How many Dams in Pakistan? Here is a list of Dams in Pakistan

A list of water reservoirs and dams in Pakistan

  • Tarbela Dam
  • Mangla Dam
  • Diameer Bhasha
  • Hub Dam
  • Karronjhar Dam
  • Mirani Dam
  • Namal Dam
  • Rawal Dam
  • Warsak Dam
  • Gomal Zam Dam
  • Darawat Dam
  • Munda Dam
  • Khanpur
  • Dandy Dam
  • Simly Dam

Pakistan is basically an agricultural country. Water reservoirs and dams are, therefore, of great importance for Pakistan. According to the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), there are 150 dams in Pakistan. Some major dams of Pakistan are presented below.


1. Tarbela Dam

Tarbela is the biggest earth-filled dam in Pakistan as well in the world. It is located at a distance of about 30 km of the city of Swabi and 105 km northwest of Islamabad. This gigantic dam is built in the city Swabi, district Haripur of KPK province on the River Indus. It was constructed to store water for agricultural purposes and to generate electricity.

The construction work on the Tarbela was started in 1968 and completed in the year of 1976. It is built 143 meters above the river belt. With the water storage capacity of 11.1 million acre-feet (MAF), the Tarbela reservoir has significant importance for the agriculture of Pakistan. This big dam of Pakistan is 80 km long and has a surface area of 250 Km2. The Maximum elevation level of the dam is 1550 feet.

There are 17 water turbines are installed at the Tarbela with the power generation capacity of 4888 Megawatts. The Share of the Tarbela dam in the total hydroelectricity power generation is 70%.

The dam was constructed as a result of Indus Water Treaty 1960, signed between India and Pakistan. It was built by an Italian firm Salini Impregilo.

Note:- As a result of silting the water storage capacity of the dam is reduced from the initial 11.6 (MAF) to 6.8 (MAF).


Tarbela dam pictures

2. Mangla Dam

Mangla dam in Pakistan not merely an extensive work in itself; it was also a vital part of an international treaty between India and Pakistan, the Indus Waters Basement Treaty, signed in 1960.

This multi-purpose dam is built on the River Jhelum. Mangla Dam got its name from village Mangla of Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, where it is located.

At the time of its construction in 1965, the Mangla Dam was the fifth largest dam in the world, and currently, it is the 12th largest dam in the world.

The construction work on the Mangla dam was started in the year 1961 and completed in the year 1965. With a length of 3140 meters and a height of 147 meters, the Mangla reservoir can store 7.39 million acre-feet (M.A.F) water.

Mangla being the multi-purpose dam used for irrigation as well as power generation. With ten installed turbines, it can generate 1310 megawatts of electricity.

Mangla Dam Pakistan

3. Diamer Bhasha Dam

The major part of the Diamer Bhasha Dam is located in the Kohistan district of KPK, but a small portion is in the Diamer of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. After the completion, Bhasha Dam will be the world’s highest dam.

Bhasha dam is being constructed on the River Indus 312 Kilometers upstream of the Tarbela Dam. With 12 turbines, this dam will produce 4800 Megawatts of electricity. It can store water upto 8 million acre-feet (M.A.F.). The dam will extend to an area of 110 km2

The plan for establishing the Diamer Bhasha Dam was presented during the tenure of military dictator and president, General Pervez Musharraf, which is to be constructed at Bahasa in Gilgit-Baltistan, the northern part of Pakistan.

But despite the inauguration of construction several times, the dam is still only in the early stages due to a lack of funds.

This 4500 MW power generating dam project was estimated at $12 billion at the start, but according to various experts, the total cost of the dam could range from $ 18 to $ 20 billion.

The maximum height of the proposed dam will be 270 meters, and it will have a storage capacity of about 74 million acre-feet. The water supply here in the Indus will be about fifty million acres annually. The dam project will cover 110 square kilometers.

It should be noted that, according to the International Rivers Protection Organization, the trend of building a big dam worldwide is becoming less and less, and one of the reasons for this is the continued increase in initial estimates for the construction of the dam.

For the government of Pakistan also the biggest obstacle to the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam was the lack of funds for which they included various World Financial Institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Aga Khan Foundation, etc. But all these institutions refused to give any funds, and the reason for this was the presence of the dam in a controversial area.
Remember that the Diamer Bhasha Dam is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan, but India still considers it a part of it.

