Pakistan has several dams and reservoirs, each serving various purposes, including water storage, irrigation, hydroelectric power generation, and flood control. Here’s a brief description of some of the notable dams in Pakistan according to my last knowledge update in September 2021.
Did you know that Tarbela Dam is the world’s biggest earthen dam? It is 105 kilometers northwest of Islamabad and close to Swabi. On the Pakistani river known as the River Indus, this enormous dam was built. The dam’s main objective was to store water for irrigation and electrical production.
The dam was built beginning in 1968 and was completed in 1976. The dam, which has a storage capacity of 11.1 MAF, was constructed 143 meters above the river belt. The dam’s highest point is 1550 feet above sea level.
17 water turbines on the dam are only used to generate hydroelectric power. The Tarbela dam generates 4888 Megawatts of power or around 70% of all hydroelectric power.
One of the cx is the Mangla Dam. In addition to serving as a water storage facility, Mangla Dam is a crucial component of the Indus Waters Basement Treaty, an international agreement between Pakistan and India. The dam, which was built on the River Jhelum in Punjab, took its name from a nearby village called “Mangla.”
Mangla Dam, which was built in 1965, was ranked as the fifth-largest dam in the world at the time. It is currently the twelfth-largest dam in the entire globe. The Mangla reservoir, which has a length of 3140 meters and a height of 147 meters, has a storage capacity of 7.39 million acre-feet (M.A.F).
Islamabad is home to Rawal Dam, one of Pakistan’s most well-known dams. The dam was constructed to deliver water to Pakistan’s twin cities. The dam’s construction began in 1962. The dam can hold about 42,000 acre-feet of water.
In addition to being a water storage facility, Islamabad’s Rawal Dam is one of the most well-known tourist destinations. For recreational purposes including horseback riding, boating, and fishing, people travel here. Also ideal for family picnics, this location.
A tiny fraction of this dam is located in Diamer, Gilgit Baltistan, and the majority of the significant component is in the Kohistan District, KPK. The dam is now being built, and when it is done, it will likely stand as the highest dam in the entire globe.
The River Indus is the site of the dam’s construction. The dam will be able to generate 4800 Megawatts of power with its 12 turbines. Additionally, it has a 110 square km area and an estimated 8 MAF water storage capacity. For instance, it used to be very difficult for us to even check our utility bills.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the previous leader of Pakistan, unveiled the blueprint for building the Diamer Bhasha Dam. Despite the dam’s official opening, lack of funding has frequently forced the building to a halt. The initial cost estimate for this 4500 MW power-generating dam project was $12 billion, however, several experts now predict that the final cost of the dam might be between $ 18 and $ 20 billion.
The Diamer Bhasha dam’s construction has resumed, and it will take about nine years to complete. The projected dam will have a maximum height of 270 meters and a storage capacity of roughly 74 million acre-feet.
110 square km will be covered by the dam project. Experts claim that Pakistan’s economy can grow as a result of this project. Additionally, it will add 35 years to the Tarbela Dam’s lifespan.
Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project
A hydroelectric power project located in Azad Kashmir is the Neelum-Jhelum Dam. As the name suggests, it refers to water flowing from the Neelum River in the direction of the Jhelum River. This dam, which started operating in 2018, has the capacity to produce up to 1040 MW in the past.
The Neelum-Jhelum Dam has established itself as a significant historical site that provides hydroelectric electricity to thousands of people. Comparatively few people know about or have visited the dam because it is still relatively new compared to other dams in Pakistan.
Another substantial concrete dam, the Warsak Dam, is situated at the Kabul River in the Peshawar valley. Pakistan and Canada worked together to build the dam. The Colombo Plan’s Warsak Dam was finished in two phases with funding provided by the Canadian government.
The Warsak Dam Hydropower Project has a 243 MW installed capacity. Warsak’s total power generation capacity would increase to 525 MW after the Pakistan WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) chose to install a 375 MW power plant in June 2012.
In order to satisfy the excessive demands of the populace, the government is currently restoring the dam. Pakistan will receive a loan from Germany in the amount of 40 million euros for the renovation of the Warsak hydroelectric power project.
On the Zhob River in Balochistan is where the Sabakzai Dam is located. In Balochistan’s southwest, it controls the Zhob River’s flow. The dam was built over the course of 3 years, from 2004 to 2007.
Gen. Pervez Musharaf launched the initiative in 2007, and it has been running ever since. It helps irrigate nearby areas, although work is still being done to create a functional irrigation route through the dam.
The Sabakzai Dam has been crucial in maintaining the river’s water flow and is a well-liked destination for provincial residents.
A less well-known dam in Sindh’s Jamshoro District is called the Darawat Dam. It was built in 4 years and is located on the Nai Bran River. In 2013, Asif Ali Zardari officially opened the dam. The dam has a 150 million cubic meter water storage capacity.
This dam primarily helps with the irrigation of nearby fields and serves as a picnic area for locals who travel from Hyderabad and Karachi.
In Mianwali, Punjab, the Namal (Gravity) Dam is located on the edge of Namal Valley. It was built by British engineers in 1913, which explains why it is so old but is still a functional dam.
The area is bordered by plains used for farming, which irrigate the land. It has developed into a center for migrating birds, attracting birdwatchers.
Located on the River Indus in Punjab, the Chashma Dam is designed for water storage and power generation. It’s part of a larger complex of dams and canals.
Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project
This project is on the Indus River near Attock, Punjab. It is one of the largest hydropower projects in Pakistan and plays a significant role in electricity generation.
These are the significant dams in Pakistan. The country has many other smaller dams, barrages, and reservoirs that collectively play crucial roles in managing water resources, agriculture, and electricity production. It’s important to note that the number and status of dams may change due to ongoing construction projects and government initiatives. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, it’s advisable to refer to official sources or recent reports on Pakistan’s water infrastructure.