U.S. Water News Online
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A Swedish consulting company said it
has received an order to supervise a U.S.-led project aimed at
rescuing the ancient temples of Luxor and Karnak in southern Egypt
from rising groundwater.
The project, worth about $687,000 is scheduled to start in 2005,
said SWECO, a Stockholm-based engineering and environmental
The temples of Luxor and Karnak, dating from 2000-1500 B.C, are
among Egypt's most significant cultural treasures and are included on
the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The bases of the temples are eroding as a result of rising
groundwater, which causes water with a high salt content to be
absorbed by the foundations.
As the water evaporates, the salt in it crystalizes and
disintegrates the porous sandstone used to build the temples.
"We have previously found solutions that can save the temples and
lower the groundwater. Now we will supervise activities to ensure
that mitigation measures are implemented correctly when work is
started,'' said project manager Anna-Jeanette Larnelius Loew.
The project is being done through the U.S. Agency for
International Development and SWECO's contract is being done on
behalf of SIDA, the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency.
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