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Dams and Reservoirs

Currently, the United States has more than 75,000 dams and reservoirs with a total storage capacity of about 860 million acre-feet. While these bodies of water also provide recreational and power-generation uses, many are primarily intended as water storage devices. By accommodating seasonal variations in streamflow, reservoirs allow water resource administrators to plan for the average downstream flow rate. Despite their general utility, there are a number of points to consider about dams and reservoirs:

Although reservoirs and dams have helped solve national water needs in the past, these points help explain why they may not be the best solution for the future (Frederick, 1995).


next up previous contents
Next: Water Reuse Up: Water Sources: Increasing Quantity Previous: Desalination   Contents
Andy Wingo 2001-12-10