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Famous Dams in Pakistan – Harnessing the Power of Nature

Dams have given ancient civilizations the ability to manage one of their most important and necessary water resources. They provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the local population. According to the survey, More than 150 countries rely on hydropower generation, and Pakistan is one of them. 

There is no denying that Pakistan is rich in natural resources and its dams play an important role in food security, energy generation, and flood control. By harnessing the power of Pakistan’s water resources, the dams can provide irrigation for agriculture, generate hydropower, and protect against floods by storing water during heavy rainfall.

As Pakistan citizens, we must know about the general knowledge of the dams in Pakistan and their role. Additionally, how many dams are in our country and under construction? 

For more general knowledge of the Pakistani dams, read the full blog!

Famous Dams in Pakistan – Harnessing the Power of Nature

Pakistan is enriched with spectacular sceneries, stunning deserts, and a wealth of natural resources that mainly rely on irrigation, which requires water resources. Pakistan is an agricultural nation and needs dams because these are crucial water source for many purposes, including agriculture, industry, hydroelectric power generation, and river navigation. 

It’s interesting to note that Pakistan has 150 dams scattered throughout its provinces. These dams also serve as ideal holiday destinations, thus, producing artificial lakes, which are popular recreation areas for the community. Tarbela, Mangla, Warsak, Hub, Khanpur, Mirani and Namal are the most famous dams on the Pakistan map.

Top 14 largest Dams in Pakistan

Pakistan is a recreational place with the most majestic dams. Here goes a list of dams in Pakistan: 

  1. Tarbela Dam
  2. Mangla Dam
  3. Warsak Dam
  4. Mirani Dam
  5. Hub Dam
  6. Namal Damp
  7. Rawal Dam
  8. Khanpur Dam
  9. Neelum–Jhelum Dam
  10. Satpara Dam
  11. Darawat Dam
  12. Sabakzai Dam
  13. Gulpur Dam
  14. Gomal Zamal Dam

Famous Dams in Pakistan and their Location

Here are the most famous dams in Pakistan and their location.

1. Tarbela Dam

tarbela dam

Tarbela Dam is one of the largest earth-filled dams along the Indus River in Pakistan’s KPK province. It is located mainly in the Swabi district of the province, which is about 30 km from the city of Swabi, northwest of Islamabad, and east of Peshawar. It stands at 143.26 meters (470.0 ft) with a surface area of 250 square kilometers. 

The Government completed its construction in 1976 and provided Pakistan’s irrigation and hydroelectric power resources. The Tarbela Dam has nine gates to regulate water flow and was built to use water from the Indus River for flood control and irrigation. The primary goal is to produce hydroelectric power generation by storing flows throughout the monsoon season and then releasing this stored water during the low flow season in winter.

Recreational Activities at Tarbela Dam

The Tarbela Dam is a great spot for tourists looking to get away for the weekend. The dam provides fishing and boating facilities, restaurants, and seafood eateries. Local rivers and lakes provide fresh seafood for visitors to enjoy.

2. Mangla Dam

The Mangla Dam is situated on the Jhelum River in Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is the second largest dam in Pakistan and the fifth largest embankment dam in the world. Plus, It is an important water source for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. The dam was completed in 1967 and raised the water level in the reservoir by 138 meters (453 ft).

Recreational Activities at Mangla Dam

The Mangla Dam is essential to Pakistan’s infrastructure, serving as an important water source for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. In addition, the dam is a popular tourist destination, with several hotels and resorts in the area. Visitors can also take a boat ride.

3. Warsak Dam

The Warsak Dam is the oldest dam on the Kabul River in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is one of the oldest dams in the country and was completed in 1960. The dam provides irrigation water for about 3,000 square kilometers of land and also supplies water to Peshawar city.

Recreational Activities at Warsak Dam

The Warsak Dam is a great place to take the family on a day trip. Plenty of activities keep everyone entertained, including fishing, boating excursions, and picnicking. The dam is also a great place to take photos and enjoy the scenic views.

4. Mirani Dam

Mirani Dam is one of the most famous dams in Pakistan. It is located on the Dasht River in Balochistan Province and provides irrigation water to nearby agricultural land and hydroelectric power to the region. The dam was completed in 2006 and is 127 feet (39 meters) tall.

Recreational Activities at Mirani Dam

There are numerous tourist activities available near Mirani Dam. Some popular ones include hiking, fishing, bird watching, and picnicking. People entertain themselves with plenty of opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture stunning scenery.

5. Hub Dam

Hub Dam is an earth-fill dam located about 55 km north of Karachi on the Royat-e-Hilal Branch Canal in Lasbela District, Balochistan. The dam was constructed in 1979 to store drinking water for Karachi. It plays an important role in regulating the Indus river delta flood waters and storing water for irrigation while serving as a catchment basin for floodwaters. It has a height of 48 meters (157 ft).

Recreational Activities at Hub Dam

You’ll love the recreational activities available at Hub Dam. The Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful place to explore, and the dam is a great spot for fishing and birdwatching. You’re sure to have a great time at this unique destination with so much to see and do.

