Environment Field Note

The Nile River

Egypt is a big country!  Most of Egypt is a desert. It can get extremely hot and dry.  I lost a lot of weight in Egypt just because I was sweating so much every day!  Towards the end of my journey in Egypt, the temperature was above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Even though it is so dry, hot and sandy in Egypt, there is a massive river that runs through the entire country! 

That river is called the Nile River.  In fact, the Nile River empties into the Mediterranean Sea right above Egypt.  Where the Nile River meets the Mediterranean Sea is called the Nile Delta.  A “delta” is a place where a river meets an ocean, sea or lake.  Rushing river water flowing into an ocean or sea forms the triangle shaped delta. 

All around the Nile River and the Nile Delta is green vegetation!  There are even palm trees!  This vegetation is able to grow only because of the Nile River.  So, the Nile River is extremely important to Egyptians because without it, they wouldn’t be able to grow lots of food and have water to drink! Read on to learn more about how important the water from the Nile River is for Egypt!

Introduction – How are people connected to the environment?

See the old temple in the background?

The Nile River provides so much for Egyptians!  The Nile River has provided the country with resources from the time of the Pharaohs and through today.

The reason the Nile River is so crucial to survival is because it is a fresh water source.  The rest of Egypt is very dry desert.  Actually, it is too hot and dry to live very far from the Nile River.  In fact, all of the places I visited in Egypt were very close to the Nile.  Using the water from the river, farmers grow sugar cane, cucumbers, strawberries, oranges and wheat.

I even got to taste the Nile River water! In Egypt, they have fountains for people walking on the sidewalks.  These fountains pour out water from the Nile River.  When I tasted the water, it was fresh, cold and perfect for the hot day.  But, it isn’t good for a traveller to drink a lot of the river water because you could get sick.  If your stomach isn’t used to the river water, your body could react negatively to drinking it.  It is best to buy drinking water when travelling to Egypt.

What makes this environment special or different?

There are many special things about the Nile River.  First, it is one of the largest rivers on earth!  It flows through six countries in Africa!  Also, there are two major sources of the Nile River.  The first source is a huge lake called Lake Victoria.  This lake is located south of Egypt in the countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.  The second source of the Nile is Lake Tana, located in Ethiopia.  The part of the Nile that flows from Lake Victoria is called White Nile. The part of the Nile that flows from Lake Tana is called Blue Nile.  Then, the White Nile and Blue Nile meet to form one huge river!

What a wonderful sunset to watch!

The Nile is used for transportation as well.  When I was in Egypt, I got to sail on the Nile River!  The breeze on the water felt so cool although it was so hot outside.  I could feel the refreshing spray of the water when the sailboat would dip into the waves!  I yelled to my sailboat captain, “I’m king of the world!” Have you heard of this famous movie line?

What parts of this environment help people to live here?

The Nile makes the desert life of Egypt habitable.  Habitable means that an area has the resources to take care of the people and animals that live there. The Nile River supplies the land of Egypt with fresh water for crops and for drinking.  Also, the Nile River is used to make electricity!

I went to a dam when I was in Aswan.  Aswan is a place that is in the southern part of Egypt.  The Aswan dam is a place where the Nile River spins giant turbines inside the dam. When these turbines spin, it creates electricity.  This electricity is then sent to homes and businesses across the country.

I wish I was on that boat!

Using the forces of nature to create electricity is called “clean energy” because the source of energy is always renewable.  Coal and nuclear energy are non-renewable energy sources.  Also, when coal or nuclear energy is burned, it creates gasses that are very harmful to the environment.  Creating dams are sometimes a good thing, and sometimes not a good thing.  Many times when a dam is created, it ends up flooding an area of land that was once not covered with water.  This can force people to move from their homes, or even kill wildlife.  Can you think  more about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of energy?

What challenges do people face living in this environment?

Living in the Egyptian desert would be impossible without the Nile River!  There wouldn’t be any water to drink, or water to make plants grow.  Without plants, humans or animals wouldn’t have much to ear!  So, the Nile River solves many challenges of desert life Egypt.

How have people been adapting to this environment?

People have adapted to living in Egypt by living very close to the Nile River.  If you look at a map of Egypt, you will see that all of the major cities of Egypt are located right on the Nile River.  I got to visit Aswan, Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria!  Can you find these cities on the map of Egypt?  All four of the cities are very close to the Nile River!

More beauty provided by the Nile River


I loved sailing on the Nile!

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