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Purposes of Dams - Importance, Functions and Applications

By: Haseeb Jamal / On: Sep 20, 2018 / Advantages
Purposes of Dams

Dam is a barrier built across a river to hold back river water for safe retention and storage of water or control the water flow. Dams allow to divert the river flow into a pipeline, a canal or channel. Dams results in substantially raising water levels in the river over a large area, thus create a storage space.

Purposes of Dams

Dams and reservoirs are built to raise water level for storage and safe retention of large quantity of water. Water is subsequently released to achieve various purposes. Dams may be constructed to meet one or more purposes as:

  1. Irrigation
  2. Hydropower development (Tarbela Dam, Mangla Dam)
  3. Domestic, municipal, industrial water supply (Hub dam, Simly dam in Islamabad)
  4. Stock watering
  5. Flood control
  6. Recreation (picnic, camping, fishing, swimming, kayaking, white water rafting)
  7. Fish and wildlife protection and development, and improvement of river ecology
  8. River water quality / pollution control and management
  9. Stream flow regulation for various purposes
  10. Navigation

Most dams are multi-purpose, serving more than one purpose. Mostly these additional purposes are achieved as byproduct outcome, e.g., hydropower, recreation, etc. For multipurpose dams, the storage is allocated and prioritized for different purposes and cost allocation

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