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What the World Would Be Like If the High Dam in Aswan Didn't Exist

Updated: Aug 12, 2019




The Aswan Dam, located in Aswan, Egypt, tames the Nile River and utilizes the power of the river for a variety of social and economic causes. There are two dams on the Nile River at Aswan, the Aswan High Dam and the Aswan Low Dam, both of which work together to prevent the annual large floods from the Nile. Prior to the building of the Aswan Dam, the Nile flooded every winter, potentially destroying any crops that were planted in the fertile Nile Valley.

Mediterranean fishing and brackish water lake fishery declined after the dam was finished because nutrients that flowed down the Nile to the Mediterranean were trapped behind the dam. For example, the sardine catches off the Egyptian coast declined from 18,000 tons in 1962 to a mere 460 tons in 1968, but then gradually recovered to 8,590 tons in 1992. A scientific article in the mid-1990s noted that "the mismatch between low primary productivity and relatively high levels of fish production in the region still presents a puzzle to scientists.

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The dam powers twelve generators each rated at 175 megawatts (235,000 hp), with a total of 2.1 gigawatts (2,800,000 hp). Power generation began in 1967. When the High Dam first reached peak output, it produced around half of Egypt's production of electric power (about 15 percent by 1998), and it gave most Egyptian villages the use of electricity for the first time. The High Dam has also improved the efficiency and the extension of the Old Aswan Hydropower stations by regulating upstream flows.

The High Dam has resulted in protection from floods and droughts, an increase in agricultural production and employment, electricity production, and improved navigation that also benefits tourism. Conversely, the dam flooded a large area, causing the relocation of over 100,000 people. Many archaeological sites were submerged while others were relocated. The dam is blamed for coastline erosion, soil salinity, and health problems.



In 1955, Nasser was trying to portray himself as the leader of Arab nationalism, in opposition to the traditional monarchies, especially the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq following its signing of the 1955 Baghdad Pact. At that time the U.S. feared that communism would spread to the Middle East, and it saw Nasser as a natural leader of an anticommunist procapitalist Arab League. America and Britain offered to help finance construction of the High Dam, with a loan of $270 million, in return for Nasser's leadership in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. While opposed to communism, capitalism, and imperialism, Nasser presented himself as a tactical neutralist, and sought to work with both the U.S. and the USSR for Egyptian and Arab benefit.After a particularly criticized raid by Israel against Egyptian forces in Gaza .

in 1955, Nasser realized that he could not legitimately portray himself as the leader of pan-Arab nationalism if he could not defend his country militarily against Israel. In addition to his development plans, he looked to quickly modernize his military, and he turned first to the U.S.


Bibliography

Aswan Dam . (1970). Retrieved on August 3, 2018, from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Aswan_Dam.

Aswan High Dam | dam, Egypt | Britannica.com. (1970). Retrieved on August 3, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Aswan-High-Dam.

Aswan High Dam. (1970). Retrieved on August 3, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan_Dam.

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