Aswan High Dam, Egypt Tourist Attractions and Travel

1970 - After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt is completed. 


 Aswan High Dam travel, Egypt Tourist Attractions


Aswan 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 (transliterated: as-Sad al-'Aly), and the older Aswan Dam or Aswan Low Dam.


Without impoundment the River Nile would flood each year during summer, as waters from East Africa flowed down the river. These floods brought nutrients and minerals that made the soil around the Nile fertile and ideal for farming. As the population along the river grew, there came a need to control the flood waters to protect farmland and cotton fields. In a high-water year, the whole crop may be entirely wiped out, while in a low-water year there was widespread drought and Aswan High Dam Travel famine. The aim of this water project was to prevent the river's flooding, generate electricity and provide water for agriculture.

Aswan High Dam picture map, Egypt

Aswan High Dam attractions

The Aswan High Dam was designed to control the Nile River. The huge dam controls flooding and stores water for times of drought, it is equipped to provide hydroelectric power. These benefits however do not come without a price tag. Hussein M. Fahim, who has been studying the impacts of the Aswan dam since 1963, writes "I view dams as engineering works, supposedly constructed to serve people; they, of course, have their technical specifications and requirements, but their potential humanistic implications should neither be overlooked nor underestimated." Engineers and governments must carefully weigh the benefits and the Aswan High Dam Tourism cost of any new technology. Huge environmental projects such as dams must entail even more thought and consideration than a new car engine or a faster microprocessor.


Dam construction in southern Egypt, that exploits the water of the Nile.


The construction was started in 1960, and fully finished 10 years later. The Aswan High Dam became an expression of political tensions in those days — financed by the help of the Soviet Union, a few years after the war inflicted upon Egypt by Israel, France and Britain. Of the total cost of US$1 billion, about 1/3 seems to have been a gift from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union provided 400 technicians for the work. The lake that grew gradually from the construction, is called Lake Nasser, in honour of the president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who died the year the dam was finished.


 Aswan High Dam tourism


The embankment is 111 metres high, with a width of near 1,000 metres. Lake Nasser is 480 km long and up to 16 km wide. The power station has a yearly output capacity of 2,1 gigawatts, but the full capacity cannot be realized because Lake Nasser's water level is lower than optimum.Angkor Wat


Nearby, about 6 km north of the High Dam, lies the older Aswan Dam, from 1902. This was modernized in 1960, and is also producing electricity.


Located near Aswan, the world famous High Dam was an engineering miracle when it was built in the 1960s. It contains 18 times the material used in the Great Pyramid of Cheops.  The Dam is 11,811 feet long, 3215 feet thick at the base and and 364 feet tall. Today it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt and, together with the old Aswan Dam built by the Aswan High Dam Travel British between 1898 and 1902`, 6km down river, wonderful views for visitors. From the top of the two Mile long High Dam you can gaze across Lake Nassar, the huge reservoir created when it was built, to Kalabsha temple in the south and the huge power station to the north.


 Aswan High Dam attractions


The High Dam created a 30% increase in the cultivatable land in Egypt, and raised the water table for the Shara as far away as Algeria.  The electricity producing capability of the Dam doubled Egypt's available supply.


The High Dam added an whole new aspect to Egypt, and a new environment as well.  The lake is some 500 miles long and at the time it was built, if not now, was the world's largest artificial lake.


  Aswan High Dam tourism


The High dam was actually the second dam at Aswan, the first one having been built in 1889. At the time Egypt was controlled by the British and they were interested in increased irrigation capabilities for cash crops, such as cotton. Due to the irregular flooding pattern of the Nile river and increased water demands, the dam had to be raised on 2 occasions (1912 and 1933) in order to ensure its continued usefulness and safety. When debates began again over raising the Aswan High Dam Attractions dam a third time, suggestions were made to possibly build a new super dam.


It wasn't until Egypt experience a revolution in 1952 that the political climate allowed the feasibility of a new dam to be properly studied. The new dam, the Aswan High Dam, was a technical marvel, being "5 kilometers long at its crest, and 1 kilometer thick at its base, and rises 107 meters above sea level." With the dam's hydroelectric capabilities, the Egyptian government strives to obtain the maximum benefits available from every gallon of water that flows down the Nile.


 Aswan High Dam travel


And, while most people would agree the flood control and the electricity the dam provides helps economic growth, the cost of these benefits must also be examined. When the Aswan Dam was built, the country of Nubia was flooded. The Egyptian government made arrangements for the Nubians to be relocated, but their lifestyle was destroyed. In fact many of the nomadic tribes in the area were not warned of the changes that would be happening to the river, which affected their routines in caring for their livestock. Prior to the Aswan High Dam Tourism appearance of Lake Nasser, as the northern part of the reservoir created by the dam is known, the Nubians cultivated plots along the shore. Those areas are now completely underwater. Many people have left the settlements that were created for them and returned to the lake's edge, trying to recreate their lost culture.


 Aswan High Dam, Egypt Tourist Attractions


Dams, like any other technical "advancement", need to be analyzed not only on the basis of their perceived economic benefits and their dollar cost, but also on their environmental, and social impacts as well. The question we should pose as we strive to better the world is not "can we", but "should we?"

Tourist Attractions
Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved.