Difference between Dam and Reservoir
An understanding of dams and reservoirs is crucial to grasp the differences between the two. This article aims to provide comprehensive information about dams and reservoirs, including their definitions, examples, uses, and a clear comparison of their distinctions.
What is a Dam?
A dam is a structure built across a river or a stream to obstruct the flow of water and create a reservoir on one side. Dams are typically made of concrete, masonry, or earth-filled materials, providing a controlled release of water downstream.
Examples of Dams:
- Hoover Dam – Colorado River, United States
- Three Gorges Dam – Yangtze River, China
- Itaipu Dam – Paraná River, Brazil/Paraguay border
Uses of Dams:
- Hydropower generation
- Water supply for irrigation
- Flood control
- Recreation activities (e.g., boating, fishing)
What is a Reservoir?
A reservoir is an artificial or natural water body created by blocking a river’s flow with the help of a dam. It stores a large quantity of water that can be used for various purposes, such as water supply or power generation.
Examples of Reservoirs:
- Lake Mead – Created by the Hoover Dam
- Glen Canyon Reservoir – Created by the Glen Canyon Dam
- Lake Kariba – Created by the Kariba Dam
Uses of Reservoirs:
- Water supply for domestic, industrial, and agricultural needs
- Hydroelectric power generation
- Flood control
- Recreation activities (e.g., swimming, camping)
- Wildlife habitat
Differences between Dams and Reservoirs:
|Definition||A structure built to obstruct the flow of water||An artificial or natural water body created by blocking a river’s flow|
|Construction Material||Concrete, masonry, or earth-filled materials||N/A (Part of the dam structure)|
|Purpose||Controlled release of water downstream, hydropower generation, flood control, etc.||Storage of a large quantity of water, water supply, power generation, etc.|
|Location||Usually across a river or stream||Made by blocking river flow with a dam|
|Primary Use||Create a barrier for water flow||Store and supply water|
|Formation||Man-made||Artificial or natural (created due to dam construction)|
|Water Volume||Usually lesser compared to the reservoir||Large amount of water|
|Associated Activities||Fishing, boating, navigation||Swimming, camping, wildlife habitat|
|Impact on the Environment||Can disrupt natural river ecosystems||Alters the original water flow pattern|
|Similarity||N/A||A reservoir is associated with a dam|
In conclusion, dams and reservoirs serve different purposes, with dams being the structures and reservoirs being the resulting water bodies. While dams aim to control water flow, reservoirs are essential for water storage and supply. Understanding these differences helps in comprehending their significance and the impact they have on various aspects of human activities and environment.
People Also Ask:
- What is the purpose of a dam?
- How do reservoirs form?
- Do reservoirs affect the environment?
- Can dams be used for recreational activities?
- What are the main benefits of reservoirs?
Dams serve various purposes such as water storage, hydropower generation, flood control, and navigation.
Reservoirs are formed by blocking the flow of a river using a dam, which creates an artificial or natural water body.
Yes, reservoirs can impact the environment by altering natural water flow, affecting ecosystems and habitats.
Yes, dams and reservoirs created by them offer recreational opportunities like boating, fishing, swimming, and camping.
Reservoirs provide benefits such as storing water for domestic, industrial, and agricultural needs, generating hydroelectric power, and facilitating irrigation.