Problems and Benefits of Building a DamHome >> Articles >> Engineering Careers >> Problems and Benefits of Building a Dam
Dams can offer huge benefits in terms of electrical power generation and irrigation. Many massive dams worldwide are a tribute to the achievements of civil engineering and electrical engineering. These great feats of civil engineering are not without problems, however, and there are potential disadvantages as well as benefits to take into account.
Some Problems with Dam Building
Risk of failure – when a dam fails it can be catastrophic. As recently as recently as 2004 the Big Bay Dam in
Environmental – dams may destroy wild life habitats, drain wetlands, and cause river pollution by reducing the river flow to a level where the river can no longer self-cleanse. Farm land can be ruined by salt produced by the irrigation process.
Cost – dams are very expensive to build and may not provide sufficiently economical electrical power generation, water supply, or irrigation.
Some Benefits of Building a Dam
Hydroelectric power - electrical power generation is a major benefit which may be cheaper and environmentally safer than energy derived from fossil fuels or other electrical engineering sources.
Irrigation – regions with poor or unpredictable rainfall can be turned into fertile farmland.
Water supply – providing dependable water supply for urban or industrial use.
Flood control – holding back and channeling potentially dangerous water flow.
Famous Dams Worldwide
The Hoover Dam in
The Three Gorges Dam in