Dams are often a structure associated with hydroelectric power. But there are a host of reasons why we use them, from flood prevention to the preservation and purification of drinking water. When a dam is built on a river or stream, it creates an artificial reservoir that can be used for other purposes such as in agriculture, industry, and recreation.
The first dams built by the humans were gravity dams. They rely on the weight of materials like masonry or concrete to resist the water load, but are still less durable than the structures we have today – which are reservoirs. A popular one in Egypt is called Sadd el-Kafara, which means “Dam of the Pagans” in Arabic. Archaeology studies indicate that it was originally 37 feet tall and almost 350 feet wide at its crest; over 100,000 tons of stone and gravel were used to build it.
Considering the immediate and long-term impacts of dams, there are a number of benefits worth mentioning.
Clean energy and Hydropower Generation:
The hydroelectric sector provides 19% of the world’s energy, which amounts to over 3000 terawatts per year. This is because water movement creates kinetic energy, which allows us to use it as an effective method of generating renewable electricity. We can use this clean and renewable power supply in best effect at hydroelectricity plants where we generate a lot of electricity from moving water used for electrical generation systems.
Hydro Power is a cost-effective, clean, and renewable energy source. This is the most economically feasible and advanced renewable energy resource. Hydroelectric reservoir projects provide grids with much-needed peaking power. The hydro power station has fewer technical constraints than thermal power stations, and its machines are capable of starting quickly and coping with sudden changes in load.
While large hydroelectric potentials can supply power on a larger, more regional level (for companies or even countries), they’re able to provide power to smaller, local areas. Mini and micro hydro plants (aka small hydropower) can help fulfill the energy needs of populations in areas that might not have access to centralized energy sources, or the infrastructure necessary for developing these resources.
Restore Water Supply, Provide drinking and industrial use
Due to the varying availability of water, dams must be built to store it during periods of surplus and conserve it for leaner times. Well-constructed dams serve a great purpose in balancing the water supply for drinking and other industrial demands. During lean periods, when inflows are low, the controlled flow of water from reservoirs helps to dilute harmful dissolved substances in river waters and therefore maintains and preserves water quality within safe limits.
We also use this engineering marvel to control flood waters or to supply a fixed amount of fluid to agriculturally irrigated areas. As a result, a dam can act as a buffer against extreme weather events and irregular precipitation patterns.
River floods have been wreaking havoc on the lives of many people time and time again. To prevent this, dams and reservoirs can be used by regulating the flow of water downstream in accordance with a specific plan without anyone getting hurt. Water flows through these dams are controlled during floods, which are later utilized to meet irrigation and drinking water requirements as well as hydro power generation.
Dams are designed by taking the surrounding landforms and environment into account, so that any floods can be routed through a county or state without causing any damage to buildings or human life. The water held within this dam can be used for irrigation purposes as well as drinking water supplies and by hydro-power generation. Water can be diverted to municipalities for fresh drinking water, irrigation can be improved, and various energy requirements can be met.
Irrigate croplands that may not receive enough moisture.
A large number of jobs are directly linked to crop production and other agricultural activities. Food distribution networks remain active and consistent due to early harvesting, resulting in year-round availability. By accessing irrigation water, farmers grow more crops.
Navigating the inland waters
Our inland water transportation system can be made more stable by building dams on rivers. Inland navigation is made possible by comprehensive basin planning, utilizing locks, dams, and reservoirs that are regulated to realize large economic benefits of national significance.
Provides Recreational Opportunities
The construction of a dam made it possible to create a reservoir that presents a beautiful view of a lake. There are a lot of recreation opportunities in areas where there is no natural surface water. During the planning stage of a multipurpose project, recreational benefits such as boating, swimming, fishing, etc. are also given due consideration along with other objectives.
As you can see, there are many benefits of dams, which is why they are so common and so useful in many parts of the world. Without dams, it would be much more difficult to control river flow and to harness hydroelectric power. We hope you enjoyed this blog and are able to see the benefits of dams in your daily life!