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An introduction to the importance of the nile river in egypt

Figures 1 and 2 show the geography and the hydrological projects of the Nile River system. The Nile Basin encompasses land in nine nations: The Nile is the longest river in the world, running for 6,650 km.


Two rivers--the White Nile and the Blue Nile--join together at Khartoum to form the Nile, which then makes the long journey northward to the Mediterranean Sea. The only tributary to this final course is the Atbara River, which rises in the Ethiopian highlands, and joins the Nile about 320 km north of Khartoum.

From Khartoum north to the Egyptian border and Aswan, the gradient of the Nile is steeper than south of Khartoum, and five of the Nile's six cataracts occur on this stretch.

As measured at Aswan, the annual volume of water of the Nile is given as 84 billion cubic meters. This is a fast-flowing river during the summer of torrential rains. The southernmost source of the Nile River is in the White Nile sub-system. But the most distant origin point of the Nile waters is far to the south in the Kagera River Basin in Rwanda and Burundi, and the upper Nile flow comes from the catchment of the equatorial lake plateau.

Then, at the town of Bor, the land gradient changes, and the great swamp, the Sudd, begins. The extent of the Sudd varies greatly with the volume of water received. During the period of the great rains of 1961-64 over the equatorial lake district, the Sudd reached 29,800 square kilometers of both permanent and seasonal river-flooded areawhich is close to the size of Belgium.

At other times, the Sudd has averaged 13,100 square kilometers, still vast.

Expert Answers

There are vast chunks of sudd, some up to 30 km long. In the sluggish waters there are many varieties of malaria mosquitoes and waterborne parasites. The Sudd is almost impassable overland or by rivercraft.

  1. The river also gave them a chance to catch many fish.
  2. Quarries in the sandstone cliffs were exploited from the 18th Dynasty until Greco-Roman times.
  3. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the flood was caused by the tears of the goddess Isis as she cried for her dead husband Osiris.
  4. However, the basic fact to remember is the following.

A huge volume of Nile flow is lost to evaporation in the Sudd. The mean annual loss from evaporation from 1905 to 1980 is estimated to be 16. Waterworks Figure 2 shows the major Nile River system projects--some completed, some proposed.

  • The Nile also provided protection from attack;
  • The Nile Valley consists of the broad floodplain which flows between steep limestone or sandstone hills;
  • It is over 4,100 miles long!

At the Nile Delta, there are barrages to protect the last available river water from the Mediterranean seawater intrusion. Not shown on the diagram is a project between Russia and Sudan announced this May, for construction of a dam at Keibar 400 km north of Khartoum for irrigation and power.

The proposals for waterworks in the Sudd, and in the upper Nile lake plateau region, are either partially built, or not built at all. The route of the proposed Jonglei Canal--over half excavated in the 1980s--is shown on Figure 2. There are other swamp water diversion plans for the Sudd to the west.

Completing the Jonglei Canal alone would add significantly to the downriver Nile flow by reducing the Sudd evaporation. Likewise, the potential upper Nile waterworks in the lake plateau region have not been built. In area, it is the largest country in Africa and the ninth-largest in the world, although it ranks only 32nd in terms in population.

Sudan is over a quarter of the area of the United States. Sudan is strategically located as a cultural bridge between the Arab Middle East and the African continent, and a geographical bridge between the Mediterranean and central Africa, stretching along the Nile River system, and bordering on the Red Sea see Figure 1.

There are 2,506,000 square kilometers 966,757 square miles in Sudan, much of it with gentle terrain. There are four mountain regions: In the east are the Red Sea Hills, running parallel to the coastline; near the west is the volcanic Jebel Marra mountain range, which forms the drainage divide between the Nile and the Lake Chad basins; on the central western plains, the Nuba Mountains form scattered granite hills rising up to 1,000 meters; in the south on the Uganda border are the beautiful rain-forested Imatong and Dongotona Mountains.

