River, which have filled the reservoir. Another environmental consequence is that the ecological impact on the fauna and flora downstream of the dam was not considered at the time of its construction. These consequences have been numerous, such as excessive sedimentation upstream as mentioned above, erosion downstream due to retention of the flow, the disappearance of animal species that migrated along the river, salinization of the Nile delta due to the salty waters of the Mediterranean Sea penetrating the land from the coast to the mouth.
In addition, there has been an impact on the economy of the villages and their inhabitants because farmers have been forced to use almost a million tons of artificial fertilizers as a substitute for the nutrients no longer provided by the flood and the sediments it carried, which are polluting the river. Chemical pesticides are contaminating the river. Likewise, there has been a decrease in the fishery, affecting the economy as well.
Aswan with Jakada Tours Egypt
Aswan has many wonderful destinations that attract many tourists like the Unfinished Obelisk and the Temple of Philae. You can also visit the attractions of Luxor and Aswan while enjoying the wonderful views of the pure Nile by cruising on the Nile or book your vacation from our Egypt travel packages to explore many details.