Why in news?
Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine has collapsed.
About Kakhovka Dam
- It was built in 1956 on the Dnipro River as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.
- The dam is 3.2 km (2 miles) long and holds a volume about equal to the Great Salt Lake in the U.S. state of Utah.
- It supplies water to the Crimean Peninsula, and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
- The dam is a strategic water source for southern Ukraine’s Kherson region and the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula, and flooding could potentially block Ukrainian forces seeking to regain lost territory.
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Impact of Collapse of Dam
- About 22,000 people living across 14 settlements in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region are at risk of flooding.
- The Crimean Peninsula is dependent for fresh water on the dam.
- Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest, gets its cooling water from the reservoir
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The Kakhovka Dam, located on the Dnieper River in Ukraine, is a significant hydraulic structure with multiple purposes and impacts. Here are some key points about the significance of the Kakhovka Dam:
- Hydroelectric Power Generation: One of the primary purposes of the Kakhovka Dam is to generate electricity. It has a power station with an installed capacity of approximately 684 megawatts, contributing to Ukraine’s energy production.
- Water Management: The dam plays a crucial role in regulating the water flow of the Dnieper River. By controlling the river’s flow, it helps prevent floods during periods of heavy rainfall and releases water during dry seasons to support irrigation and agricultural activities.
- Irrigation and Agriculture: The Kakhovka Dam supplies water for irrigation purposes, facilitating agricultural activities in the surrounding region. The regulated water flow helps improve crop yields and supports the growth of various crops, contributing to the agricultural economy.
- Navigation and Transport: The reservoir created by the Kakhovka Dam serves as a navigable waterway, enabling inland navigation along the Dnieper River. It allows the transportation of goods and passengers, connecting different regions and providing an alternative mode of transport.
- Recreation and Tourism: The Kakhovka Dam and its reservoir offer opportunities for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. It attracts tourists and locals who enjoy the scenic beauty and water-based recreational opportunities provided by the reservoir.
- Environmental Impact: The dam has both positive and negative environmental impacts. While it contributes to hydroelectric power generation and supports agriculture, the construction of the dam and the alteration of the river’s flow can have ecological consequences on the river ecosystem and the species that depend on it.
The Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine holds significant importance due to its multifaceted contributions. It generates hydroelectric power, manages water flow for irrigation and agricultural purposes, facilitates navigation and transportation, provides recreational opportunities, and influences the local environment. With its diverse functions, the Kakhovka Dam plays a crucial role in supporting the region’s energy needs, water management, economic activities, and tourism sector.
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