Where are dams built?

October 5, 2016
Kariba Dam stands on

The 37-meter-high Pen–y–Garreg Reservoir Dam and three connected dams were built from the government-owned Elan Valley Estate in mid-Wales (uk) at turn of the twentieth-century to produce a safe water supply for town of Birmingham. By the close regarding the twentieth-century, brand new hydroelectric turbines was put in below floor in the root of the historic dams to provide minor power generation while safeguarding the habitats associated with the property's diverse plant and bird types.Dams are architectural obstacles built to impair or get a grip on the flow of liquid in streams and channels. They have been made to provide two broad features. The very first is the storage space of water to compensate for variations in river discharge (movement) or in need for liquid and energy. The second reason is the increase of hydraulic mind , or the difference in level between water amounts in the lake created upstream of the dam and the downstream river.

By producing additional storage and mind, dams can provide several functions:

  • Generating electrical energy;
  • Supplying liquid for farming, professional, and household needs;
  • Managing the impact of floodwaters; and
  • Enhancing river navigation.

They can be managed in a fashion that at the same time augments downstream liquid quality, improves fish and wildlife habitat, and offers for many different outdoor recreation, such as for example fishing, boating, and swimming.

Courses of Dams

Four significant courses of dams depend on the kind of building and materials utilized: embankment, gravity, arch, and buttress.


Embankment dams usually tend to be constructed of compacted earth, rock, or both, making all of them more affordable than the others which are constructed of cement. Consequently, more than 80 % of all huge dams are with this type. Embankment dams have a triangular-shaped profile and usually are used to keep water across wide streams.


Gravity dams include dense, vertical walls of concrete built across reasonably slim lake valleys with company bedrock. How much they weigh alone is very good adequate to resist overturning or sliding inclinations considering horizontal loads enforced by the upstream water.


Arch dams, in addition constructed of concrete, are created to move these loads to adjacent rock formations. As a result, arch dams are limited

The 37-meter-high Pen–y–Garreg Reservoir Dam and three associated dams had been constructed regarding the government-owned Elan Valley home in mid-Wales (uk) on turn for the twentieth century to supply a safe water supply for town of Birmingham. Because of the close of the twentieth-century, brand-new hydroelectric turbines have been installed below surface at the root of the historical dams to deliver minor energy generation while safeguarding the habitats for the estate's diverse plant and bird types.

to thin canyons with powerful rock walls that can resist the arch push at the basis and sides of dam.


Buttress dams tend to be really hollow gravity dams made of steel-reinforced concrete or timber.

Planning for Dams

Mindful preparation for the siting, design, and building of dams is essential for ideal utilization of streams and stopping catastrophic dam failure . These planning stages need input from engineers, geologists, hydrologists, ecologists, financiers, and a number of other specialists.

Manufacturers must very first evaluate alternative solutions and styles for satisfying exactly the same desired objective, perhaps the goal should allocate water supply, improve flood control, or produce electricity. Each alternative calls for an extensive cost-benefit analysis and feasibility study for evaluating its actual, economic, environmental, and personal effect.

When an alternate has-been chosen, several important factors come into the design and construction of the dam. These include:

  • Hydrological evaluation of climate and streamflows;
  • Geologic research for the basis design;
  • Evaluation of this area becoming inundated because of the upstream lake (also called a reservoir) as well as its connected ecological and environmental impacts;
  • Selection of materials and construction practices;
  • Designation of means of diverting stream movement during building regarding the dam;
  • Assessment for the prospect of sediments to amass on the reservoir bottom and subsequently reduce storage space capacity; and
  • Analysis of dam protection and failure issues.
Source: www.waterencyclopedia.com
Share this Post