Yes, man made lakes, also known as artificial lakes or reservoirs, can be important and beneficial to have for various reasons. Here are some of the key reasons why man made lakes are considered important
Top 7 Man Made Lakes in Pakistan
Benefits of Man Made Lakes:
1. Water Supply: Man made lakes serve as a valuable source of water supply for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and municipal purposes. These reservoirs can store large quantities of water, ensuring a consistent water supply even during dry periods or droughts.
2. Hydropower Generation: Many man made lakes are created in conjunction with hydropower dams. These reservoirs store water at higher elevations, and when released through turbines, the water generates electricity, providing a renewable and clean energy source.
3. Flood Control: Man made lakes can help regulate the flow of rivers and prevent flooding during heavy rainfall or snowmelt. By storing excess water during times of heavy precipitation and gradually releasing it, these reservoirs reduce the risk of downstream flooding.
4. Irrigation: Artificial lakes are crucial for supporting agriculture in arid or semi-arid regions. Water stored in reservoirs can be released during dry periods to irrigate crops, improving agricultural productivity and food security.
5. Recreation and Tourism: Man made lakes often become popular destinations for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and camping. They offer tourism opportunities and contribute to local economies through the hospitality and leisure industry.
6. Biodiversity and Conservation: Reservoirs can create new aquatic habitats, supporting diverse ecosystems and biodiversity. These areas can become sanctuaries for various fish and bird species, enhancing conservation efforts.
7. Water Management and Drought Mitigation: Man made lakes enable better water management by storing water during surplus periods and releasing it during times of water scarcity. This helps mitigate the impact of droughts and ensures a more sustainable water supply.
8. Navigation and Transportation: In some cases, man made lakes can facilitate navigation and transportation by creating navigable waterways. This can reduce the reliance on congested roads and railways for the movement of goods.
1. Mangla Dam Lake:
The Mangla Dam is a large dam located on the Jhelum River in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is man made lake used to generate hydropower, control floods, and provide irrigation water to the surrounding agricultural areas. The construction of the Mangla Dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1967. Here’s an overview of how the dam and its associated lake were made:
1. Construction: The construction of Mangla Dam involved creating a large concrete dam across the Jhelum River. The dam is an earth-fill embankment dam, which means it consists of compacted earth and rock materials. It stands at a height of about 147 meters (482 feet) and is one of the largest earth-fill dams in the world.
2. Reservoir Formation: The dam’s construction resulted in the formation of the Mangla Reservoir, also known as Mangla Lake. The reservoir is one of the largest artificial lakes in Pakistan, with a capacity of over 5.9 billion cubic meters (4.8 million acre-feet) of water.
3. Submergence of Land: As the reservoir filled with water, it caused the submergence of a vast area of land, including some villages and agricultural fields. People residing in the affected areas had to be relocated to other places, and the government provided compensation and resettlement programs for those affected by the dam’s construction.
Features of Mangla Dam and Lake:
1. Hydropower Generation: One of the main features of the Mangla Dam is its hydropower generation capacity. The dam has a power station equipped with turbines that utilize the flow of water to generate electricity. As of my last update in September 2021, the dam has an installed capacity of about 1,000 megawatts.
2. Irrigation: Mangla Dam is a crucial water resource for the agricultural sector in the region. The stored water in the reservoir is used to irrigate vast areas of agricultural land downstream, enhancing agricultural productivity and supporting livelihoods.
3. Flood Control: The dam plays a vital role in mitigating the impacts of seasonal flooding in the Jhelum River basin. By regulating the flow of water during heavy monsoon periods, the dam helps prevent or reduce flood-related damage downstream.
4. Tourism and Recreation: Mangla Lake has become a popular tourist destination over the years. The serene and picturesque surroundings of the lake attract tourists for boating, fishing, and other recreational activities.
5. Biodiversity: The reservoir also created new habitats for various aquatic species, and the surrounding areas provide opportunities for biodiversity conservation and eco-tourism.
2. Tarbela Lake:
Tarbela Lake, also known as Tarbela Reservoir, is a man made lake situated on the Indus River in Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The construction of the Tarbela Dam, which resulted in the formation of the lake, was a significant engineering project. Here’s an overview of how the lake was made and its features:
1. Construction: The construction of the Tarbela Dam began in 1968 and was completed in 1976. It is one of the largest earth-filled dams in the world and stands at a height of approximately 148 meters (486 feet). The dam was built to harness the waters of the Indus River for various purposes, including irrigation, hydropower generation, and flood control.
2. Reservoir Formation: The Tarbela Dam impounds the Indus River, creating the vast Tarbela Reservoir, also known as Tarbela Lake. The reservoir has a storage capacity of around 13.7 billion cubic meters (11.1 million acre-feet) of water, making it one of the largest reservoirs in the world in terms of capacity.
