We are well aware of dams in India and also that our country India holds the third position in building the largest dam in the world after China and the US.

What are Dams?

Dams are generally defined as the barriers that store water, underground streams and prevents from being able to suppress floods. It also provides water for different activities such as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability.

Dams are important to our country and tare problems as well like, they change the ecosystem of the rivers, high cost for constructing the dam, they must be operated for many several years to become profitable, rehabilitation of people, serious geological damage, flooding of large areas of land, and the dam might give under the weight of water in the lake leading to deaths and flooding, etc.

Alternatives to Dams


Keeping in mind the considerable disadvantages related to dams one does consider the alternatives that might be feasible. Dams are known to alter the natural flow regime and with it virtually every aspect of a river ecosystem, including water quality, sediment transport, deposition, fish migrations and reproduction, floodplain habitat and the organisms that rely on this habitat. Hence, we must come to the conclusion that dams are hardly the only way to meet the demand for water, whether it’s new demand due to population growth or to adjust to altered precipitation or runoff patterns resulting from climate change. For these alternatives to actually stand a chance, one must first understand the requirements of water for the community.

Once the demand is understood, we can proceed to the alternatives that are feasible in nature. The conservation water and efficient use of water is not a topic to be trifled with, neither it is one to be extensively discussed on, going ahead with the assumption that we are educated enough to comprehend its importance.

The reuse of water or water recycling or reclamation refers to the reuse of treated sewage, grey water or stormwater for non-potable purposes such as irrigation, industrial processes, fire protection and toilet flushing, among others. Another option is groundwater recharge which involves recharging underground water sources during a wet year or a season when water is available. Re-operation of existing dams is quite a good option. In the sense changing the way an existing dam is used is typically cheaper and less harmful to our environment than building a new dam and in most cases re-operating a dam goes to mean that it can provide water for cities, farms, and fish during critical times of year without major environmental, energy production or flood protection drawbacks.

Also Read: List of Largest dams in India

Important Questions on for you:

Which is the largest dam in the world?

Hirakud dam is the world largest dam, located on the river Mahanadi, which originates in the northern hills of Dandakaranya in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh.

 What are the benefits of dams?

There are numerous economic benefits from dams. They are multipurpose, as the majority of the dams are built and for irrigation and hydropower. Nearly one-fifth of the world’s electricity is generated by dams. Dams also protect us from the floods, supply water to cities, and also support river navigation.

Which is the oldest dam in the world?

Jawa Dam is the world oldest dam dating back to the fourth millennium BC. This Dam is the remains of an ancient and located in Jordan, 100 km away from the capital Amman.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about the Dams and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology

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