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a. A barrier constructed across a waterway

to control the flow or raise the level of
b. A body of water controlled by such a

Why dams are built?
were originally build so that farmers could have water to irrigate
their crops, or to provide a source of water for a village or town.
to serve quite a number of services such as generating electricity
and supplying water for day to day activities.
to control flooding of water and enhancing river navigation.

Merimbun Lake & Benutan Dam Sungai Kargu Dam

The disadvantages of dams :

- Dam detract from natural settings , ruin natures work
- Dams have inundated the spawning grounds of fish
- Dams have inhibited the seasonal migration of fish
- May have inundated the potential for archaeological findings
- Dams have endangered some species of fish
- Reservoirs can foster diseases if not properly maintained
- Reservoir water can eveporate significantly
- Some researcher believe that reservoirs can cause earthquakes

- The reservoir created by dam may inundate land , crops , cities
and vilagers.
- People may be displaced by reservoir and have to find new
- The reservoir may cause instability of hillsides

Expensive and difficulties in becoming profitable
The larger dams are incredibly expensive to build , such as , they
can take many years to pay for themselves and become profitable.
Most dams are estimated to operate for at least two to three
decades, if not more,to become profitable and this cost that is
usually taken on by the government and the taxpayers. This debt
can be a large burden on the governmant for a long time and can
influence fiscal polices for the life of debt

Danger of dam breaches
Dams being built today are much more stable than dams built in
the past but many older dams have problems with breaches or
even collapse. Because of the large volumes of water behind this
dams can cause catastrophes for nearby people and wildlife
Siesmic stress
The pressure or stress built up when plates slide past each other .

How does earthquakes caused by dams?
It is related to the extra water pressure created in the micro-cracks and
fissures in the ground under and near a reservoir. When the pressure
of the water in the rocks increases, it acts to lubricate faults which are
already under tectonic strain, but are prevented from slipping by the
friction of the rock surfaces.

The earthquake of November 1981 is believed to have been caused by
the Aswan Dam; as water levels in the Dam increases, so does seismic
Channel erosion beneath the channel
Erosion lowers the channel by 25mm over 18 years

Considerations in decreasing the erosion are as follows:

Not only must the system be resistant to erosion, but
stable under the slope geometry and hydrostatic uplift

The channel walls must also be somewhat flexible in order
to ensure integrity in the face of localized deformations
from seasonal factors and sub-base void formation.

System permeability is desirable in some situations to allow
natural drainage. A pervious channel wall can relieve
hydrostatic uplift forces, thus stabilizing the system.
Where is the Aswan Dam located?
In the Nile River around Aswan, Egypt.

Egypt encountered problems such as no direct control on its main water

Suggestions to making a dam.
A dam was then proposed to be built at Aswan as they planned for
different seasonal storage, over-year storage and channelization
schemes that involved more than one country in the basin.

This dam, which is also known as The High Dam, was constructed
between 1960 and 1970.

Optimizing and rationalizing the Nile flow at Aswan.
Regulating and controlling the daily, monthly and yearly
discharge downstream of the dam to match the actual water
Protecting the Nile Valley and Delta from Hazards of high floods
and peril of droughts.
Generating cheap and clean hydroelectric power.
Inundation of populated areas
Nubia is the name of area that was subject to inundation due to
the construction of the Aswans High Dam. More than 100 000
Nubians occupied this inundated area before the construction of
the dam. In 1963 the entire Nubian population that was
subjected to resettlement represented about 0.4% of the
Egyptian population.
The resettlement costs six million Egyptian pounds. Nearly 50%
of indemnities were paid in advance to help the Nubians move to
their new settlements. The other 50% were used to pay part of
the land, infrastructure and houses. The new settlement area is
in Khashm el Girba.
Nubians, as a distinctive community, being deeply attached to
their lands, lost something they cannot be compensated for and
suffered psychologically.
Sedimentation problems
There are a couple of aspects regarding sedimentation that a
population of people believed to be a benefit.
1. It is the contributor to Egyptian land fertility
2. Source of building material
3. A carrier of nourishment for sardine fish in the Mediterranean
near the Nile estuaries

How does a dam affect sedimentation?
The dam prevented sediments to travel forward and continue
its usual route of daily sedimentation system. It gets stuck inside
the dam and will accumulate there. This became an issue,
besides downstream morphological instability and coastal
The aftermath of the dam construction
There have been plenty of problems ever since the dam was
constructed. Some are as followed:
1. It is predicted that it takes 408 years for the sediments to fill
up the dams dead storage.

