Location: Aswan, Egypt
Finished: 1970 at a cost of $1 billion
Reservoir Capacity: 5.97 trillion cubic feet=the worlds third largest reservoir
Planned by a team of British engineers but was built by a team of Soviet engineers.
Before the dam was built, the Nile River overflowed its banks once a year and deposited 4 million tons of alluvium on the valley floor, making Egypt’s otherwise dry fertile. But there were some years when the river did not rise at all, causing widespread drought and famine.
The ain of the Dam is to captures floodwater during rainy seasons and releases the water during times of drought. The dam also generates electric power — more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours every year.
Unfortunately, the dam has also produced a number of negative side effects. In order to build the dam, 90,000 Egyptian peasants had to move. To make matters worse, the rich silt that normally fertilized the dry desert land during annual floods is now stuck behind the dam. Farmers have to use about one million tons of artificial fertilizer as a substitute.