N order to make proper use of river water, dams are constructed across the rivers to regulate the flow of water. In our country dams have been built across many rivers.
In order to make proper use of river water, dams are constructed across the rivers to regulate the flow of water. In our country dams have been built across many rivers. The large reservoir of a dam stores a huge amount of water. This stored water is then allowed to flow downstream at the desired rate. Bhakra Dam is one such dam which has been built across the river Satluj in the state of Punjab in our country. Dams built across the rivers are big storehouse of river water.
Dams are useful for society in the following ways:
- Water from dam is used for irrigation in the fields through a network of canals. Dams ensure round the year water supply to the crop field and help raise agricultural production. For example, Indira Gandhi Canal originating from Bhakra dam has brought greenery to considered areas of Rajasthan.
- Water for dam is supplied to the people in towns and cities through pipelines after suitable treatment. In this way, construction of dams ensures continuous water supply in the region.
- The falling water from the dam is used for generating electricity. The water rushing down the dam turns turbines which run electric generators. The electricity thus produced is called hydroelectricity.
The construction of high- rise dams for the management of river water and generation of electricity has certain problems associated with it. The public opposition to the construction of large dams on rivers is mainly due to the following likely to be created by them:
- Social problems: Due to the construction of high- rise dams, a large number of human settlements are submerged in the water reservoir formed by the dam and many people are rendered homeless. This creates a social problem. It is, therefore, necessary that all the people who are displaced from the dam site are given adequate compensation by the Government for rehabilitation so as to start their life afresh.
- Environment Problem: The construction of high- rise dams on the rivers contributes to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. This is because a vast variety of flora and fauna get submerged in the water of large reservoir formed by the dam and disturb the ecological balance.
- Economic Problems: Some people say that the construction of high- rise dams involves the spending of huge amount of public money without the generation of proportionate benefits. On the other hand, others say that there can be no real progress without building dams because they allow us to manage our water resources properly and at same time give us much needed electricity. So, whether the construction of dams on rivers is an economic problem or not is a debatable question. So, before taking a decision to construct high-rise dams on rivers, on raising the height of dams it is necessary to consider its long term effect on social life and environment carefully.