What do engineers keep in mind to select a best place to build a reservoir?

What are water reservoirs?

Water reservoirs are artificial or man-made storehouses of water. They are huge artificial lakes that pile up a huge amount of water.

Why are dams necessary?

  • Reservoirs are an important source of water for various communities and industries, areas where there is scarcity or uncertainty of water.
  • Water reservoirs help to regulate the flow of water in a river or stream, preventing flooding during heavy rainfall.
  • Water from the reservoirs is used for irrigation, drinking water, and hydroelectric power generation. Water reservoirs are also useful for recreational purposes such as boating and swimming.

How are water reservoirs built?

Water reservoirs are created by building a dam across a river or between two hills. The flow of water is blocked to create a large, artificial lake.

Let us build a dam but where? Does it make a difference where we built them?

The engineers say it does make a difference.

Engineers consider several factors when selecting a location for a reservoir viz

  1. Area and Soil conditions:

The soil in the selected area should be stable.  The soil must be able to support the weight of the water in the reservoir, as well as the weight of the dam to store as much water as possible.

2. Cost-effective:

i) The cost of the land acquired,

ii) the building cost of the dam and

iii) the maintenance of the reservoir over time should be as less as possible.

3. Water availability:

The place should have a reliable source of water, such as a river to fill the reservoir.

4. Topography:

The site should be located in a topographically suitable area, such as a valley or depression, to allow the construction of a dam to create the reservoir.

5. Proximity to users:

The site should be located near the population or industry that will be using the water from the reservoir, to minimize the cost of transporting the water. The engineers and the people from the city government together have to decide whether the extra water is worth the extra money.

6. Environmental impact:

The environmental impact of the reservoir taken seriously includes the potential impacts on wildlife and vegetation in the area, the potential for flooding, or other natural disasters like earthquakes.

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