Aswan High Dam, Arabic Al-Sadd al-Ālī, rock fill dam across the Nile River, at Aswan, Egypt, completed in 1970 but officially opened in 1971.
It is one of the most important achievements that the Egyptians have done, even for many years it was a symbol of the New Era as it provided Egypt with water and electricity and secured the country of the risk of the destructive inundation.
Aswan High Dam is around 111 meters high (364 feet), 40 meters width at the top and almost 1 km width at the base.
As a result of building this dam a huge artificial lake was formed, called Lake Nasir as Nasir is the owner of the idea of building this dam. This artificial lake is the second largest artificial lake allover the world as its 500 km long, and a big part of it is inside the Sudanese borders. The creation of the reservoir necessitated the costly relocation of the ancient Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel Temple, which would otherwise have been submerged. And Philae Temple as well was relocated as the level of the water of the river Nile was raised up as well.
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 Aswan, 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.