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25 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Dams | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. A dam is a barrier designed and constructed to contain the flow of water.
  2. Dams are built for purposes such as generating hydroelectricity, creating recreational areas, minimizing flood risks, diverting water for irrigation, and providing water for towns and cities.
  3. The first dam for which reliable records exist was built on the Nile River sometime before 4000 BC. near the ancient city of Memphis.
  4. The oldest continuously operating dam still in use is the Kofini Dam, which was constructed in 1260 BC on the Lakissa River in Greece.
  5. There are approximately 850,000 dams located around the world. Of the more than 40,000 that are categorized as large dams, more than half are located in China and India.
  6. It is estimated that 24 countries currently generate more than 90 percent of their electrical power from dams, and 70 countries rely on dams for flood control.
  7. Gravity Dams use the downward force of the weight of the construction materials to resist the horizontal force of the water. These are the largest and heaviest of the concrete dams. They have a large base and they can only be built on a solid rock foundation.
  8. Arch Dams are supported by the walls of the canyon in which they are built. The arch dam is built in a curved arch facing the water. Arch dams can only be built in narrow canyons where the rock walls are solid and steep. Notches, called keyways, are cut into the canyon walls on both sides, and then the dam is built so that it fits into these notches.
  9. Buttress Dams have a sloping slab that is supported by buttresses or walls. Buttress dams use less concrete than the other two types of dams as above.
  10. Embankment dams typically are constructed of compacted earth, rock, or both, making them less expensive than others that are constructed of concrete. More than 80 percent of all large dams are of this type. Because earth is not as strong as concrete, earthen dams are very thick. When building an earthen dam, engineers use soils that do not let water seep through.
  11. Dams require vast financial resources. The construction of the Itaipu Dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay which was completed in 1984 cost around US$20 billion.
  12. Built along the Colorado River between 1931 and 1936, The well-known Hoover Dam reaches 726 feet in height. Base is 660 Feet thick.
  13. When the Hoover Dam was completed it was both the world’s largest concrete structure and largest hydroelectric power station.
  14. The Hoover Dam was built to last 2,000 years. The concrete in it will not even be fully cured for another 500 years.
  15. Enough rock was excavated in Hoover dam construction to build the Great Wall of China.
  16. The Hoover Dam is made of enough concrete to make a two lane highway from New York to San Francisco, that’s around 2500 miles (4000 km).
  17. Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at its base.
  18. As many as 20,000 vehicles a day drive across the 45 ft. wide top of the dam between Nevada and Arizona.
  19. Each of the 17 generators of Hoover Dam weights as much as 4 1/2 fully loaded Boeing 747’s.
  20. The world’s tallest dam currently is the 305 meter Jinping-1 in China. The close second is Nurek Dam in Tajikistan reaching 300 meters.
  21. China has begun building a 314-metre high Shuangjiankou dam on a tributary of China’s Yangtze river which will be the world’s tallest to be completed in 2022. The project could cost about US$100 billion.
  22. Three Gorges Dam which is now the world’s largest reservoir required a total of 1.3 million people had to be relocated from their homes comprising of 1,600 villages, spread across 140 towns and 13 cities. It has the honor of being the world’s largest power station.
  23. Three gorge dam is built entirely of steel and concrete. It used 510,000 tons of steel which is enough to build the Eiffel Tower 60 times over! If three gorge dam bursts, there is the potential for 360 million lives. This is unlikely to happen but it’s a truly frightening thought.
  24. In 1889 a failure of the South Fork Dam near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, killed over 2200 people.
  25. In 1975, the Banqiao Dam in China was among many dams that were destroyed after the extreme rains of Typhoon Nina. It is estimated that between 90000 and 230000 lives were lost as a result of the Banqiao Dam breaking.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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