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Pros and Cons of Dams

Dams have been the world’s preferred source of generating electricity and for recreational activities. They act as water catchment areas however if the dam breaks its banks, it can cause a huge disaster and death in the neighboring communities.

When building a dam, it is necessary to learn more about its pros and cons to fully utilize its use while combating its weaknesses.



1. Hydroelectric power: Water stored in the dam is used to generate electricity. This makes it an effective means of generating a renewable source of energy.

2. Efficient storage of water: Dams are more efficient in the storage of rainwater which can later be used to supply water to the neighboring areas during drought. The stored water can be used for irrigation purposes.

3. Control Floods: During heavy rains, water in the low-lying grounds can be channeled to the dams preventing flooding in the area. The strong walls build block water from flowing out and this prevents potential floods in an area.

4. Tourists attraction: Dam construction can lead to the economic development of an area and act as a tourist attraction site.

5. Recreational activities: Dams contributes to the creation of reactional activities like fishing, boating among others

6. No pollution: Electricity produced by the dams reduces the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases leading to a safe environment.

7. Low maintenance cost: Although the cost of construction is very high, they have low operational and maintenance cost. The sturdy and concrete material can help store water for a long time.

8. Reliable: Dams are used to create a clean, reliable, and efficient source of energy compared to other sources of energy.

9. Environmental protection: They help to facilitate waterways and reduce risks associated with waterborne diseases in an environment. Dams also trap toxic components in water thus helping to protect the environment.

10. Mineral processing: Some dams have mine tailing impoundments. These help in processing minerals in a friendly manner.



1. Expensive: To construct a dam in a certain area is very expensive and time-consuming. They need high-standard materials to construct which are very expensive.

2. Complex repairs: During critical situations, the maintenance and repair of the dam are very complex. Sometimes it is difficult to successfully repair the dam.

3. Limits fish migration: Construction of a dam to store water prevents migration of fish and other marine life.

4. Displacement of people: People who live in the nearby area are forced to move out due to floods. They also lose their farms and business if hydro-power schemes are established in the area.

5. Deforestation: The land used for the construction of dams leads to deforestation. It also affects the other activities since the acres of land used in the construction can be used for agricultural tasks.

6Environmental effects: It interferes with the natural flow of river water in the environment and causes soil erosion. It also affects the flow of water in the upstream area leading to flooding.

7Earthquakes: There is an increased risk of earthquakes in the surrounding area. Building the dam in a large area will depress the earth’s surface.

8. Death: If the dams break, they cause heavy loss of life to communities downstream and also lead to flooding.

9. Destruction of wildlife habitat: Large-scale dam construction inhibit wildlife habitat due to river valley flooding. It also interferes with wildlife migration patterns.

10. Loss of minerals in the downstream area: It leads to loss of nutrients and minerals to fields along the river due to flooding downstream.

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