A dam is an artificial structure that crosses over a stream or river. It restricts or stops the water flow and uses the collected water for numerous purposes like irrigation, industrial use, human consumption, aquaculture, and electricity generation. Dams also play a significant role in flood control. In ancient times, dams were constructed using clay and rocks. Now, their primary construction material is concrete. The Jawa Dam in Jordan dates back to 3,000 BC and is the oldest known dam. Even though dams may seem like uninteresting concrete structures, several dams worldwide are unique and breathtaking. Let’s explore the most incredible dams in the world.
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1. Khlong The Dan Dam in Thailand
This spectacular dam stands at a height of 93 meters and holds the record for consuming the most significant amount of concrete during construction. During the dam’s construction, 5.5 million cubic meters of compact concrete were used. The water dam, completed in 2005, has a length of 2,720 meters.
The Khlong The Dan Dam irritates the area around the Nakon Nayok River using the water from the dam. However, the area surrounding the dam is astoundingly beautiful, and the scenery can be enjoyed from the nearby park.
2. Monticello Dam in California, USA
The construction of this concrete vault, or arch dam, started in 1953 and was completed in 1957. The dam is in Napa County, CA, and has an alternative nickname of “Priehrada Monticello.” This beautiful dam stands at a height of 93 meters. One of the most mesmerizing dams owing to its spectacular spillway, nicknamed “the Glory Hole,” funnel-shaped. The spillway has a diameter of 22 meters at the tip and is inside Lake Berryessa’s boundaries. The dam is responsible for irrigating the surrounding agricultural lands and supplying electricity to the city of San Francisco.
3. Seli’s Ksanka Qlispe in Montana, USA
This beautiful dam with a unique name originally had the name, Kerr Dam. However, the individual tribes who bought the dam renamed the dam as it is on a Native American reservation. It impounds the Flathead River and generates 426 GWh of hydroelectricity. In addition, it is responsible for handling the surrounding region’s irrigation and supports numerous recreational activities. The dam also plays a vital role in forest conservation and protecting wildlife resources.
4. Gordon Dam in Tasmania, Australia
This most incredible dam is an arch dam, having controlled overflow and double curvature. This dam’s most unique structural feature is its curvature in horizontal and vertical directions. This helps in resisting the enormous hydraulic pressures created by the water in Gordon Lake. The construction of the dam, located in Tasmania, began in 1974 and was done in 1978. It is the highest dam in Tasmania and generates a power of 432 MW.
5. Vidraru Dam in Romania
This dam finished construction in 1966 and crossed the river Arges. It is between the Ghițu mountains and the Frunții Mountains. This arch dam stands at an impressive height of 166 meters. This imposing dam is the highest in Romania and has impressive views owing to the beautiful lake created by it, Lake Vidraru, and the surrounding woods. The dam holds around 465 million cubic meters of water and can generate 220 MW of hydropower.
6. Contra Dam in Ticino, Switzerland
Contra Dam sits on the river Verzasca. Also, it is one of the most incredible dams for its iconic appearance in the movie Golden Eye. This beautiful arch dam created the Vagorno lake and can generate about 234 GWh of power every year. The dam’s construction took place in 1961 and was completed in 1965. It is 220 meters high and holds about 105,000,000 cubic meters of water.
7. Hoover Dam in Nevada, USA
Located between Arizona and Nevada, this iconic dam, initially named Boulder Dam, impounds the River Colorado. It stands at the height of 220 meters and creates Lake Mead. The primary purpose of the dam is to create hydroelectricity. The construction of the dam took place in 1936 during the Great Depression. The Hoover Dam gets its name from President Herbert Hoover and is a part of the 7 Wonders of the Industrial World.
8. Mooserboden Dam in Austria
Lastly, one of the most beautiful dams in the world, it is located in Kaprun and is surrounded by the stunning beauty of the majestic Alps. It is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. The dam stands at an impressive height of 2040 meters and divides the beautiful Höhenburg Mountains. The construction of the dam started in 1947 and was completed in 1955. Its primary purpose is to generate electricity.
Dams are fascinating engineering marvels that are integral to modern human society. Moreover, these fantastic structures are responsible for numerous vital functions, like generating hydroelectric power, providing irrigation and drinking water, and protecting the surrounding area from floods.