Red Sea Dam

Red Sea Dam

The proposal is to dam the narrow inlet to the Red Sea, shown at the bottom-right of the image.
Location Djibouti
Coordinates 12°33′25″N 43°22′20″E / 12.55694°N 43.37222°E / 12.55694; 43.37222Coordinates: 12°33′25″N 43°22′20″E / 12.55694°N 43.37222°E / 12.55694; 43.37222
Dam and spillways
Impounds Bab-el-Mandeb Strait
Length 29 km (18 mi)
Power station
Installed capacity 50,000 MW

The Red Sea dam is a speculative macro-engineering proposal put forward in 2007 by a group of scientists and engineers.[1] Although the authors' intentions are to explore "the ethical and environmental dilemmas and some of the political implications of macro-engineering", the proposal has attracted both criticism and ridicule.[2]


The idea is to dam the Red Sea at its southern end where the Bab-al-Mandab Strait is only 29 km (18 mi) wide. Natural evaporation would rapidly lower the level of the enclosed Red Sea. Water rushing back into the sea would then drive turbines to generate electricity. It is claimed that up to 50 gigawatts of electrical power could be generated, dwarfing all other power schemes worldwide.


The proposal's authors point out that "Macro-engineering projects of this size cause a massive destruction of existing ecologies", a point emphasized by critics[3] who note the damage caused by current, far smaller schemes.

The authors also note the benefits of the project. Besides helping to satisfy the region's growing energy needs, there are environmental benefits to the scheme: "On the positive side of the environmental scale, however, are the big reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, and the reduced pace of fossil hydrocarbon resource exhaustion".

Influential scientists such as Peter Bosshard,[4] policy director of International Rivers in California, have condemned the scheme as ludicrous.

See also


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/20/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.