Irrigation Dams

Irrigation is the artificial supply of water to agricultural land. It is practiced by more than half the farmers in the world because they need more water for their crops than is available from rainfall. Irrigation projects must also allow for removal of excess water.

Generally the need for irrigation water is highest in the dry season when river flows are lowest. To ensure continuous supply, water must be stored on a seasonal and sometimes annual basis. By erecting a dam, an artificial lake, or reservoir, is created from which water can be released as required. Some reservoirs are capable of storing billions of gallons of water. Large dams and the associated reservoirs are often built for multipurpose use—irrigation, flood control, hydroelectric power generation, municipal and industrial water supply, and recreation. Systems of dams and reservoirs along a river and its tributaries are developed with the purpose of providing comprehensive and integrated water resources management in an entire basin.

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