[Infrastructure] Famous Dams in India and Abroad

The Dams and Pools are most beneficial for irrigation and attraction for tourists all over the world. Such big water reservoirs have impact on rivers, environment, forest, wildlife around the area and the
local people. The environmental effects of dams are because of the construction and its mode of operation. Such reservoirs are also useful for some species like cold water fish but it may adversely impact on forests, wetlands and wildlife and loss of plants and animals.

Advantages of huge Dams:- 

From the start of human life, man has been constructing dams and reservoirs to store surplus river waters available during wet periods and utilize the same during lean periods. The dams and reservoirs play dual role of harnessing the river waters for socio-economic development. Dams and reservoirs contribute considerably to fulfil the basic human needs as water for drinking and industrial use, Irrigation, Flood control, Hydro power generation, Inland navigation, and Recreation.
Dams in India:
  1. Tehri Dam :-  The Tehri Dam is a multi-purpose rock and earth-fill bank dam on the Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand, India. It is the world's fifth and Asia's largest multidimensional dam project.It is the main dam of the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd. and the Tehri hydroelectric complex. The project design of this dam was completed in 1972.The Tehri dam is sited in the Central Himalayan Seismic Gap, a major geologic fault zone. This region was the location of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in October 1991, with an epicentre 53 kilometres (33 mi) from the location of the dam.The dam is a 260 metres (850 ft) high rock and earth-fill embankment dam. Its length is 575 metres (1,886 ft), crest width 20 metres (66 ft), and base width 1,128 metres (3,701 ft). The dam creates a reservoir of 2.6 cubic kilometres (2,100,000 acre•ft) with a surface area of 52 square kilometres (20 sq mi). The installed hydro-capacity is 1,000 MW along with an additional 1,000 MW of pumped storage hydroelectricity. The lower reservoir for the pumped-storage plant is created by the Koteshwar Dam downstream. The Tehri Dam is built to protect environment and local residents of the region.
  2. Bhakhra Nagal dam :- Bhakra Nagal Dam is a real magnitude dam across the Sutlej River, and is near the boundary between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in northern India. This Dam is one of the oldest proposals of river valley development after India's independence. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 18 November laid the foundation of this dam while its construction started in 1948 and ended in early 1970s. Its basin named after a famous Sikh guru, Guru Govind Singh as "Govind Sagar" consists of 9.34 billion cubic meters of water which can flow away the entire Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi and parts of Haryana. It is 15 Kms away from Nangal city and therefore the city is also called the Bhakra Nangal Dam as the Nangal Dam is situated there. Bhakra and Nangal are actually two different dams and the water flooded from the Bhakra dam is maintained and controlled in Nangal Dam. The dam is situated at a gorge near the upstream Bhakra village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is considered to be Asia's second highest at 225.55 m (740 ft) high next to the 261m Tehri Dam. The length of the dam is 518.25 m; it is 9.1 m broad. Its reservoir, known as the "Gobind Sagar", store up to 9.34 billion cubic meters of water.The 90 km long reservoir created by the Bhakra Dam is spread over an area of 168.35 km2.The major objective of the Bhakra Nangal Dam is to avoid flooding in Setluj-Beas river valley areas in order to provide hydroelectricity and irrigation to the nearby states. Its vast size and exceptional structure pull the attention of many tourists in the later years. The basic reason of its construction was to provide irrigation to Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and to prevent the damages during the monsoon season. Bhakra Dam Includes four huge spillway gates weighing 102 tons. Bhakhra Dam has the maximum opening of 9.8 meters with a total release of 1,97,300 cusecs. The peak level of the spillway is around 1645ft and the level of the sill gate is 1642ft. It is the second largest dam in India and tourists are more fascinated to feel the natural beauty here. It gives an added advantage of recreational and fishing culture to the tourists.
  3. Rihand Dam:-  The Rihand dam is the first multipurpose dam built across Rihand River a tributary of Sone River, near Pipri in the Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh after independence of India. It was mainly constructed for the purpose of irrigation, flood control, fishery and wildlife conservation along with electricity generation. The concrete gravity dam has its maximum height that is 91m. The reservoir made by Rihand dam is known as Govind Ballabh Pant (GBP) reservoir. Its height is 299 ft, length: 3064 ft, Type: Concrete Gravity dam. It is constructed in Uttar Pradesh and Installed capacity is 300 MW. This dam is connected with the U P. power grid and the Obra hydel power station of 99 mw which utilises tail-race waters of the Rihand turbines and with the Obra thermal power station of 25 mw.The Kanpur thermal power station has also been connected with the Rihand (installed capacity 64 mw). The power is utilised in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh in an area stretching from Bahraich, Kanpur to Ballia in the east.
