How can we define a dam? Yes, we all know what a dam is and how big they are, but do we know how they work?
Dams generate energy. They use the power of water to move turbines which in turn generate energy to be used. Dams take long to build and are architectural wonders in their area.
There are different types of dams and they vary in size and materials. But, which dams are the biggest? Which dams are the best? The most useful?
Kenny Slaught took the time to do a little research on those dams that stand out from the rest due to their size or usefulness or location. Other dams are very important due to reach they have and the communities they serve; other dams are just natural made and others are made by beavers. In summary, dams are world marvels that show human´s progress in time. Let’s take a brief look at those dams.
The Hoover Dam located in Nevada, Arizona
Of course, this dam had to be in our list. We talked about this dam in a previous post and as all of you know, this thing is amazing. The dam was built by orders from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 and it is the landmark that designates the border between Nevada and Arizona. The construction of such dam was awarded to 6 companies to work together, they were called “Six Companies”. More than 2 thousand workers were employed to complete this task and it was a life saver for many workers at the moment because USA was going through the great depression and that job gave them stability throughout the project. The project took well over 5 years and more than 95 people died either because of safety procedures being ignored or because of the heat.
The Three Gorges Dam located in Hubei, China
The planning for this one started in 1932, but the construction of the dam itself only began many decades after, in 1994. The dam was finished in 2012 and it was extremely amazing and it took the title of the largest dam in the world and the biggest operating hydroelectric facility when it comes to the energy it generates every year. The dam has had many controversies and had many delays. For example, in order to build the dam a lot of archaeological and cultural sites were totally destroyed and more than 1 million people were relocated after submerging 13 cities, 140 towns, and more than 1,600 villages displacing them from their history, culture and their homes. Another controversy is that in 2006, when it wasn’t yet finished, there were already reports of cracks, landslides, ecological deterioration, and a lot of presence of algae.
The Vajont located in Erto E Casso, Italy
The only thing that makes this dam amazing is that It was the tallest in the world while it was being built with 860 feet. The dam has not been used since 1963 because there was an accident that caused the death of more than 1900 people. The dam was being filled with water and there was a huge landslide that caused water to go over the dam and cover the nearby town. After that, the reservoir was not filled at all.
The Sand Dams located in Kenya
These dams are basic and look very fragile. But please don’t be fooled, they are as strong as any other dam. These dams are built by entire communities and take some seasons to actually be useful. In the beginning, the dam looks like a simple concrete wall that goes across a riverbed. Here, the water still flows over the top of the dam or stays behind the dam and evaporates. As time passes and seasons come, more sand is collected behind the dam which makes the dam stronger and bigger. Also, sometimes the water is kept underwater and collected from there. . With this, rainwater is stored for 20 years or more.
Beaver dams located in Wood Buffalo Park, Canada
Image courtesy of Brian at flickr.com
Well, it is an architectural marvel because it is made by beavers, small animals that create these dams in order to create marshlands for their survival. We know that beavers make small dams to provide water for the other beavers, but this one is different. Nasa discovered in 2007 that there was a beaver dam that was 2,790 feet long and that there are two other dams nearby that will connect in the near future with the first dam making this dam even bigger and more impressive, adding 100 to 150 feet more to the already impressive beaver dam.
Did you like this post? Be sure to also read this article on some of the best example of modern underground architecture.