6. Namal Dam

Namal Dam is located in Mianwali District, Punjab Province, Pakistan. The dam was completed in 2003 and had a height of 344 meters (1,129 feet). The dam impounds the Namal Lake, which has a storage capacity of 1.13 billion cubic meters (40.6 billion cubic feet). The Namal Dam power plant has a capacity of 200 megawatts (MW)

Recreational Activities at Namal Dam

Activities at Namal Dam include bird watching, picnicking, and simply enjoying the stunning scenery. The lake is a perfect habitat for various species of birds, making it a great spot for bird watching. You can also pack a picnic to enjoy at the dam or take in the spectacular views of the valley.

7. Khanpur Dam

Khanpur Dam is located in Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The dam was constructed between 1967 and 1974 and originally had 2 spillways, but due to damage, only one spillway functions today. It stands 51 meters (167 ft). The total length from abutment to abutment, including earth fill on both sides, comes to 3780m. Its main purpose was irrigation, but it also provides water for domestic needs, hydroelectricity generation, and flood mitigation.

Recreational Activities at Khanpur Dam

Khanpur Dam is a beautiful place to visit, and there are many recreational activities that you can do. One of the most popular activities of Khanpur Dam is paragliding. You can also go parasailing, jet skiing, cliff diving, ziplining, and boating. You can even try scuba diving at Khanpur Dam if you are adventurous

8. Neelum–Jhelum Dam

The Neelum–Jhelum Dam is located in Muzaffarabad district, Azad Kashmir province, Pakistan. It is a gravity-run, roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam on the Neelum River near Kelaniya village. The construction started in 2018 and was completed in 2016. The dam’s main purpose is to generate hydroelectric power and provide water for irrigation downstream.

9. Satpara Dam

The Satpara Dam is located in the Skardu District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is one of the biggest earth-filled dams in Pakistan and serves as an important water source for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. The dam was completed in 2004 and had a height of about 915 feet (280 meters).

10. Darawat Dam

The Darawat Dam is located in the Lasbela District of Balochistan, Pakistan. It is one of Pakistan’s tallest concrete gravity dams, with 128 ft. The dam was completed in 2006 and provides irrigation water for about 1,200 square kilometers (463 square miles) of farmland. It also has a hydroelectric power plant with a capacity of 150 megawatts.

11. Sabakzai Dam

The Sabakzai Dam is located in the Killa Saifullah District of Balochistan, Pakistan. It is one of the largest irrigation dams in Pakistan, with a height of 34.75 m (114.0 ft). The dam was completed in 2001 and provides irrigation water for about 2,500 square kilometers (965 square miles) of farmland.

11. Diamer Bhasha Dam

The Diamer Bhasha Dam is located on the Indus River in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2025. Once it is finished, it will be the tallest Dam in Pakistan and the world. It will have a height of 272 m (892 ft) and a length of 1,237 meters. The dam will have a reservoir capacity of 8.1 million cubic meters and will irrigate an area of 2,500 square kilometers. It will also generate 4,800 megawatts of electricity.

12. Gulpur Dam

The Gulpur Dam is located on the Poonch River in Azad Kashmir. It has been operational since 2016 and has a height of 35 meters. The dam has a reservoir capacity of 0.75 million cubic meters and provides irrigation benefits for 485 hectares.

13. Gomal Zam Dam

Gomal Zam Dam is located in Dera Ismail Khan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The dam was completed in 2004 and had a height of 437 ft. The dam impounds the Gomal River, which has a storage capacity of 1,140,000 acre-feet (1.41 km3). The dam is used for irrigation, water supply, and power generation. The Gomal Zam Dam power plant has a capacity of 80 MW.

How Many Dams are Being Built in Pakistan

Diamer Bhasha Dam

A concrete-filled gravity dam called Diamer-Bhasha Dam is located close to the town of “Bhasha.” It is now undergoing preliminary construction in the Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s River Indus. The WAPDA and FWO were instructed to finish this project in 2026 when the then-prime minister of Pakistan laid the project’s foundation stone.

Engineer Anwer Khurshid, however, has argued against using Basha Dam to undermine the Kalabagh Dam. “Bhasha Dam cannot replace Kalabagh Dam despite being at a sufficiently high elevation because no irrigation canals can be accessed from it due to the terrain’s hills.

Munda dam (Mohmand Dam)

Another dam that is being built in the Mohmand Dam. On the Swat River, there is a multipurpose concrete-faced rock-filled dam. The Government claimed it was protecting the districts of Nowshera and Charsadda from seasonal floods by keeping peak flood water in its reservoir and releasing it during dry seasons. 

When finished, it can irrigate 15,100 acres of land, produce 740 MW of hydroelectricity, and regulate floods downstream. Numerous projected yearly advantages are anticipated, including Rs. 4.98 billion in benefits from water storage and Rs. 19.6 billion in power generation by producing 2.4 billion.

Conclusion

Pakistan has many world-renowned dams that provide vital water resources for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control. These dams also support the local economy and employ the people of Pakistan. We have listed the top 15 famous dams in Pakistan above. Each dam has its unique features and benefits that make it special.

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