Aswan Dam: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Aswan Dam.

  • The Aswan Dam is located in Egypt and it crosses the River Nile, the longest river in the world.
  • It took 10 years to build the dam and work was completed in 1970. The dam is also called Saad el Aali in Arabic.

  • During the construction process of the Aswan Dam, more than 90,000 Nubians were relocated as far as 45 kilometers away from their homes. This was meant to provide a large enough space for the completion of the dam.
  • According to studies, the Aswan Dam contributes to more than half of the total power supply in Egypt.
  • The Aswan Dam was incredibly expensive to build.
  • The Aswan Dam allowed the flow of the Nile to be controlled and its waters to be used for irrigation of crops, drinking water and to generate hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, the dam has also stopped the annual flooding of the Nile, and this has prevented the river from depositing nutrient rich silt on to the flooded areas.
  • The Aswan Dam generates up to 10 billion kilowatts per hour of hydroelectric power. This is enough electricity to run 1 million colour televisions for more than 20 years.
  • This dam was planned by British engineers but built by a different team of engineers from the Soviet Union.
  • The Aswan Dam is approximately 11,811 feet long, 364 feet high with a base of around 3215 feet.
  • Before the Aswan Dam was constructed, many Ancient Egyptian monuments (such as the statue of Ramses the Great in Abu Simbel) had to be moved in order to stop them being flooded.
  • Lake Nasser, a massive reservoir, was created by the Aswan Dam.

What next? Find out more about some of the world’s other rivers.

River Nile: Facts and Information

River Nile Fact File

Countries: The Nile flows through 10 countries: Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.

Length: 6650 km (4130 miles)

Source: The White Nile (primary tributary) has its source in either Rwanda or Burundi. The Blue Nile (secondary) starts at Lake Tana, Ethiopia.

Mouth: Mediterranean Sea

Other River Nile Facts

  • The Nile’s two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, meet at Khartoum, Sudan.
  • Egypt’s population has depended up the Nile for thousands of years. Most of Egypt’s population and settlements lie along the banks of the Nile.
  • The Ancient Egyptians called the Nile, the Great River.
  • It is the longest river in the world.
  • The drainage basin of the Nile covers about one tenth of all of Africa.
  • In 1970 the Aswan Dam was built to generate hydroelectric power and to control the flow of water for irrigation. It has had a significant impact on agricultural practices and has led to flooding and loss of sediment deposits (relied upon by the Ancient Egyptians to make the fields fertile during the summer floods).
  • Some of the largest settlements on the banks of the Nile are: Cairo, Khartoum, Aswan and Luxor.
  • The Nile River is bridged in many places
  • The northern section of the river flows mainly through an area of desert.

If you want to find out more about how the Ancient Egyptians relied upon the Nile, click here. (coming soon)

Follow this link to check out more of our River Fact Files, or discover more about some of the other longest rivers in the world.