A dam is a man-made water reservoir which is meant for production of hydroelectricity, storage of water and for the creation of artificial lakes. We can determine how big and how small a dam is by looking at three main characteristic. The first one is the water holding capacity of the dame, secondly, is how wide the dam is and thirdly, is how high the dam barrier is. The barrier of every strong dam should be able to withstand the pressure of water stored behind it. Here are the top ten biggest dame in the world.
1. Kariba Dam
It is the biggest dam in the world and it is found in Africa, Zimbabwe. The dam is locate at Kariwa Gorge which allowed the construction the barrier between this Gorges. The presence of this dam has led to the creation of artificial or man-made lake called Lake Kariba. The dam has a storage capacity of 185 billion cubic meters of water. The lake created behind it occupies more than 280km long and approximately 32 km wide area. The strength of this dam has been accrued from the fact that it has two walls with a curved shape. It took 1.036 million cubic meters of concrete for this dame barrier to be completed. The presence of this dam has solved flooding that had been experienced long before.
2. Bratsk Dam
It is found in Russia; located in Siberian region. It is the second largest since it has the ability of holding 169.27 billion cubic meters of water. The dam traps water from Angara River and this has led to the creation of a reservoir behind it which is approximately 5,540km square. It is approximately 125m high and 1,452m in length. The barrier made it perfect for the construction of a railway line a highway on top of it. After the construction in 1964, the dam has been producing a hydroelectric power worth 4,500 megawatts.
3. Akosombo Dam
It the third largest dam in the world and is found in Ghana, Africa. It sits on River Volta and has created 8,500Km square. It has barred water hence creating Lake Volta behind it. It can hold 144 billion cubic meters. The dam has create a reservoir which is 700m wide and 134m wide. This has been a source of water and life to over 300,000 people living around it. On the other hand, the dam produces an approximate value of 128,000 kilowatts per annum.
4. Daniel Johnson Dam
This dam is in Canada and it is also called the manic 5 dam. The dam was created by barring Manicouagan River hence creating a reservoir bearing the name of the river behind it. It has a capacity of 130.8 billion cubic meters of water. The water stored in it creates a surface of 1,973 Km Square. It is approximately 1,310m long and its height is 213.97m. It consumed 2.2 million cubic meters of concrete till its completion. It is now a producer of 2,660 MW of power.
5. Guri Dam
This dam is found in Venezuela and being the 5th largest dam in the world, has a capacity of 135 cubic meters of water. Its presence has created a 4,000Km square lake behind it. The concrete barrier measures 1,300m long and 16m high. This provides about 10,000MW. More than 70% of the Venezuelans depend on this dam for hydroelectric power production.
6. Aswan High Dam
This is the largest dam in Egypt. It impounds River Nile and as a result, it created Lake Nasser behind it. It has a storage capacity of 132 billion cubic meters of water. It was designed by the institute of Hydro project of Russia and local other engineers. Considering the size, it was constructed for $1bn. The dam produces approximately 2,100MW of power. I is 111m high and 3,830m long. The internal base is about 990m wide. Sources have estimated that about 11,000 cubic meters can be attained in a single spill.
7. W.A.C Bennett Dam
It is found in Canada and it sits on the Peace River, British Columbia. The presence of this dam has created Williston Lake behind it. It holds 74 billion cubic meters of water and covers an area of 1,773Km square when full. The embankment is 183m ad 2,068m long and the dam has the ability to produce 2,790mw of electricity a production which started immediately after 1968.
8. Krasnoyarsk Dam
This is the number eight dam in the world. It has 12 units that can produce up to 6,000MW of power. With that, the concrete barrier is 124 m in height and 1,065m long. This gives it a huge surface area when full. It can discharge water of up to about 20,000 meters cubic of water in a single second. This is due to the fact that it holds 73.3 billion cubic meters of water all the time.
9. Zeya Dam
This is one of the largest dams in Russia that can hold about 68.40 meter cubic of water. It covers an area of about 2,400km square as far as the water surface is concerned. Considering that the barrier is 112m high and 714m long, it utilized 2,067 million cubic meters of concrete. This magnificent construction has led to the creation of a dam that can produce 1,290MW of power. Unlike other dams, it has adjustable blades which can divert the flow of water to a single direction.
10. Robert-Bourassa Dam
This dam is located at la Grande River in Northern Quebec. It creates the Roberts-Bourassa Lake. It can hold water of up to 61.7billion cubic meters of water. This is a capacity that has enabled this dam to produce 5,616MW of electric power. The embankment or the barrier is 162 m in height and 2,835m in length. The spill section has the ability to deliver water of up to 17,600m cubic of water to the turbines per second.