Pakistan is a country blessed with abundant water resources that have been used to promote the nation’s growth and development. Pakistan has about 150 dams distributed all over the nation. These dams are the foundation of the country’s water management infrastructure. These technical wonders are essential for delivering energy for houses, water for agriculture, flood protection, and beautiful tourist spots. In this article, we have discussed all the major reservoirs contributing to Pakistan’s development.
List of Major Dams in Pakistan
Table of Contents
Here is the list of famous Dams in Pakistan:
- Tarbela Dam
- Diamer Bhasha Dam
- Mangla Dam
- Warsak Dam
- Rawal Dam
- Mirani Dam
- Satpara Dam
- Khanpur Dam
- Kalabagh Dam
- Neelum Jhelum Dam
Tarbela Dam, KPK
One of Pakistan’s most famous and largest dams is the Tarbela. Its construction was completed in 1976. It was built on the river Indus in the Haripur district of KPK.
The height of the Tarbela is 143.26 meters (470 feet), and the length is approximately 2,743 meters (9,000 feet).
It is one of Pakistan’s major hydroelectric plants, with an installed capacity of more than 4,800 to 5,000 megawatts and 11.62 billion cubic meters (9.4 million acre-feet). However, it’s crucial to remember that the actual water storage capacity might change based on sedimentation and how it is operated over time.
It has 17 turbines, all used to generate electricity, addressing the country’s power shortages.
Diamer Bhasha Dam, KPK
This multipurpose project is still under construction. It is being constructed on the Indus River in Kohistan district KPK, with a small portion in Diamer district in Gilgit Baltistan.
It is anticipated that once finished, it will be one of the world’s highest dams, with a height of 272 meters (892 ft) and About 810 meters (2,657 feet) in length.
It will be a hydroelectric power plant with a potential capacity of about 4,500 megawatts (MW) with the help of 12 turbines and an expected water storage of 8.1 million acre-feet.
Mangla Dam, Mirpur
It is recognized as the second-largest water reservoir in Pakistan and was built in 1967. It was constructed on river Jhelum in the Mirpur district of Azad Kashmir.
Mangla has a height of 147 meters (482 feet) and a length of about 3,140 meters (10,300 feet).
A hydroelectric power plant at Mangla can generate about 1,000 megawatts (MW). It increases Pakistan’s electricity production. Its maximum water storage volume is about 7.4 million acre-feet (MAF), or 9.12 billion cubic meters (BCM), which depends on factors like rainfall and water management.
5 turbines make up Mangla’s hydroelectric power plant. With a combined installed capacity of over 500 MW, each turbine can produce about 100 megawatts (MW).
Warsak Dam, KPK
Warsak is built on the Kabul River KPK. Its construction was completed in 1960 with the help of the Canadian government.
This earth-fill dam is approximately the height of 76 meters(250 feet) and has a length of 2,743 meters.
This water reservoir can store approximately 0.11 billion cubic meters (BCM) or 90,000 acre-feet (AF) of water, and the total Warsak Hydropower Project’s installed capacity is 243 MW. The Pakistan WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) chose to expand 525 MW in June 2012.
It has four generating units, each generating 48 megawatts (MW).
Rawal Dam, Islamabad
Rawal is the most beautiful dam in Pakistan. It was constructed in 1962 to provide water supply to Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It is situated on Margala hill Islamabad. It is about 40 meters in height and 1600 meters in length.
Rawal Lake is the reservoir built by the Rawal Dam with a storage of around 41,000 acre-feet (or 50 million cubic meters). There is no hydroelectric power-producing plant associated with it.
Mirani Dam, Balochistan
This famous water reservoir was constructed in 2006. It is built on the Dasht River, about 50 miles from Gwadar Balochistan. Mirani has been constructed to control flood and water storage.
It has a crest length of around 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) and a height of about 34 meters (112 feet).
Mirani Lake is the reservoir created by this dam, and It can hold around 370 million cubic meters (or 300,000 acre-feet) of water in storage.
As the main purpose of Mirani is to control floods and irrigate the surrounding areas, it doesn’t generate electricity.
Satpara Dam, Gilgit Baltistan
The important water reservoir Satpara is situated at Satpara Lake in Skardu district, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Its construction was completed in 2003.
Its height is around 40 meters (131 feet), and its peak is about 518 meters (1,699 feet).
It produces 17.36 MW of hydroelectricity, powers around 30,000 homes in the Skardu Valley, irrigates 15,536 acres (62.87 km2) of land, and delivers 3.1 million gallons of potable water daily to Skardu city.
Khanpur Dam, KPK
Khanpur is a significant water reservoir situated close to the town of Khanpur in the Haripur District of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It was constructed on the Haro River, a tributary of the Indus, in 1985.
It is 51 meters tall (167 feet) and has a crest length of 1,830 meters (6,000 feet).
Khanpur has a water storage of 79,980 acre-feet.
Khanpur cannot produce energy like other dams with hydroelectric power plants. It is primarily used as a water reservoir for agriculture, recreation, and water supply.
Kalabagh Dam, Mianwali
The Kalabagh Dam is a multi-purpose top project that has been the focus of intense discussion and controversy for many years. It is located on the river Indus in Mianwali district, Punjab.
The Kalabagh is 10,991 feet in length and 259 feet in height. It can produce 3,600 MW of energy. It has a gross storage capacity of 7,900,000 acre-feet and a surface area of 110,500 square meters. If built, it would be Pakistan’s biggest dam. But unfortunately, it is still on hold due to political conflicts.
Neelum Jhelum dam, Azad Kashmir
An important hydroelectric project, the Neelum Jhelum, is situated in Muzaffarabad District, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated on the Neelum River, a tributary of the Jhelum. It was completed in April 2018.
Neelum Jhelum has a tunnel system instead of traditional dams’ typical height and length.
The installed power capacity of the Neelum Jhelum project is about 969 megawatts (MW) with the help of 4 turbines, each can produce roughly 242 MW.
The Neelum Jhelum project primarily uses its tunnel system to move water from the Neelum to the Jhelum River to produce hydroelectric electricity. The Neelum Jhelum project does not have any water storage or a reservoir.
The ten famous dams in Pakistan are listed above with their surface size and storage volume. From Tarbela to Neelum Jhelum, all are crucial for the nation’s development because they provide flood protection, energy, and water for agriculture, as well as a source of attraction for tourists.
1. How many dams are under construction in Pakistan?
Diamer Bhasha and another new project, Mohmand Dam, are under construction in Pakistan.
2. Which is the smallest dam in Pakistan?
Warsak is the smallest dam in Pakistan, situated at the Kabul River.
3. What is the current state of the Kalabagh Dam project?
The Kalabagh project is still on hold due to political disputes and concerns among provinces.