Features of Tarbela Lake and Dam:
1. Hydropower Generation: One of the primary purposes of the Tarbela Dam is to generate electricity through hydropower. The dam has an installed capacity of approximately 3,478 megawatts, making it one of the most significant contributors to Pakistan’s power generation.
2. Irrigation: The stored water in Tarbela Reservoir is used for irrigation purposes in the Indus Basin. The water released from the dam is diverted into various canals, providing vital irrigation water to agricultural lands downstream, which supports the agricultural sector and improves crop production.
3. Flood Control: Tarbela Dam plays a crucial role in mitigating the impact of floods in the Indus River basin. During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, the reservoir can store excess water, thus helping to regulate the river’s flow downstream and reducing the risk of flooding.
4. Drinking Water Supply: The reservoir also serves as a source of drinking water supply for nearby communities and towns.
5. Recreation: Tarbela Lake offers recreational opportunities for locals and tourists alike. People visit the lake for boating, fishing, picnics, and other leisure activities.
6. Environmental Impact: The creation of the Tarbela Lake had environmental consequences, including the displacement of communities and the submergence of fertile land. However, it has also resulted in the creation of new aquatic habitats that support various fish and bird species.
7. Importance to Economy: The Tarbela Dam and Lake are critical to Pakistan’s economy. They contribute significantly to the country’s agricultural productivity, hydropower generation, and water supply for domestic and industrial needs.
3. Rawal Lake:
Rawal Lake, also known as Rawal Dam, is a man made lake located on the outskirts of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. The construction of Rawal Lake involved the development of a dam on the Korang River, a tributary of the Soan River. Here’s an overview of how Rawal Lake was created and its features:
1. Construction: The Rawal Dam was constructed in the early 1960s to address the water needs of Islamabad and its surrounding areas. The dam is an earth-filled embankment dam, meaning it consists of compacted earth and rock materials to form a barrier across the Korang River.
2. Reservoir Formation: The construction of Rawal Dam led to the formation of the Rawal Lake reservoir. The lake serves as a major water source for Islamabad, providing drinking water and supporting various domestic and industrial uses.
Features of Rawal Lake:
1. Water Supply: One of the primary functions of Rawal Lake is to provide a sustainable water supply to the city of Islamabad. The lake stores water from the Korang River during the rainy season, ensuring a steady supply of water during drier periods.
2. Recreation: Rawal Lake has become a popular recreational spot for residents and tourists. The scenic surroundings, with Margalla Hills in the backdrop, attract people for picnics, boating, and leisurely walks along the lake’s shore.
3. Wildlife and Biodiversity: The lake and its surrounding areas support diverse wildlife and bird species. It has become a habitat for various resident and migratory birds, making it a site of interest for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
4. Environmental Importance: Rawal Lake contributes to the ecological balance of the region by providing a habitat for aquatic life and serving as a green space in an urban setting. It plays a role in mitigating the effects of urbanization on the local environment.
5. Scenic Beauty: The picturesque views of Rawal Lake and its serene atmosphere make it an attractive destination for photography and nature appreciation.
6. Water-Based Activities: The lake offers opportunities for boating and fishing, providing recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.
4. Khanpur Lake:
Khanpur Lake is a man made lake located near the town of Khanpur, in the Haripur District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The lake was created through the construction of the Khanpur Dam, which involved harnessing the waters of the Haro River. Here’s an overview of how Khanpur Lake was made and its features:
1. Construction: The construction of the Khanpur Dam began in the late 1970s and was completed in the early 1980s. The dam is an earth-fill embankment dam, constructed using compacted earth and rock materials to create a barrier across the Haro River.
2. Reservoir Formation: The Khanpur Dam impounds the Haro River, resulting in the formation of Khanpur Lake, also known as Khanpur Reservoir. The lake is surrounded by the picturesque Margalla Hills, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Features of Khanpur Lake:
1. Water Supply: One of the primary purposes of Khanpur Lake is to provide water supply to the nearby areas, including the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The stored water is used for domestic, industrial, and agricultural purposes, contributing to the water needs of the region.
2. Recreation: Khanpur Lake has become a significant recreational spot, attracting visitors for picnics, boating, fishing, and other leisure activities. The serene surroundings and the opportunity to engage in water-based fun make it a popular weekend getaway.
3. Water Sports: The lake offers various water sports and activities, such as jet skiing, kayaking, and rowing, providing an adventurous experience for enthusiasts.
4. Biodiversity: Khanpur Lake and its surroundings support a diverse range of flora and fauna. The lake has become a habitat for several bird species, making it attractive for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts.
5. Environmental Conservation: The presence of the lake has contributed to the conservation of the local environment, providing green space and serving as a buffer zone against urbanization.
