U.S. Water News Online
CAIRO, Egypt -- Rainwaters have swollen the Nile River and Egypt's government is predicting the worst floods on record along the famed waterway, beginning this month.
Mohammed Abdel-Hadi Radi, Egypt's minister of public works and water resources, told a news conference that the high water will force Egypt for the first time to use the Toshka Channel, dug 30 years ago as a precaution against massive floods. "This year's flood will be higher than any year in the past and will bring in no less than 100 billion cubic meters of water," Radi said in remarks carried by Egypt's Middle East News Agency.
Fed by rainwater in the African highlands, the Nile is the world's longest river, flowing 4,160 miles through Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt before emptying into the Mediterranean. Until the Aswan High Dam was completed in 1971, Egypt periodically suffered flooding from the Nile during the autumn rainy season. But excess water is now held back behind the dam in Lake Nasser, the world's largest man-made lake, 437 miles south of Cairo.
Radi said the level of water in Lake Nasser is expected to rise to 179.2 meters this year during September and October. The lake is considered full at 175 meters. The extra water will be routed to the Toshka channel.
In Sudan, upriver from Egypt, floods along the Nile already have destroyed hundreds of houses and driven thousands of people from their homes, Radi said.
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