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Surface water
Surface water

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3.4.5 Sediment loss to agriculture

The trapping of sediment behind dams may also affect agriculture. The Nile Valley, for example, used to flood naturally once a year, and the sediment in the waters was deposited on the land, forming a fertile soil. These floodwaters and the sediment they carry are now trapped behind the Aswan Dam, and artificial fertilizers must be used down river in the valley. Without the yearly supply of sediment in floodwater, the banks of the Nile are eroding downstream of the dam, and the Nile delta is reducing in size; the erosion by wave action no longer being counteracted by a fresh supply of sediment.