6. Educational and Research Opportunities: The lake and its surrounding ecosystem offer opportunities for educational purposes and research in fields such as ecology, hydrology, and biodiversity.
7. Water Management: The Khanpur Dam plays a role in water management, regulating the flow of the Haro River and helping to control flooding downstream during heavy rainfall.
5. Hub Lake:
Hub Dam, also known as the Hub Reservoir, is an artificial water reservoir located near the Hub town in the Lasbela District of Balochistan, Pakistan. It is a man made lake created by constructing the Hub Dam across the Hub River. The dam was built to provide water supply and to control floods in the region. It also serves as a recreational area for nearby residents.
6. Haleji Lake:
Haleji Lake is a famous bird sanctuary and a man made lake located in Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan. The lake was created as a water reservoir to fulfill the water needs of Karachi, one of Pakistan’s largest cities. Here’s an overview of how Haleji Lake was made and its features:
1. Construction: The construction of Haleji Lake began in 1931 and was completed in 1932 during the British colonial era. The primary purpose of building the lake was to serve as a water reservoir for Karachi, as the city was facing water scarcity at that time.
2. Reservoir Formation: Haleji Lake was formed by constructing a barrage across the seasonal watercourse known as the Kanjhar Lake (also called Haleji Watercourse). The lake can store water from the monsoon rains and other seasonal water flows.
Features of Haleji Lake:
1. Bird Sanctuary: Haleji Lake is renowned for being a significant bird sanctuary and is considered one of the most important birdwatching sites in Pakistan. The lake attracts a wide variety of migratory birds, including flamingos, ducks, coots, storks, and many other species. The area becomes a vibrant and colorful spectacle during the migratory bird season, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
2. Biodiversity: The lake and its surrounding marshes and wetlands provide a diverse ecosystem that supports various flora and fauna. Apart from the numerous bird species, the area is home to several types of fish and other aquatic life.
3. Conservation: Haleji Lake is a Ramsar Wetland site, designated as such in 1976. This recognition highlights its global importance as a wetland of international significance and emphasizes the need for its conservation.
4. Recreation: In addition to its ecological importance, Haleji Lake also offers recreational opportunities for visitors. People come here for picnics, boating, and to enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and its surroundings.
5. Water Supply: Despite its significance as a bird sanctuary and recreational spot, Haleji Lake continues to serve its primary purpose as a water reservoir. It contributes to meeting the water demands of Karachi, especially during the dry season.
6. Ecotourism: The presence of the bird sanctuary has given rise to ecotourism initiatives, with guided birdwatching tours and eco-friendly activities aimed at promoting conservation awareness.
7. Keenjhar Lake:
Keenjhar Lake, also known as Kalri Lake, is a large, man made lake located in Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan. The lake was created by constructing a bund (embankment) across the Keenjhar River, a tributary of the Indus River. Here’s an overview of how Keenjhar Lake was made and its features:
1. Construction: The construction of Keenjhar Lake dates back to the 12th century during the reign of the Kalhora dynasty. The bund was built to block the flow of the Keenjhar River and create a reservoir to store water for irrigation and drinking purposes. The lake was further expanded and maintained during the British colonial era.
2. Reservoir Formation: The bund across the Keenjhar River resulted in the formation of the Keenjhar Lake reservoir. The lake is the second-largest freshwater lake in Pakistan, with an area of approximately 13,000 acres and a maximum depth of around 28 feet.
Features of Keenjhar Lake:
1. Water Supply: Keenjhar Lake serves as an important water source for the nearby region, particularly for Thatta and Karachi cities. It plays a vital role in providing water for irrigation and drinking purposes to the surrounding agricultural areas and urban centers.
2. Wildlife Habitat: The lake and its surrounding wetlands support a diverse range of flora and fauna. It is a significant habitat for various bird species, including migratory birds that visit the lake during the winter season, making it an attractive destination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
3. Recreation: Keenjhar Lake has become a popular recreational spot for locals and tourists. People visit the lake for picnics, boating, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.
4. Cultural Significance: Keenjhar Lake holds cultural and historical importance in the region. It is associated with various folklore and legends, including the love story of Noori and Jam Tamachi, which is widely popular in Sindhi folklore.
5. Ecotourism: The lake’s rich biodiversity and scenic beauty have given rise to ecotourism initiatives, with efforts to promote sustainable tourism and conservation awareness.
6. Conservation: Keenjhar Lake is recognized as a Ramsar Wetland site, designated in 1976. This designation emphasizes its international significance as a wetland of importance for waterfowl and other migratory birds, underscoring the need for its conservation and protection.
7. Fishing: The lake supports fishing activities, providing a livelihood for local fishing communities. Various fish species are found in the lake, making it an essential fishing ground for the region.
That’s a wrap on our Top 10 Man Made Lakes in Pakistan Blog.
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