The Effects Of Dam Building Essay

1582 words - 6 pages

Took a long time to write, and Im very proud A-*Grade 10 GeographyUnits 12, 13, 14Essay - Effects of Dam BuildingBy:Brenden KilmartinMany people have already dammed a small stream using sticks and mud by thetime they become adults. Humans have used dams since early civilization,because four-thousand years ago they became aware that floods and droughtsaffected their well-being and so they began to build dams to protectthemselves from these effects.1 The basic principles of dams still apply todayas they did before; a dam must prevent water from being passed. Since then,people have been continuing to build and perfect these structures, not knowingthe full intensity of their side effects. The hindering effects of dams onhumans and their environment heavily outweigh the beneficial ones. Theparagraphs below will prove that the construction and presence of dams alwayshas and will continue to leave devastating effects on the environment aroundthem.Firstly, to understand the thesis people must know what dams are. A dam isa barrier built across a water course to hold back or control water flow. Damsare classified as either storage, diversion or detention. As you couldprobably notice from it's name, storage dams are created to collect or holdwater for periods of time when there is a surplus supply. The water is thenused when there is a lack of supply. For example many small dams impound waterin the spring, for use in the summer dry months. Storage dams also supply awater supply, or an improved habitat for fish and wildlife; they may storewater for hydroelectricity as well.2A diversion dam is a generation of a commonly constructed dam which isbuilt to provide sufficient water pressure for pushing water into ditches,canals or other systems. These dams, which are normally shorter than storagedams are used for irrigation developments and for diversion the of water froma stream to a reservoir. Diversion dams are mainly built to lessen the effectsof floods and to trap sediment.3Overflow dams are designed to carry water which flow over thier crests,because of this they must be made of materials which do not erode. Non-overflow dams are built not to be overtopped, and they may include earth orrock in their body. Often, two types of these dams are combined to form acomposite structure consisting of for example an overflow concrete gravitydam, the water that overflows into dikes of earthfill construction.4A dam's primary function is to trap water for irrigation. Dams help todecrease the severity of droughts, increase agricultural production, andcreate new lands for agricultural use. Farmland, however, has it's price;river bottomlands flooded, defacing the fertility of the soil. Thisagricultural land may also result in a loss of natural artifacts. Recently inTasmania where has been pressure from the government to abandon the Franklinproject which would consume up to 530 sq miles of land listed on the UN WorldHeritage register. In the land losses whole communties must...

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