High Dam - ASWAN
The Aswan Dam may refer to either of two dams situated across the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. Since the 1950s, the name commonly refers to theHigh Dam, which is the larger and newer of the two. The Old Aswan Dam, or Aswan Low Dam, was first completed in 1902 and then was razed twice, during the British colonial period. Following Egypt's independence from the United Kingdom, the High Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970. Both projects aimed to increase economic production by regulating the annual river flooding and providing storage of water for agriculture, and later, to generate hydroelectricity. Both have had significant impact on the economy and culture of Egypt. The Old Aswan Dam was built at the former first cataract of the Nile, and is located about 1000 km up-river and 690 km (direct distance) south-southeast of Cairo. The newer Aswan High Dam is located 7.3 km upriver from the older dam.
Before the dams were built, the River Nile flooded each year during late summer, as water flowed down the valley from its East African drainage basin. These floods brought high water and natural nutrients and minerals that annually enriched the fertile soil along the floodplain and delta; this made the Nile valley ideal for farming since ancient times. Because floods vary, in high-water years, the whole crop might be wiped out, while in low-water years widespread drought and famine occasionally occurred. As Egypt's population grew and conditions changed, both a desire and ability developed to control the floods, and thus both protect and support farmland and the economically important cotton crop. With the reservoir storage provided by these dams, the floods could be lessened, and the water could be stored for later release.