Aswan high dam

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The Aswan High Dam

The Aswan High Dam is found at Aswan in Egypt. Egypt is in the continent of Africa. The dam is located 4 miles south of the old Aswan Dam.



  • The Aswan High Dam is 3600 metres long and 111 metres high.
  • The Soviet Union helped the Egyptian government to build the dam.
  • The Aswan High Dam has 12 turbines which generate over 10 billion kilowatts of electricity every year.
  • Construction started on the dam in 1960 and it was completed in 1971.
  • The Aswan High Dam took 11 years to build.
  • 30 000 Egyptian people worked day and night to build the Aswan High Dam.
  • Lake Nasser was created behind the Aswan High Dam. It is the largest artificial lake in the World (310 miles in length). It is named after Gamal Abdul Nasser, the former President of Egypt.
  • Advantages of the Aswan High Dam
  • 1) The dam has meant that there is plenty of fresh and clean drinking water for the people of Egypt. They get their drinking water from Lake Nasser.

    2) The Aswan Dam is also a hydro-electric power station. It has 12 turbines or engines which produce 10 billion kilowatts of electricity every year. The water from the river Nile turns the turbines and makes electricity. The electricity is taken from the dam by cables and is used in factories and home all over Egypt. People use the electricity for cooking, lighting, watching television and many other activities.

    3) Water from Lake Nasser is pumped into people's homes all over Egypt and is used for washing, drinking and in washing machines.

    4) Factories also use the water for cooling and for making things.

    5) Bigger boats can now travel down the River Nile. These boats carry cargo and people who are on cruises. The Aswan High Dam has made the River Nile more navigable. Navigable means that boats can use the river.

    6) The Aswan High Dam keeps the depth of the water in the Nile at the same level throughout the year. There are gates in the dam. If the river level is low, more gates can be opened to let more water from Lake Nasser into the river Nile. If the river level is high, then some of the gates can be shut so that the water level can return to normal.

    7) Farmers use water from the River Nile to irrigate their crops. Before the Aswan dams were built, the River Nile used to flood every year. No-one knew exactly when the flood would occur. Now, the Egyptian government can flood the land when they need to.

    Disadvantages of the Aswan High Dam

    1) The land of Nubia had to be flooded to create the reservoir, which is 310 miles in length. Religious buildings, homes and cemeteries have been lost. They were photographed before the land was flooded.

    2) 10 000 people had to move from their homes in Nubia to other places in Egypt. Some of the people did not want to move house.

    3) Sometimes the Aswan High Dam gets blocked by silt and mud. It has to be cleaned, which is expensive. The blocked silt and mud can also create diseases in Lake Nasser. If people drank this water they would become ill. The water has to be cleaned before it is suitable to drink.

    4) The temples of Abu Simbel had to be moved. This took a long time, as each stone had to be removed individually.

    5) Some of the water from Lake Nasser is lost every year (about 15%). This is because some leaks through the dam and the rest is lost by evaporation. This is a waste of water.

    6) The Nile delta is becoming smaller. This is because the Nile no longer carries any sediment and pebbles downstream from the dam. The pebbles and sediment get stuck behind the dam. Wildlife is losing its home because the delta is shrinking in size.



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