Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Water Management Models in Practice: A Case Study of the Aswan High Dam

Authors


Abstract

The stated purpose of this volume is the development and evaluation of operating policies for the Aswan High Dam and their relation to the development of water resources policy in Egypt. That objective is admirably fulfilled through discussions of water use in Egypt and the operation objectives of the High Dam, the behavior of the physical system and simulation of the reservoir, a realtime management model of the dam, management of water shortages and trade-offs between major uses, and coordinated operation of the dam with new upstream as well as downstream developments.

The High Dam has been a source of controversy, particularly with regard to its environmental impacts. Its adverse effects include changes in the water table and attendant salt buildup in irrigated areas, excessive growth of aquatic plants below the dam, shoreline erosion, and increases in water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis (bilharzia). The dam was intended to offset rapid population growth by increasing food supplies through the transformation of irrigated land in southern Egypt from seasonal to perennial cultivation and by providing water for the reclamation of desert land. Unfortunately, such benefits have been outstripped by the rapidly growing population, and water shortages will be experienced by the end of the century.