  4. Hirakud Dam :- Hirakud Dam is a multipurpose huge project built across river Mahanadi at about 15.0 Km. upstream of Sambalpur town in the state of Orissa, India. Sir Howthrone Lewis, laid the foundation of this dam on 15th March 1946.This project was officially inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th January 1957.Hirakud Dam is the longest man-made dam in the world, about 16 mi (26 km) in length. Hirakud Dam is a complex construction of earth, concrete and masonry. The Main Dam has, length of 4.8 Km., spans between hills Lamdungri on left and Chandidungri on the right. The Dam is bordered by 21.0 Km. long earthen dykes both on left and right sides to close the low saddles beyond the abutment hills. It has the distinction of being the longest dam in Asia, 25.80 Km. long with Dam and Dykes taken together. It has also the rare distinction of forming the biggest artificial lake in Asia with a reservoir spread of 743.0 Kms.at full reservoir level. Hirakud Dam intercepts 83,400 Sq.Km. (32,200 sq.miles) of Mahanadi catchment .The reservoir has a live storage of 4,823 M.Cum(present) with gross storage of 5,896 M.Cum (present).
  5. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam:-  Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is the world's largest stonework dam anda multipurpose project, consist of two main canals, one each on either flank of the river. It is built across Krishna River in Nagarjuna Sagar, Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh, India, between 1955 and 1967. The dam contains the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir with a capacity of up to 11,472 million cubic metres. The dam is 490 ft (150 m) tall and 1.6 km long with 26 gates which are 42 ft (13 m) wide and 45 ft (14 m) tall. Nagarjuna Sagar was the original in the series of big infrastructure projects began for the Green Revolution in India.The project is very useful for farmers in the districts of Nalgonda, Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam and Khammam. The right canal (a.k.a. Jawahar canal) is 203 km long and irrigates 1.113 million acres (4,500 km²) of land. The left canal (a.k.a. Lal Bahadur Shastri canal) is 295 km long and irrigates 0.32 million acres (800 km²) of land in Nalgonda and Khammam districts of Telangana region. The project changed the financial system of these districts. 52 villages were covered in water and 24000 people were affected. The transfer of the people was completed by 2007. The Dam has a gorgeous scenery and looks outstandingly scenic. The turbines are located on the Nalgonda side (pylon colony) of the river and even on the right side (guntur side) of the river (vijayapuri south). There are tours available to see the turbines in action. Sprawling over an area of 60,000 sq km.
  6. The Indira Sagar Dam:- The Indira Sagar Dam is a multipurpose major project of Madhya Pradesh on the Narmada River at Narmadanagar in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh in India. The Project foresees construction of a 92 m high and 653 m long concrete gravity dam. It provides Irrigation in 1,230 square kilometres of land with annual production of 2700 million units in the districts of Khandwa and Khargone in Madhya Pradesh and power generation of 1000 MW installed capacity (8x125). The reservoir of 12,200,000,000 m3 (9,890,701 acre•ft) was created.
  7. Sardar Sarovar Dam ;- The Sardar Sarovar Dam is a gravity dam on the Narmada River near Navagam, Gujarat, India. It is the biggest dam and part of the Narmada Valley Project, a large hydraulic engineering project involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi-purpose dams on the Narmada River. The project started in 1979 as part of a development system to boost irrigation and produce hydroelectricity. It is the 30th largest dams planned on river Narmada. Sardar Sarovar Dam has a proposed final height of 163 m (535 ft) from foundation. The dam is one of India's most contentious dam projects and its environmental impact and net costs and benefits are broadly debated. The World Bank was originallyfunded this project but withdrew in 1994.
  8. The Bhavanisagar Dam:- It is also known as Lower Bhavani Dam which is located on the Bhavani River between Mettupalayam and Sathyamangalam in Erode District, Tamil Nadu, South India. The dam is located around 16 km (9.9 mi) west to Satyamangalam and 35 km (22 mi) from Gobichettipalayam, 36 km (22 mi) north-east to Mettuppalayam and 70 km (43 mi) from Erode and 75 km (47 mi) from Coimbatore.The dam is considered to be among the largestearthen dams in the nation. The dam is used to redirect water to the Lower Bhavani Project Canal.
