Pros and Cons of the Dams

Articles > Pros and Cons of the Dams

Purpose of Dams:

When a huge barrier constructed in the way of flowing water of a stream channel or river to prevent water from wastage, and store it for future consumption, it is known as a dam. Dams are constructed on natural streams and rivers. The purpose of the dams is to reserve water for the time of need and to prevent flooding. The ratio of rainfall does not remain uniform all through the year. During the months of high rainfall, streams bring much water, which may overflow from the streams and caused floods, while at the time of low rainfall, the water quantity of streams and rivers decreases up to a remarkable level. To main an equal supply of water all through the year, dams are constructed. Dams store extra water and supply the stored water at the time of need. The typical purpose of the dams is to store water for irrigation. But with the gradual advancement, some other signs of the dams was also discovered, like prevention from flooding, generation of electricity, protect aquatic life, etc.

Advantages and Needs for a Dam:

  1. Dams are prevents flooding, as they store the water of fully flowing streams and river, at the time of rainfalls and snow-melt.
  2. Dams are the only means to prevent water from wastage as they store extra water from streams and rivers, thus preventing water from wasting.
  3. The stored water in the dams supplied to the agricultural land to irrigated vegetations.
  4. Dams are used for land reclamation.
  5. Dams supply drinking water to the rural as well as the urban communities. Dams also supply water for industrial consumption and other household consumption.
  6. Small dams are used to divert the flow of stream for irrigation and electricity generation.
  7. Dams are a very good source of aquatic food, like fish.
  8. Dams are a very big source of energy. World most of the electricity is generated with the help of hydropower of dams.
  9. Dams provide humidity to the atmosphere, thus keeping the weather pleasant.
  10. Dams supply water for industrial and household consumption.
  11. Dams provide river navigation.
  12. Dams provide recreation sites for boating and fishing.
  13. Dams supply stored water at the time of need.

Disadvantages of the Dams:

  1. Dams are constructed keeping in view a limited capacity of water storage, but during the season of heavy rainfall, dams are fully filled with water, thus, exceeding their storage capacity. At such a critical time, dams may rupture and break. As a result of the breakage of dams, the risk of flash flooding can not be overviewed.
  2. The threat of flooding caused by dams may compel people to relocate and shift their habitat in order to escort from the danger.
  3. The construction cost of the dams is very high. Poor nations can not construct dams in large numbers to meet the demand for energy and irrigation water.
  4. The construction of dams is time-consuming. It takes a couple of years while constructing a dam.
  5. Significant and timely maintenance and adjustment of dams are needed, which may cost high.
  6. Skilled and expert staff is needed to control water flow from out of the dam.
  7. Sedimentation patterns of the dams are changes. Ejecting as well as resisting silt ejecting is needed according to sedimentation patterns.
  8. Dams may cause problems for aquatic life.
  9. Slowing down water flow may cause an excess ratio of algae.
  10. As the dams capture a very large area, therefore dams caused deforestation.
  11. When water is stopped behind the dam, the locked water kills a lot of ecosystems. Bacteria, then decompose the bodies of living organisms and produce a large amount of Carbon-dioxide and Methane gas.
  12. The locked water kills a large number of living organisms. All the living organisms depend on one another for meeting their demand for food. Some of the organisms within an ecosystem are killed, thus creating a gap in the food chain of the ecosystem. The imbalance caused due to dams further kills the organisms, due to lack of food. This imbalance continues and disturbance among living things for their food exists.
  13. People visit dams for recreation. Carelessness may cause them to drown in the water.
  14. At the time of drought, dams may cause conflict. People of some areas need water, while dams are meant to store the water.
  15. Dams can be used as a political tool. Provincialism may erupt due to the construction of dams.

Read also:


Was this page helpful?
upvote downvote
Follow our official Facebook page (@civilengineeringbible) and Twitter page (@CivilEngBible) and do not miss the best civil engineering tools and articles!

Join our newsletter for a chance to win $500.