The Nile River has been Egypt’s major artery of transportation and communication, as well as a source of fertility and riches, throughout history. The river once provided enough clean water for home consumption, agricultural irrigation, industry, fishing, navigation, and pleasure, among other things. Egypt was the Roman Empire’s breadbasket.
Egypt is unique among the Nile basin countries in its reliance on surface water that primarily originates from beyond its borders. Egypt was given 55.5 billion cubic meters (BCM) per year under the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement with Sudan. The Aswan High Dam is the Nile’s main storage and regulation facility. It was established in 1968 to ensure Egypt’s control over yearly floodwaters and to guide their use.
Lake Nasser was created as a result of the dam’s construction. It is the world’s largest manmade lake, measuring 150 kilometers long, 12 kilometers broad, and 180 meters deep. It is vital to the fishing industry, generating 15,000 to 25,000 tonnes each year. The lake, however, has substantial evaporation, losing 10-11 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water per year.
The Nile is redirected from the main stem downstream of the dam into a vast network of canals via a variety of control devices, supplying water for agricultural and other uses. The Rosetta and Damietta are the two main branches of the river. The Rosetta is a 239-kilometer-long western branch with a width of 450-1,000 meters. Two barrages regulate the water level in the Rosetta: the Delta Barrage in the south and the Idfina Barrage approximately 197 kilometers north. The Damietta is roughly 230 kilometers long and 300 to 500 meters broad. Both the Rosetta and the Damietta branches have typical depths of 3 to 7 meters.
The Nile is 11 meters deep at its deepest point, and 2.8 kilometers wide at its widest point. This depth and width allow for pleasant water activities such as rowing, cruising, and fishing on the Nile. Travelers in Egypt may stay onboard floating Nile Cruise hotel ships for 3 nights, 4 nights, or 7 nights on the Nile.