What Man-Made Lakes Are Used For
Man-made lakes, also known as reservoirs, are used as water sources throughout the world. Man-made lakes are usually constructed by using a dam to divert a portion of a river to store the water within a reservoir. During seasonal changes, water runoff and precipitation add to the reservoir, which helps in the prevention of evaporation. They are also formed through excavating land or with the use of dykes surrounding the water.
There are many different sizes of man-made lakes, each with its purpose of domestic or industry usage such as irrigation, stormwater management, energy, and resource. There are many advantages and disadvantages to creating man-made lakes.
- water as a resource
- drinking water
- flood protection
- agricultural irrigation
- hydropower (energy production)
- water storage
- increased fishery
- ecological impacts
- human pollution
- displacement of local populations
- expensive construction and maintenance
The lakes can range in sizes from ponds or small lakes to larger bodies of water. Valley reservoirs are constructed by the use of a dam that’s perpendicular to a flowing river. Off-river storage reservoirs are constructed by an enclosure parallel to a river and supplied with water through gravity or a pump. Other reservoirs are called either embankments or bounded reservoirs and have controlled outflow and inflow to or from one or more rivers. A cascade reservoir is a series of reservoirs along a single river and is designed to move the water through tunnels, canals, and reservoirs from one drainage to another.
Large reservoirs can be expensive because they are designed by engineers and are constructed with heavy machinery, materials, and require quality control and more maintenance than smaller reservoirs.
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