Lake Nasser

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Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser Vista.jpg
View from Abu Simbel
Location of Lake Nasser in Egypt.
Location of Lake Nasser in Egypt.
Lake Nasser
Map showing the location of the lake
Coordinates22°30′N 31°52′E / 22.50°N 31.86°E / 22.50; 31.86Coordinates: 22°30′N 31°52′E / 22.50°N 31.86°E / 22.50; 31.86
Lake typeReservoir
Primary inflows
Primary outflows
Basin countriesEgypt, Sudan
Max. length550 km (340 mi)
Max. width35 km (22 mi)
Surface area5,250 km2 (2,030 sq mi)
Average depth25.2 m (83 ft)
Max. depth130 m (430 ft)
Water volume132 km3 (32 cu mi)[1]
Shore length17,844 km (25,735,000 ft)
Surface elevation183 m (600 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Nasser (Arabic: بحيرة ناصر Boħēret Nāṣer, Egyptian Arabic: [boˈħeːɾet ˈnɑːsˤeɾ]) is a vast reservoir in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. It is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.[2] Before construction, Sudan was against the building of Lake Nasser, because it would encroach on land in the northern part of the country, where many Nubian people lived who would have to be resettled.[3][4] In the end Sudan's land near the area of Lake Nasser was mostly flooded by the lake.[5]

Strictly speaking, "Lake Nasser" refers only to the much larger portion of the lake that is in Egyptian territory (83% of the total), with the Sudanese preferring to call their smaller body of water Lake Nubia (Egyptian Arabic: بحيرة النوبة Boħēret Nubeyya, [boˈħeːɾet nʊˈbejjæ]).[6]


Satellite image of Lake Nasser

The lake is some 479 km (298 mi) long and 16 km (9.9 mi) across at its widest point, which is near the Tropic of Cancer. It covers a total surface area of 5,250 km2 (2,030 sq mi) and has a storage capacity of some 132 km3 (32 cu mi) of water.[7]

The lake was created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam across the waters of the Nile between 1958 and 1970.[8] The lake is named after Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and the second President of Egypt, who initiated the High Dam project. It was President Anwar Sadat who inaugurated the lake and dam in 1971.[9]

Current issues[edit]

Egypt lacks the water it needs for agriculture and electricity.[10] The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, currently being constructed in Ethiopia, has caused tensions between Egypt and Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt is worried that the new dam will stop the Nile River from adequately filling Lake Nasser.[11] The water supply of Lake Nasser produces electricity, and there is concern that diminishing water flowing into Lake Nasser will adversely affect the Aswan Dam's ability to generate electricity. There are pumping stations that control the water going into Lake Nasser, and currently this project generates 10 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year to Egyptians.[12]

Sport and tourism[edit]

Fishing for Nile perch, from both on the shore and from boats, is popular.[13][14]

Before Lake Nasser was filled, as part of the International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia, many ancient Egyptian sites were physically relocated to new locations above the lake's high water level. However, some were not relocated, such as part of the massive fortress of Buhen, which is now underwater.[15] The relocation of the temples at Abu Simbel, one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Egypt, was the most publicized.[16][17]

Lake Nasser boat cruises, which include visiting the monuments and temples along the edge of Lake Nasser, are very popular. Visiting the temples at Abu Simbel is a highlight of these tours.[18]


Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lake Nasser". World Lake Database. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Aswan High Dam, River Nile, Sudan, Egypt". Water Technology. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  3. ^ Scudder, Thayer (2 September 2016). Aswan High Dam Resettlement of Egyptian Nubians. Springer. ISBN 9789811019357. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  4. ^ Sofer, Amon (1999). Rivers of Fire: The Conflict Over Water in the Middle East. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 36. ISBN 9780847685110.
  5. ^ "Governorates of Egypt". Statoids Administrative Divisions of Countries ("Statoids"). Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  6. ^ Roest, F.C.; Crul, R. C. M. (1995). Current Status of Fisheries and Fish Stocks of the Four Largest African Reservoirs: Kainji, Kariba, Nasser/Nubia and Volta. Food & Agriculture Org. p. 81. ISBN 9789251036839.
  7. ^ Muala, Eric; Mohamed, Yasir A.; Duan, Zheng; van der Zaag, Pieter (13 August 2014). "Estimation of Reservoir Discharges from Lake Nasser and Roseires Reservoir in the Nile Basin Using Satellite Altimetry and Imagery Data". Remote Sensing. 6 (8): 7526. Bibcode:2014RemS....6.7522M. doi:10.3390/rs6087522.
  8. ^ "Life-Giving Nile River (Aswan Dam, Egypt)". National Geographic. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  9. ^ Encyclopedia of Architectural and Engineering Feats. ABC-CLIO. 2001. p. 23. ISBN 9781576071120. president nasser, high dam project.
  10. ^ "Egyptian agriculture crisis worsens, mainly due to lack of water". Daily News Egypt. 27 September 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Water Politics – Sharing the Nile". The Economist. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Life-Giving Nile". National Geographic. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 5 June 2022. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Nile Perch Fishing on Lake Nasser". Trip Advisor. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  14. ^ Vartorella, Bill (2002). "Egyptology fellowship chairman shares giant fish story". The Rotarian. 180 (6): 14. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  15. ^ Gohary, Jocelyn (1998). Guide to the Nubian monuments on Lake Nasser. American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 9789774244629. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Rescuing Abu Simbel" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 November 1963.
  17. ^ "Restored Abu Simbel Keeps Ancient Grandeur". The New York Times. 10 October 1967.
  18. ^ Maroon, Fred J.; Newby, Percy Howard (1979). The Egypt story: Its art, its monuments, its people, its history. Chanticleer Press Edition. p. 42.

External links[edit]