Aswan Dams

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Aswan Dams


very large, complex hydraulic engineering installations in Egypt, located on the Nile River near the town of Aswan.

The old Aswan Dam is located at the First Cataract of the Nile. It was constructed between 1898 and 1902 (reconstructed in 1908–12, 1929–33, and 1960). It is about 2 km long, about 54 m high, and about 8 m wide along the crest. The volume of its reservoir is 5.5 billion cu m. In 1960 a hydroelectric power station was put into operation next to the old Aswan Dam. It has a capacity of more than 350 megawatts (MW) (producing 2.7 billion kilowatt-hours [kW-hrs] per year).

The new Aswan High Dam (in Arabic, Al-Sadd al-Ali) is located 6 km south of the old Aswan Dam. The length of this rock-fill dam is approximately 4 km, and its height is 110 m. The volume of its reservoir is over 160 billion cu m (including 30 billion cu m for alluvial deposits). Along the right bank, canals and six tunnels cutting through the rock carry water to the hydroelectric power station located at the Aswan High Dam. The maximum capacity of all 12 radial-axial turbines is 2.1 gigawatts, a production of more than 10 billion kW-hrs per year. Hydroelectric power is transmitted along high voltage lines (more than 2,500 km) to Cairo, Alexandria, and other industrial centers of Egypt.

Construction of the hydroelectric complex (the dam, the hydroelectric power plant, and the transmission lines) began in 1960 with the financial and technical aid of the USSR (on the basis of agreements dated Dec. 27, 1958, and Aug. 27, 1960). The official date for the completion of the construction was 1970. The first stage of the Aswan High Dam was completed in May 1964. Current from the first units of the hydroelectric power plant entered the power system of Egypt in November 1967. By January 1970, nine of the 12 units had been installed, and installation of the remaining ones was nearing completion. The Aswan High Dam will ensure the regulation of the river’s current for many years, protect the population of the Nile Valley from catastrophic floods, and allow the total area of irrigated lands to be increased by one-third (to 800,000 hectares) and the gross agricultural output of Egypt to be raised by 50 percent. The operation of the hydroelectric power plant at full capacity will increase the electric power base in the country by 200 percent (up to 16.5 billion kW-hrs per year), allow the old industrial centers to be extended and new ones to be created, and increase the production of artificial fertilizers and other products necessary for the national economy of Egypt.

The gigantic construction site of the new dam and hydroelectric power plant (“Eygpt’s new wonder”) became a school for Egyptian hydraulic engineers and builders. Some 30,000 Egyptians and about 2,000 Soviet specialists worked on the Aswan project. More than 3,000 different machines, including 90 heavy-duty excavators, 107 bulldozers, about 700 trucks, 50 hoisting cranes, 30 truck cranes, and other modern Soviet technical equipment were used in the construction of the first stage. In order to train national specialists from Egypt, a special training center was established in the town of Aswan with the aid of the Soviet Union.

After the completion of construction of the Aswan High Dam, an artificial reservoir 500 km long was formed south of the town of Aswan. The reservoir will flood lower Nubia to the Second Cataract (Egypt) and the northern part of upper Nubia (Sudan). The governments of Egypt and the Sudan and 50 countries under UNESCO cooperated to preserve the historical monuments in the flood zone. By 1969 the removal of the most valuable of them (Abu-Simbel, Kalabsha, and others) to another place had been completed.


Ob” edinennaia Arabskaia respublika. Moscow, 1968. Pages 199–205.


References in periodicals archive ?
We have a teenage -- and brutally imprelialistic -- Winston Churchill urging that if the temple at Philae had to be sacrificed for building the first Aswan dam, so be it.
Postscript: The Soviets built the Aswan Dam and stayed in Egypt until the 1980s.
the Viking Princess Chris and wife Angi were amazed by Egypt Hatshepshut was built by Egypt's only woman pharoah Ramses II's Sun Temple was moved 61m up a mountain to save it from Lake Nasser, created by the Aswan Dam Watch feluccas skim across the water at Aswan
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Which lake was formed by the building of the Aswan Dam on the Nile?
Lieberman is mostly remembered in Egypt for his bellicose 1998 proposal that Israel bomb the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egypt's support for Yasser Arafat.
A very important dam is the Aswan high dam, started in Egypt in 1960 near the Aswan dam built in 1902.
Israeli journalist and peace activist Uri Avnery revealed more: "He (Lieberman) once proposed bombing the huge Aswan dam, an act that would have caused a terrible tsunami-like deluge and killed many millions of Egyptians.
He has suggested bombing Egypt's famed Aswan dam in the event of war between the two countries, which signed a landmark peace deal in 1979.
When Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmad Abu Ghaeit, said that he would not shake Lieberman's hand if he met him, wherever the meeting took place, he later cited the possibility of a change in this position, if Lieberman apologized for his earlier statements, and especially his threat to strike the Aswan Dam if the event of an Egyptian-Israeli war, and his comment that President Mubarak could either visit Israel or "go to hell".
It's hardly imaginable that a government or community would knowingly sacrifice great and ancient works of art, but that's what happened in 1902 after Egypt's Aswan Dam was completed.
The Nubian samples were taken before the flooding caused by the Aswan Dam from 2 early Christian burial sites at Kulubnarti, between the second and third cataracts of the Nile River in northern Sudan.