2. Argricultural land was deprived with sedimentation and
therefore received insignificant amount of feddans.
3. Stops the manufacturing of bricks.
4. Sudden disappearance of sardine in the Maditerranean

Overall, this Aswan High Dam has more positive feedbacks more
than negativity. It is proven to be a very economically efficient
project. The national income has increased after 10 years of
the construction of the dam.
Three Gorges Dams in China
A hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River
Located in Yilling District, Hubei China

The worlds largest power station in terms of installed capacity
(22,500 Megawatts/one million watts)

In the year of 2012, the amount of electricity the dam generated is
neck to neck with the Italipu dam located between brazil and
Each main turbine has a capacity of 700 MW. The dam
body was completed in 2006. Coupling the dam's 32 main
turbines with two smaller generators (50 MW each) to
power the plant itself, the total electric generating
capacity of the dam is 22,500 MW.

The dam project was completely and fully functional as of
July 4, 2012
As well as producing electricity, the dam is intended to
increase the Yangtze River's shipping capacity and reduce the
potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage
Composition and Dimension
Made of concrete and steel

the dam is 2,335 m long and the top of the dam
is 185 metres above sea level. The project used
27.2 million cubic metres (35.610
cu yd) of
concrete (mainly for the dam wall)
463,000 tonnes (1 tonnes = 1000 kg) of steel
(enough to build 63 Eiffel Towers) and moved
about 102.6 million cubic metres
cu yd) of earth. The concrete dam
wall is 181 metres high above the rock basis.

the water level is at its maximum of 175
metres above sea level, which is 110 metres
higher than the river level downstream, the
dam reservoir is on average about 660
kilometres in length and 1.12 kilometres in
. It contains 39.3 km
of water and has a
total surface area of 1,045 square
kilometres. On completion, the
reservoir flooded a total area of 632
square kilometre of land, compared to
the 1,350 square kilometres of reservoir
created by the Itaipu Dam.


The government estimated that the Three Gorges Dam project
would cost 180 billion yuan (US$22.5 billion)
By the end of 2008, spending had reached 148.365 billion yuan,
among which 64.613 billion yuan was spent on construction,
68.557 billion yuan on relocating affected residents, and
15.195 billion yuan on financing

It is estimated that the construction cost will be recovered when the
dam has generated 1,000 terawatt-hours (3,600 PJ) of electricity,
yielding 250 billion yuan. Full cost recovery is expected to occur ten
years after the dam starts full operation.

The dam flooded archaeological and cultural sites and
displaced some 1.3 million people, and is causing
significant ecological changes, including an increased
risk of landslides. The dam has been a controversial
topic both domestically and abroad.

Erosion and

Earthquakes and


Erosion and sedimentation
At current levels, 80% of the land in the area is experiencing
erosion, depositing about 40 million tons of sediment into the
Yangtze annually

Because the flow is slower above the dam, much of this sediment will
now settle there instead of flowing downstream, and there will be
less sediment downstream.
Earthquakes and landslides
Erosion in the reservoir, induced by rising water, causes
frequent major landslides that have led to noticeable
disturbance in the reservoir surface, including two incidents in
May 2009 when somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000
cubic metres of material plunged into the flooded Wuxia
Gorge of the Wu River. Also, in the first four months of 2010,
there were 97 significant landslides.

Waste Management
Over one billion tons of wastewater are released
annually into the river, which was more likely to be
swept away before the reservoir was created. This
has left the water looking stagnant, polluted and
The location of the Three Gorges Dam is the home to 6,388 species
of plants, which belong to 238 families and 1508 genera.
Of these plant species, 57 percent are endangered. These rare
species are also used as ingredients in traditional Chinese
Already, the percentage of forested area in the region surrounding
the Three Gorges Dam has dropped from twenty percent in 1950 to
less than ten percent as of 2002, negatively affecting all plant
species in this locality.
The region also provides habitats to hundreds of freshwater and
terrestrial animal species.
Freshwater fish are especially affected by dams due to changes in
the water temperature and flow regime. Many other fish are hurt in
the turbine blades of the hydroelectric plants as well. Other aquatic
species are being endangered by the dam, particularly the Baiji, or
the Chinese River Dolphin.