(CNN)Look at Egypt on Google Earth and you will see a green line snaking through a sand-colored landscape, fanning out into a triangle in the north.
This emerald ribbon is the vegetation that grows on either side of the Nile River and around its delta. It is Egypt’s only fertile land — and testament to the country’s reliance on this fabled waterway.
The Nile River Basin extends to 11 African countries
, but Egypt — one of the oldest civilizations in the world — has controlled the river and used the lion’s share of its waters for millennia.