  9. The Koyna Hydroelectric Project is major completed hydroelectric power plant of India. It is a multifaceted project that comprises of total four dams with the largest Dam built on Koyna River known as Koyna Dam. The total Installed capacity of the project is 1,920 MW. Its Height is 339 ft., Length is 2,648 ft, and type is Rubble-Concrete dam. The project consists of 4 stages of power generation. Due to the project's electricity generating potential the Koyna River is considered as the life line of Maharashtra.
  10. Tungabadra dam is built across the Tungabhadra River, a branch of the Krishna River. The dam is near the town of Hospet in Karnataka. It is a multipurpose dam that helps in irrigation, electricity generation, and flood control. This is a joint project of erstwhile Hyderabad state and erstwhile Madras Presidency when the creation was started. Later, it became a joint project of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh after its completion in 1953. Tungabadra dam is 2441 meters long and its height is 39.38 meters.
  11. The Idukki Dam is situated in Kerala, India. The Idukki Hydroelectric Project is the biggest hydrolectric Project and it is a 168.91 m (554 ft) tall arch dam. The dam stands between the two mountains Kuravanmala (839) m and Kurathimala (925)m. It was constructed and is owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. It supports a 780 MW hydroelectric power station. It is built on the Periyar River, in the ravine between the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills in Kerala, India. At 167.68 metres, it is one of the highest arch dams in Asia and third tallest dam in India.
  12. TheMettur Dam is one of the huge dam in India which was constructed in 1934. It was built in a gorge, where the Kaveri River enters the plains. The dam is one of the oldest in India. The total length of the dam is 1,700 m (5,600 ft).Mettur Dam has biggest and the most power generating capacity dam in Tamil Nadu. Mettur Dam is very stunning place of sightseer, the river is a magnificent site to explorer of the nature. Its height is 120 ft., type is Concrete Dam and Location inTamil Nadu with Installed capacity of 32 MW.
  13. The Banasura Sagar Dam is sited 21 km from Kalpetta, in Wayanad District of Kerala in the Western Ghats. It is the biggest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia. It impounds the waters of the Karamanathodu, a tributary of the Kabini River. It attracts tourists and perfect place for picnic with a breath-taking view. The basin formed by the dam is dotted with tiny islands enveloped in thick foliage, and with the Banasura hill in the background, offers a superb view. Speed & pedal boats are available & are major hits with tourists. Dam is at an altitude of 3200 feet in the mist-clad hills of Wayanad.
  14. Krishna Raja Sagara, also commonly known as KRS, is famous the dam. The dam is named for the ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.The Kaveri is one of the major river in India and there is a Famous and beautiful Brindavan Gardens attached to the dam, it's a part of the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and is the most attractive gardens in Mysore and one of best Garden in India. Its height is 125 feet, Length is 3.5km, Type is Masonry Dam and Installed capacity is 200 MW.
  15. The Srisailam Dam is a dam built across the Krishna River at Srisailam in the Kurnool district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India and is the second largest capacity hydroelectric project in the country. This project began in 1960, initially as a power project, across the Krishna, near Srisailam in Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh and completed twenty years later in 1981. The dam was constructed in a deep gorge in the Nallamala Hills, 300 m (980 ft) above sea level. It is 512 m (1,680 ft) long, 145 m (476 ft) high and has 12 radial crest gates. It has a reservoir of 800 km2 (310 sq mi).
  16. Cheruthoni Dam is the huge concrete gravity dam in Kerala, nestled near to Idukki arch dam. It is the third highest dam in India with a 454 feet-high across River Cheruthoni. Idukki is a hill station in India, popular for its wildlife treasure. Cheruthoni dams opened to the public in connection with the Onam festival season. The height of 560 feet brought a thrilling experience and wonderful view of greens valley. Its Height is 450 feet, length is 2300 feet, Type is Concrete Gravity Dam and Installed capacity is32 MW.
  17. Bisalpur Dam is the most popular dam of state of Rajasthan. It is located in Tonk District of Rajasthan. The dam is built across the Banas River between two mountains. The largest dam of Rajasthan, Bisalpur with a height of 39m is one of the honour of Rajasthan. Tonk dam attract vast variety of birds local as well as migratory. Its height is 130 ft., Length is 1883 ft, Type is Gravity Dam and Installed capacity is 172 MW.
