Dams: Essay on Advantages and Disadvantages of Dams

Dams refer to massive walls or barriers built specifically to regulate the flow of water or underground streams. Dams are often handy in controlling floods as well as providing water for numerous beneficial activities like agriculture, irrigation, hydroelectric power generation etc. Water contained in dams results in the creation of lakes or reservoirs.

However, as it is with everything in life, there are some pitfalls too that are associated with construction of dams. Some of the major advantages and disadvantages are as follows:

Advantages of Dams:

  1. Helps in flood control.
  2. Hydroelectricity generated by dams is a renewable energy source.
  3. Lakes and reservoirs can help in irrigation.
  4. Provides regular water supply for domestic as well as industrial consumption.
  5. Major tourist draws.
  6. Provides still water habitat for some species.
  7. Dams can help in land fill or land reclamation efforts for agricultural use.
  8. Provides jobs to many people engaged in crop production and irrigation.
  9. Stored water in dams is often diverted to other reservoirs or drainages in dry areas so and improves water use in such areas.
  10. Dams once built, last for decades and can be a cheap and continuous source of electricity for years.
  11. Lakes formed by dams also serve as centers of water sports and recreational activities.
  12. Electricity thus produced by dams do not pollute the atmosphere.
  13. Improves fishery population.
  14. Roadways built on dam tops are used for local transportation.
  15. Provides water navigation facilities.

Disadvantages of Dams:

  1. Highly cost-intensive.
  2. High maintenance costs.
  3. Affects the biodiversity of nearby regions.
  4. Any damage or failure may lead to huge losses.
  5. Leads to destruction of natural environment over a period of time.
  6. Results in altercations between neighboring countries over the flow of water.
  7. Results in alteration of the water table in many cases.
  8. Their construction may lead to earthquakes.
  9. Locals residing in downstream areas are displaced.
  10. It takes decades to build a dam.
  11. Stagnant water created by dams may give rise to various health hazards.
  12. Reduces oxygen levels in the water due to hydroelectric power generation.

– Abhishyand Kumar