Some Pertinent Considerations in Dam and Reservoir Design

by Krishan P. Singh, Illinois State Water Survey, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '89


Two important considerations in designing and constructing a multipurpose earthdam and reservoir are to minimize losses in the event of dam failure because of overtopping, and to conserve reservoir storage by mitigating reservoir sedimentation. The magnitude of the flood wave in the case of dam break, in terms of flow rates and depths downstream, depends largely on a set of breach parameters. The interaction of these parameters in a manner that minimizes losses which may occur due to a dam breach must be incorporated in design. Reservoir stroage conservation implies a reduction in sediment inflows into the reservoir and/or satisfactory venting of the inflowing sediments. Reducing sediment entrapment has distinct advantages, including 1) smaller initial reservoir capacity and hence reduced cost, 2) improved reservoir water quality, 3) reduction in downstream bed retrogression, and 4) conservation of natural resources to achieve intergenerational equity. Feasible, mitigatory measures are identified.

Subject Headings: Dams | Reservoirs | Dam failures | Inflow | Water conservation | Water quality | Embankment dams | Earthfill dams

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