The Technology Context – B101

The hydro electrical power of the High Dam of Egypt

Egypt has been always suffering form the Nile river floods, and because the population and the agriculture has been significantly growing along the river because of the fertile soil around it, so there came the idea of building a dam to control the floods of the river to protect the people and the farms from the danger of the floods.
President Jamal Abdul Nasser decided to build a dam in the city of Aswan which has another dam that was built in 1889 when Egypt was controlled by the British and it has been raised on 2 occasions in 1912 and 1933, when debates began again over raising the dam a third time, suggestions were made to possibly build a new super dam, on the other hand there was an international welcoming for this idea such as the USA and the UK have decided to help finance constructions with a loan of $270 million dollars, however in 1954 both nations have cancelled the offer for political reasons.
In 1958 The Soviet Union stepped in and funded the dam project and paid about the third of the total cost of the dam and also supplied the Egyptian with technicians and heavy machineries.

Specifications: The Aswan High Dam is 3,830 m in length, 980 m wide at the base, 40 m wide at the crest and 111 m tall. It contains 43 million m of material. At maximum, 11,000 m of water can pass through the dam every second. There are further emergency spillways for an extra 5000 m per second and the Toshka Canal links a reservoir called Lake Nasser, is 550 km long and 35 km at its widest with a surface area of 5,250 km and holds 111 km.

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How does it work?
it is basically an idea of blocking the river water by the dam until it creates a falling water then the water pushes the blades of the turbine at the bottom of the dam which converts the kinetic energy of the falling water into a mechanical energy then comes the generators which are connected to the turbine and when the turbine blades spins they make the generators spins also and therefore it converts the mechanical energy of the turbine into an electric energy.

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Achievements: the dam now powers twelve generators, each rated at 175 megawatts, producing a hydroelectric output of 2.1 gig watts, furthermore when the dam first reached peak output it produced around half of Egypt's entire electricity production and allowed for the connection of most Egyptian villages to electricity for the first time.
On the other hand it has also completely stopped the floods of the Nile, and created a new fishing industry around Lake Nasser , And of course it had a part in the agriculture field as it releases on average 55 billion m3 water per year of which some 46 billion m3 are diverted into the irrigation canals In Nile valley and delta, almost 8 million Fadden benefit from these waters producing on average 1.8 crop per year.

Possible Alternatives

How ever if Egypt did not build the dam, it could create the electricity by using the energy generation station as many countries do at the present, but that would Firstly cost Egypt more money and Secondly it is one of things that badly harm the environment by increasing the amount of the Methane and the Capron Dioxide in the air which has an effect for either the human beings and the animals, But the hydro electrical energy has proved that it is one of the biggest achievements as it is providing the electricity for nearly FREE and it is clean source of creating power because it does not cause any pollutions at all.

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The pie graph shows that the hydro electrical energy is the most common in the world as it creates approximately 58% of the world energy in year 2005.

Financial Effects:

Financially Egypt has faced many difficulties to build the dam because building a dam needs firstly a huge area to be built in; secondly it needs machineries, engineers, and a big number of people to work in it, and so the U.K and the U.S.A agreed to pay some of the costs of building the high dam by putting $270 million dollars into the project, unfortunately, both nations declared their promise to the Egyptian government few years later and refused to fund the project with any financial support, but the president Nasser had some communications with the Soviet Union and so they decided to supply the Egyptian by about the third of the costs of building the dam and get technician and heavy machineries.
After the constructions of dam has finished and the dam started to produce electricity, Egypt has about 60 percent of its electricity for free at the beginning and the electricity was connected to all the cities and the villages around the dam which did not have electricity before and with the time they have increased the generations of the dam until it is now covering not just the whole country but they are also exporting the electricity to many other countries such as Libya, Morocco and Syria etc, therefore Egypt has saved a lot of money that they used to spend to get the energy by using the generation stations and also get profit from exporting the energy, Secondly building the dam has let the country to control the irrigation , and therefore they made a special canals that will drive the water to the farms where it did not use to get, and by that they have improved the production of the crops, Finally the dam has completely stopped the floods of the Nile river and that was one of the main aims of building the dam.
How ever the project has also negative financial effects, because usually the Nile used to flood at least once a year and so it used to deposited fertile soil from upstream on its banks downstream, so this washed up soil was extremely fertile and renewed by it self every year at the flood season, But after building the dam and controlling the floods the farmers were forced to use the fertilisers to fertile there farms which made it more expensive for them.

Political effects

Politically: the project has risen the popularity of the president Nasser in his country and made Egypt playing a bigger role in the world by joining in a certain agreement with the countries that using a clear energy.
However it was one of the reasons of straining the Eastern and the Egyptian relations which has later caused a war in 1967 between Egypt from one side and Israel from the other side which was supported by the U.S government.

Global Perspective

Internationally the project had a good reputation and it has won many prizes like the best achievement of the twentieth century which has been chosen by the INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF THE LARG DAMS from 122 other project because of its role in saving the environment from the pollution and locally it has produced many job opportunities for the idle hands who had no job and by that it has participated in solving one of the biggest issues that Egypt is facing.

I personally believe that the high dam of Egypt was an ideal achievement of the twentieth century because of its role in protecting our planet from the pollution as well as for its political and financial role, How ever as the dam has many advantages either locally or internationally it has also caused some issues but in my opinion I believe that the successes of the high was more noticeable which made the international society accept it and try to cope with its effects.