The Imatong is the highest mountain in Sudan, at more than 3,000 meters. Besides its size, the geography of Sudan is notable for its diversity. Sudan has at least 81 million hectares 200 million acreswhich could easily be cultivated, which is more than half the currently cultivated acreage-base of the United States. This acreage could potentially produce crops sufficient to feed almost all of Africa. Sudan has another 88 million hectares 218 million acres suitable for forestry, and 23 million hectares 57 million acres for pasture.

However, at present, only 6. These swings would be mitigated, even without large-scale irrigation, if other inputs were available--mechanization, farm chemicals, transport, and storage capacity. Water throughput Figure 3 shows how the average rainfall bands vary from 25 millimeters a year in the desert of the north, bordering Egypt, through to 400 mm in central Sudan--similar to the North American prairies--down to 1,100 mm a year in the south, where there are swamps and rain forests. From south to north flow the waters of the Nile system, with the lower Nile formed at Khartoum by the juncture of the Blue and White Nile Rivers see previous article.

Because so much of northern Sudan is in the Saharan-Sahelian arid belt, Sudan ranks below, in absolute volumes of annual renewable water resources, geographically smaller countries located in the rainbelts of Western Africa. For example, Sierra Leone has, on average, 160 cubic kilometers a year of renewable water resources; Nigeria, 308; Guinea, 226; Liberia, 232; and Cameroon, 208. However, the total national volume of water alone is not the story.

For example, look at the Imperial Valley of southern California, where limited amounts of Colorado River water were put to efficient use, and a manmade garden oasis was created, yielding up to four crops per year in the desert sun.

Water use for industrial purposes is practically nil, which is an important consideration for development planning. Moreover, Nile River Basin waters are shared among several nations. Therefore, were Sudan to withdraw significantly more of the Nile flow, Egypt would be shorted. This is the context in which to understand what otherwise appear to be large per capita annual withdrawals of water in Sudan and Egypt. Sudan uses about 1,089 cubic meters per person per year, and Egypt 1,202 cubic meters.

But the essential source of additional water to these dry lower Nile lands is to desalinate Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Suez saltwater with cheap nuclear power, at strategic development locations on the coastlines. Limited transport grid The limited transport grid in Sudan reflects decades of deliberate non-development under imperial British rule, and its continuation under the postwar regime of the International Monetary Fund and World An introduction to the importance of the nile river in egypt see Figure 4.

There are only about 5,503 kilometers 3,432 miles of rail lines in Sudan, and these lines are mostly between major towns. There is no real area density of rail coverage; statistically rails are 0.

There are 29 diesel locomotives. This means the national statistical road density is 0. Thus, like rail, this limited length of paved roadway does not constitute area coverage, but is a system of selective links. In 1980, a major road between Port Sudan and Khartoum was completed 1,197 km, or 744 miles.

  • The Nile also provided protection from attack;
  • Once the selection had been made, however, Egyptian astronomers were mathematically forced into a part equal division of the night and ultimately the hour day.

Bridge improvements on the White Nile have facilitated traffic circulation between Khartoum, North Khartoum, and Omdurman. Another way to look at the lack of paved roads is that there are 98 km of paved roads per 1 million persons in Sudan.

In contrast, there are 302 km of paved roads in Egypt per million persons. In Nigeria, 376 per million persons. In continental United States, there are 10-15,000 km of paved roads per million people.

For many locations in Sudan, the Nile River is the key transport link.

Why was the Nile important to ancient Egyptians?

River transport between Kosti and Juba 1,436 km, or 892 miles had no overland alternative as of the mid-1980s. The principal seaport of the nation is Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, and as of 1988, Sudan had 25 merchant vessels registered. Small population There are only 26.

This means there are an average of 10 persons per square km, in contrast to over 200 per square km in Europe. Sudan's population is comparable to that of Taiwan, which is 80 times smaller in area. Sudan's small population, and certain related vital statistics, reflect the consequences of decades of British imperial rule. As of the mid-1980s, the principal towns, with their population at the last census, which was in 1983 the populations are all higher nowwere: