Crops of the New Valley Project West of Toshka Lakes and Lake Nasser, Egypt22.5N 28.5E
Visible at the right edge of this image is the southern part of Lake Nasser, on the Nile River by the border of Sudan (below) and Egypt (above). Northwest of the lake are the Toshka Lakes, a by-product of the rising level of Lake Nasser. The rectangular pattern of dots near the left edge of the image are the circular irrigated fields of the New Valley Project (Toshka project).
The New Valley Project consists of building 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. In 1997 the Egyptian government decided to develop a “new” valley (in addition to the Nile Valley) where agricultural and industrial communities could be developed. It is an ambitious project, that if successful, should help Egypt deal with its rapidly growing population. If the project fails it will exacerbate problems of allocating the scarce waters of the Nile.
The canal inlet starts from a site lying 8 km to the north of Toshka Bay (Khor) on Lake Nasser. The canal continues westward until it reaches Darb el-Arbe’ien route, then moves northward along Darb el- Arbe’ien to the Baris Oasis, covering a distance of 310 km. The Mubarak Pumping Station in Toshka is the centerpiece of the project and was inaugurated in March 2005. It pumps water from Lake Nasser to be transported by way of a canal through the valley, transforming 2340 km² (588,000 acres) of desert into agricultural land. When the Toshka Project is completed in 2020, the valley is projected to become home to more than three million residents and to increase Egypt’s arable land area by 10%.