Aswan High Dam


Aswan High Dam
Dam across the Nile River, north of Aswan, Egypt.

Built 4 mi (6 km) upstream from the earlier Aswan Dam (1902), it is 364 ft (111 m) high and 12,562 ft (3,830 m) long. Differences with Gamal Abdel Nasser led the U.S. and Britain to withdraw their financial support of the project in 1956, whereupon Nasser turned to the Soviet Union for assistance. The dam, completed in 1970, impounds the reservoir Lake Nasser and controls the annual Nile flood, releasing floodwaters when needed for irrigation; it also enables the production of great amounts of electric power. Its construction necessitated the relocation of the ancient Abu Simbel ruins.

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dam, Egypt
Arabic  Al-Sadd al-ʿĀlī 
 rockfill dam across the Nile River, at Aswān, Egypt, completed in 1970 (and formally inaugurated in January 1971) at a cost of about $1 billion. The dam, 364 feet (111 metres) high, with a crest length of 12,562 feet (3,830 metres) and a volume of 57,940,000 cubic yards (44,300,000 cubic metres), impounds a reservoir, Lake Nasser (Nasser, Lake), that has a gross capacity of 5.97 trillion cubic feet (169 billion cubic metres). Of the Nile's (Nile River) total annual discharge, some 2.6 trillion cubic feet (74 billion cubic metres) of water have been allocated by treaty between Egypt and The Sudan, with about 1.96 trillion cubic feet (55.5 billion cubic metres) apportioned to Egypt and the remainder to The Sudan. Lake Nasser backs up the Nile about 200 miles (320 km) in Egypt and almost 100 miles (160 km) farther upstream (south) in The Sudan; creation of the reservoir necessitated the costly relocation of the ancient Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel, which would otherwise have been submerged. Ninety thousand Egyptian fellahin (peasants) and Sudanese Nubian nomads had to be relocated. Fifty thousand Egyptians were transported to the Kawm Umbū valley, 30 miles (50 km) north of Aswān, to form a new agricultural zone called Nubaria; most of the Sudanese were resettled around Khashm al-Qirbah, The Sudan.

      The Aswan High Dam yields enormous benefits to the economy of Egypt. For the first time in history, the annual Nile flood can be controlled by man. The dam impounds the floodwaters, releasing them when needed to maximize their utility on irrigated land, to water hundreds of thousands of new acres, to improve navigation both above and below Aswān, and to generate enormous amounts of electric power (the dam's 12 turbines can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours annually). The reservoir, which has a depth of 300 feet (90 metres) and averages 14 miles (22 km) in width, supports a fishing industry.

      The Aswan High Dam has produced several negative side effects, however, chief of which is a gradual decrease in the fertility and hence the productivity of Egypt's riverside agricultural lands. This is because of the dam's complete control of the Nile's annual flooding. Much of the flood and its load of rich fertilizing silt is now impounded in reservoirs and canals; the silt is thus no longer deposited by the Nile's rising waters on farmlands. Egypt's annual application of about 1 million tons of artificial fertilizers is an inadequate substitute for the 40 million tons of silt formerly deposited annually by the Nile flood.

      Completed in 1902, with its crest raised in 1912 and 1933, an earlier dam 4 miles (6 km) downstream from the Aswan High Dam holds back about 174.2 billion cubic feet (4.9 billion cubic metres) of water from the tail of the Nile flood in the late autumn. Once one of the largest dams in the world, it is 7,027 feet (2,142 metres) long and is pierced by 180 sluices that formerly passed the whole Nile flood, with its heavy load of silt.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aswan High Dam — As|wan High Dam a ↑dam built across the River Nile in southern Egypt. It is one of the largest dams in the world and is used to produce electricity and provide water for farming …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Aswan High Dam — noun one of the world s largest dams on the Nile River in southern Egypt • Syn: ↑High Dam • Instance Hypernyms: ↑dam, ↑dike, ↑dyke • Part Holonyms: ↑Egypt, ↑Arab Republic of Egypt, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Aswan High Dam — noun a large dam across the Nile near Aswan, a city in south eastern Egypt, completed in 1970, and forming the reservoir Lake Nasser. 109 m high …   Australian English dictionary

  • Aswan Low Dam — For the higher Aswan Dam completed upstream in 1970, see Aswan Dam. Aswan Low Dam Aswan Low Dam Official name Aswan Low Dam Location Egypt …   Wikipedia

  • High Dam — noun one of the world s largest dams on the Nile River in southern Egypt • Syn: ↑Aswan High Dam • Instance Hypernyms: ↑dam, ↑dike, ↑dyke • Part Holonyms: ↑Egypt, ↑Arab Republic of Egypt, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Aswan Dam — Aswan (Assuan) is a city on the first cataract of the Nile in Egypt. Two dams straddle the river at this point: the newer Aswan High Dam (Arabic: السد العالي; transliterated: as Sad al Aly), and the older Aswan Dam or Aswan Low Dam. The aim of… …   Wikipedia

  • Dam — /dam, dahm/, n. (Carl Peter) Henrik /kahrl pee ter hen rik/; Dan. /kahrddl pay teuhrdd hen rddik/, 1895 1976, Danish biochemist: Nobel prize for medicine 1943. * * * I Barrier built across a stream, river, or estuary to conserve water for such… …   Universalium

  • Aswan — [as′wän΄, äs′wän΄] city in S Egypt, on the Nile: pop. 191,000: 3 mi (4.5 km) south is a dam (completed 1902) providing irrigation for the surrounding region: a larger dam (Aswan High Dam, completed 1970) is 4 mi (6.4 km) farther south …   English World dictionary

  • Aswan — /as wahn/; Arab. /ahs wahn /, n. 1. Ancient, Syene. a city in SE Egypt, on the Nile. 246,000. 2. a dam near this city, extending across the Nile. 6400 ft. (1950 m) long. Also, Aswân, Assuan, Assouan. * * * City (pop., 1996 est.: 219,017),… …   Universalium

  • dam — dam1 /dam/, n., v., dammed, damming. n. 1. a barrier to obstruct the flow of water, esp. one of earth, masonry, etc., built across a stream or river. 2. a body of water confined by a dam. 3. any barrier resembling a dam. v.t. 4. to furnish with a …   Universalium


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