DAMS, A Water Reservoir
Where does your water come from? Mountains, rivers, reservoirs? What are a dam and a water reservoir? A reservoir is a human-made lake created by building a dam. Why do we need dams? When you turn on a faucet at home, where does that water come from? Why is there always water coming out? There is always a supply of water because we hold water in reservoirs. To do this, we must build dams.
A dam is a barrier that holds water and ceases water’s backflow. The dam also helps us in the generation of electricity (Hydroelectric power).
Why else do we build dams? Why the dams are so important?
Dams are important because they provide water for domestic, industrial, and irrigation purposes. Dams often also provide hydroelectric power production and river navigation. In Dams, we can store rainwater. As, we know that Pakistan is an agricultural county, stored rainy water is very helpful in summer for irrigation.
Dams provide a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including recreation, flood control, water supply, hydroelectric power, waste management, river navigation, and wildlife habitat. Through dams, we can make electricity. So, by building dams we can avail cheap electricity.
As we know that floods are very dangerous natural disasters, but Dams can save a country from these.
Dams provide prime recreational facilities throughout the United States. Boating, skiing, camping, picnic areas, and boat launch facilities are all supported by dams.
In addition to helping farmers, dams help prevent the loss of life and property caused by flooding. Flood control dams impound floodwaters and then either release them under control to the river below the dam or store or divert the water for other uses. For centuries, people have built dams to help control devastating floods.
Dams create reservoirs throughout the United States that supply water for many uses, including industrial, municipal, and agricultural.
Ten percent of American cropland is irrigated using water stored behind dams. Thousands of jobs are tied to producing crops grown with irrigated water.
There are more than 1,300 mine tailings impoundments in the United States that allow the mining and processing of coal and other vital minerals while protecting the environment.
The United States is one of the largest producers of hydropower in the world, second only to Canada. Dams produce over 103,800 megawatts of renewable electricity and meet 8 to 12 percent of the Nation’s power needs. Hydropower is considered clean because it does not contribute to global warming, air pollution, acid rain, or ozone depletion.
In some instances, dams provide enhanced environmental protection, such as the retention of hazardous materials and detrimental sedimentation.
Domestic use includes everyday activities such as water for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing, and lawn and garden watering. Dams and their reservoirs provide recreation areas for fishing and boating. They help people by reducing or preventing floods. Students can learn more about why dams are built with the associated activity How Much Water Do You Use? During times of excess water flow, dams store water in the reservoir; then they release water during times of low flow when natural flows are inadequate to meet water demand. When engineers design and maintain dams, they consider all these purposes
For the next several lessons, you are going to be a civil engineer working for the company Splash Engineering. Your main client is the government (also known as a “municipality”) of Thirsty County. The government of Thirsty County has been receiving complaints from its residents over the last decade. The main problems include:
- Not enough water for people during the summer droughts.
- Farmers have trouble growing food without enough irrigation water.
- During drought periods, the Birdseye River is not deep enough for ships to cross to bring valuable goods to Thirsty County.
- Flash floods ruin houses and stores.
- Air pollution from a nearby coal-fired power plant makes people sick.
The Thirsty County government has hired the Splash Engineering firm (your class) to study the needs of the community and develop a solution that addresses those needs.
A dam is built to control water through the placement of a blockage of earth, rock, and/or concrete across a stream or river. Dams are usually constructed to store water in a reservoir, which is then used for a variety of applications such as irrigation and municipal water supplies. Reservoir water can also be directed to flow through hydraulic turbines, producing electric power for use in homes and industries. Hydroelectric power is considered a renewable source of energy because the reservoir water that is used to generate electricity is continuously replenished. A dam using locks and canals, such as the series of locks on the Panama Canal, enables navigation through a human-made water route that must overcome elevation differences.
Dams, a water reservoir can be harmful to the population. The disadvantages of dams include the resulting flooding of large areas of land (destroying flora and fauna), altering the physical characteristics of the river below the dam (also affecting flora and fauna), impeding fish migration, and killing large numbers of fish that pass through hydroelectric turbines. In recent years, engineers and scientists have begun to manage reservoirs and their releases to be less harmful to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife and plants, as well as humans residing below the dam—a method of water resource management called adaptive management.
As we know that China is a developed country and has the highest number of dams in the world.
Three Gorges Dam, China is the world’s largest hydroelectric facility.
According to Wikipedia, the Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, central China, downstream of the Three Gorges.
Flood Losses in Pakistan
Flood losses estimated up to $20 billion
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