  18. Maithon Dam is constructed on the river of Barakar located at Maithon and is a large dam in tribal state Jharkhand. Maithon Dam is one of the most popular dams in Jharkhand and one of the most unbeaten multipurpose projects in India. This dam particularly designed for flood control and generates high electric power. There is an underground power station. It is a unique dam in South East Asia. Maithon Dam is the largest reservoir in the Damodar Valley. Its height is 165 ft, Length is 15,712 ft, and type is Concrete cum Earthen dam. It is based on Barakar River, Location is Jharkhand and Installed capacity is of 60 MW.
  19. Malankara Dam is constructed across Thodupuzha River, 6 Km from Thodupuzha for irrigation purpose as a part of Muvattupuzha Valley Irrigation Project. The tail water from Moolamattom Power house is stored here. The banks of the Reservoir can be developed to a beautiful tourist appeal. The irrigation Department plans to landscape the dam and also set up a garden to enhance sightseeing.
Famous Dams in World:
  1. Three Gorges Dam in China: The Three Gorges Dam is situated in the Yiling district in the Hubei province of China. It is a hydroelectric dam spanning the Yangtze River which is considered to be the longest river in China. Dam consists of 32 turbines with an installed capacity of 22,500 MW. It is the world's largest power station. Building of dam was debatable among experts as it was dangerous and these experts cautioned that the heavy weight of dam might change Central China's geology and was likely to displace a large human population and archaeological sites of historic importance. This dam was formerly aimed to increase the transport capacity of the Yangtze River decreasing its flood potential and generating much-needed electricity. While the Chinese government asserts that this dam contributes a lot for economic, social and environmental success because it has displaced 1.3 million people, caused notable ecological changes, and has increased the danger of landslides.
  2. Aswan Dam: Another popular dam in the world is the Aswan Dam, also known as High Dam, is situated across the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. It is the first dam designed by Sir William Willcocks, and its building started in 1898 ending in 1902. This dam has great role in boosting the agriculture and economy of Egypt. Earlier, the agriculture and economy of Egypt depended upon the Nile River which played a dual role. In times of fairly high waters, the river brought fertile soil and nutrients rendering a large area of land highly fertile and productive. In the days of very high, the river displaced a large population and devastated many areas in its path. In the low days, the land was deprived of irrigation with consequent low-yielding crops and famine. Structure the Aswan Dam has optimised the situation by preventing floods and by ensuring a constant water supply by virtue of a raised level of water in the dam. Russia and America assisted the Egyptian government to construct the Aswan dam.
  3. Hoover Dam: Hoover Dam is named after President Herbert Hoover. This dam was initially known as Boulder Dam after the name of the labour colony built in the surrounding area of the dam for the labour. It is situated in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River near Boulder City at the borders of the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was well understood the importance of the dam to control flooding and regulate irrigation and generate electricity. Congress approved its construction in 1928. Building of the arch-gravity dam began in early 1931, and construction of the dam was completed on March 1, 1936. Hoover Dam is great attraction of tourists and is visited by more than one million people every year.
  4. The Itaipu Dam: This Dam is named after the island Itaipu that existed at the location of the dam. The dam is owned usually by Brazil and Paraguay. It is located about 15 kilometers to the north of the Friendship Bridge on the Panama River at the border of Brazil and Paraguay. In terms of its operating productivity, it is the biggest hydroelectric dam, while in terms of installed capacity. It is next only to the largest dam in the world, and the three gorges Dam with a 22,500 MW installed capacity. The installed capacity of the Itaipu Dam is 14,000 MW. The dam is provided with 20 generators of which 10 generate at 50HZ for Paraguay while the other 10 generate 60 HZ for Brazil.
  5. The Gordon Dam: This dam is an arch dam built on the Gordon River in Tasmania, Australia. It is 192 meters long and 140 meters high. It is the fifth tallest dam in Australia, and water in it falls from 183 meters into its 3 turbines of 144 MW to generate 432 MW power. This meets about 13 percent of the electricity requirements of Tasmania. The Gordon Dam was planned by the chief engineer Dr. Sergio Guidici. The Gordon Dam has created Lake Gordon on the upper side of the Gordon River in Southwest Tasmania, Australia. The surface area of Lake Gordon is 105 square miles, and its storage capacity is 3.0 cubic miles.
