Saturday, April 18, 2009

The new valley project

The new valley project:
The New Valley Project in southern Egypt is one of the biggest irrigation projects ever constructed. It consists of a system of canals to carry water from Lake Nasser to irrigate the sandy wastes of the Western Desert of Egypt, which is part of the Sahara Desert. The 310-km long Sheikh Zayed canal is the biggest canal of the project and should bring 25 million m3 of water per day into one of the most inhospitable desert on earth and create a new Nile delta. These canals are build in the middle of this desert in the hot sun. First, the channels are dug in the middle of the desert sand:

After that the first layer of concrete is poured on it:

After this layer another layer of conrete is poured on it but first they attach layers of plastic foils in between so they don't lose any water:

Of course these channels have to be filled with water. This is where the flagship of this project comes in action. I'm talking about the Mubarak Pumping Station which is described as a venture which "has expanded the boundaries of civil engineering. It is pumping water from from Lake Nasser into the channels. It has a discharge capacity of 1.2 million m³/hr making it the largest water pump in the world. Its innovative design places the pump-house like an island in a lake - completely surrounded by water with 24 vertical pumps arranged in two parallel lines along both sides. You can see how large this pump is when it was under construction and not filled with water around it yet:

When the water was filled around it it looks like this: (The structure itself is continuing 50 meters under water):

When this thing has done it's job the channels are filled with water making agriculture in the middle of
one of the most inhospitable deserts on earth possible:

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