  6. Lake Vyrnwy Dam: This dam is located in Montgomeryshire, Powys, Wales. This exclusive, stone dam was planned by Dr. George Deacon and constructed in the 1880s. Its structure started in 1881 and was completed in 1888. It was initially intended to supply fresh water to Liverpool and Merseyside. The dam is built of big blocks of Welsh slate. The dam is 44 meters high, 357 meters long, and 39 meters wide at the base. It has 25 arches and 2 small towers. The site of the dam is designated as a National Nature Reserve a site of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation.
  7. Tarbela Dam is the biggest, earth-filled dam in the world and the second most capacious by structure. It was built in 1974 on the Indus River at about 50 kilometers from Islamabad in the Hazara District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is 148 meters high and forms Tarbela Reservoir having a surface area of about 97 square miles. It was designed to store the Indus River's water for irrigation, flood control, and generation of hydroelectric power. It has 14 generators. The source of the Indus River is the glacial melting water from the Himalayas which brings a lot of rock sediment with it. Taking into consideration the current yearly rate of sedimentation, it is estimated the dam will have a useful lifespan of about 80 years until 2060.
  8. Mratinje Dam: This dam is a concrete arch dam built on the Piva River in Montenegro, a south eastern European country. The dam was designed by Energoprojekt, and the construction was completed in 1975. It created Lake Piva covering a 12.5 square kilometres area. The dam is 220 meters high, 268 meters long, and 36 meters thick at its base. It is one of the highest dams in Europe. The foundations of the dam are 38 meters deep and contain 820,000 cubic meters of concrete and 5,000 tons of steel. It has 3 turbines and each can generate 120 MW electricity.
  9. Glen Canyon Dam: This dam is constructed on the Colorado River near the town of Page in northern Arizona, United States. The intent of constructing the dam was to control the flow of the upper Colorado River basin to the lower side. The generation of hydroelectricity was also the main objective. The dam created Lake Powell which is the second largest lake in the country. Construction of the dam started in 1956 and continued until 1966. The dam was on the edge of collapse under pressure from heavy flooding, but the disaster was avoided. Construction of the dam has impacted the natural balance of the region.
  10. Contra Dam: This dam is also known as the Verzasca Dam. It was constructed on the Verzasca River of Ticino, Switzerland. Its construction started in 1961 and was completed in 1965. The dam is 220 meters high, 380 meters long, and covers 44,500 square meters area. It is the fourth tallest dam in Switzerland. The dam is looked after by Verzasca SA. It is a popular site for bungee jumping which is a quite risky and thrilling sport involving jumping from a high place while tied with an elastic cord causing a free fall and a rebound. Contra Dam became particularly popular for this sport after a stuntman jumped from it in the opening scene of the 1995 movie The Golden Eye.
  11. Oroville Dam: This dam is an earth fill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California in the United States. It is at 770 feet (230 m) high, and tallest dam in the U.S. This dam serves mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation and flood control. The dam holds Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in the state of California, capable of storing more than 3.5 million acre-feet (4.4 km3) and is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of the Sacramento Valley. It was constructed by the California Department of Water Resources. Oroville Dam is one of the key features of the California State Water Project. Construction was started in 1961, and despite numerous hurdles encountered during its construction, that include multiple floods and a major train wreck on the rail line used to transport materials to the dam site, the embankment was topped out in 1967 and the entire project was ready for use in 1968. The dam began to generate electricity after completion of the Edward Hyatt Pump-Generating Plant, then the country's largest underground power station.
  12. Eguzon dam: This dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Creuse River in central France. Construction took place from 1922 to 1926 and, at the time, was the largest dam in Europe. Eguzon Damis 61 metres high and 300 metres across, with the thickness varying from 54 metres at the base to 5 metres at the top. The water behind the dam creates the Eguzon Lake (also known as the Chambon Lake) which, at 312 hectares, is the largest body of water in the region, and is popular with water sports enthusiasts. Electricity generation is via six valves, with a power of 12 MW each, giving an annual electricity production of 101 million kWh. Humans are always in touch with nature to get benefit. The construction of dams is harnessing natural forces. Dams offer a particularly good prospect to study the potential disjunction between the distributional and productivity implications of a public policy. Supporters of big dam construction stress the role of large dams to reduce dependency on rainfall and enabling irrigation, providing water and hydropower. On the contrary, challengers argue that while these benefits may be enjoyed by downstream populations, upstream population may be benefit only from the creation activity and potentially from increased financial activity around the reservoir.

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