In March 2018, the federal government announced in principle allocation of funds for the construction of the dam and said that 370 billion of the budget would be allocated for the construction of the dam while Wapda would collect about 116 billion from its sources. The remaining 163 billion rupees will be borrowed from banks.

According to the government announcement, in the first phase, only water storage facility of the Diamer Bhasha dam will be worked out while construction of the electricity generating section will require another Rs 744 billion, and total project construction will cost Rs 1.4 trillion.

Land acquisition and settlement work have already begun for the construction of the dam, and for this purpose, the government has spent Rs.58 billion, and further Rs138 billion has been allocated in this regard.

It is understood that Diamer Bhasha Dam is a 4500 MW power generation project, which is estimated to cost around $ 20 billion and will be counted among the world’s largest dams if constructed.

Benefits of Bhasha Dam

Experts say the dam is a guarantee of the economic development of Pakistan. This is a plan on which Pakistan will get rid of many of its problems as soon as it is implemented. In addition, it will be able to increase the life of the Tarbela Dam by 35 years.

There have been serious disagreements over the construction of dams in all four provinces of the country, but now it is time to build water reservoirs in the country as soon as possible. Now that the United States has also assured support for the Diamer Bhasha Dam Project, this project should be completed as soon as possible. This project can have enormous benefits, such as:

Construction of the Diamer Bhasha dam will reduce the cost of electricity. The northern district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be able to cultivate an area of 6 million acres of Dera Ismail Khan, where unemployment will decrease.

The waters of the Diyarbasha dam will be from Glacier. The volume of water for this dam is fifty million acre-feet. This will greatly reduce the energy, especially the power shortage. Agricultural prosperity in the country will be met with cheap hydropower, and energy needs for economic development.

4. Hub Dam

This small dam is located in the Karachi district of Sindh and Lasbela district of Balochistan on the Hub River. The construction of the Hub dam was started in the year 1963 and completed in 1981.

Hub dam covers an area of 24300 acres on the border of Sindh Balochistan provinces. The water storage of the dam is 857,000 acre-feet.

5. Karoonjhar Dam

Karonjhar is a small dam located in the Nagarparkar, Tharparkar district on the northern edge of the Runn of Kutch. It mainly built to fulfill the water supply requirement of the Nagarparkar. It receives water from more than 20 rainwater streams of the Karoonjhar Mountains.

6. Mirani Dam

Mirani Dam, the fourth largest dam of Pakistan, is situated in the Kech district of Balochistan on the Dasht River. The construction on the Miraani Dam was started in 2002 and completed in 2006.

Mirani Dam has a water storage capacity of 302,000 Acre-Feet. This dam is developed to provide water for the Gwadar Port.

7. Namal Dam

  Namal dam is located in Namal Valley of Mianwali District in the Punjab Province. It is one the oldest dams of Pakistan built-in 1913. Namal dam extended to an area of 5.5 km2 The hill torrents and rain streams fill this dam.

8. Rawal Dam


Rawal Dam was built in the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad by the Punjab Government. The main reason for making this dam was to provide water supply to these cities.

Construction of Rawal Dam was started in the year 1962. This 8.8 Km2 dam can store water upto 42,000 acre-feet. The primary source of water for the Rawal dam is Korang River.

9. Warsak Dam


Warsak Dam was built near the city of Peshawar in KPK Province on the Kabul River. This multipurpose dam can irrigate 119,000 acres of the land and can generate 243 Megawatts of electricity.

Construction of the Warsak dam was completed in the year 1960 with the financing of the Canadian Government.

10. Gomal Zam Dam


Gomal Zam Dam built in South Waziristan on the Gomal River with US funding. It is providing benefits to 39,000 households and can store 1.14 million acre-feet of water, which is irrigating one lakh 63,000 acres of land.

The construction of the dam started in the year 2001 and completed in 2011. In this dam, two turbines are installed.

11. Darawat Dam


The construction of Dravat Dam is irrigating 25,000 acres of land. According to Wapda sources, Darawat has been built on the Nai Baran River 70 km west of Hyderabad. Darawat dam is located in the Thana Bola Khan Taluka of Jamshoro. The total storage capacity of the dam is 212,000-acre-feet.

This dam was built in 2010 and completed in March 2013.

12. Munda Dam


After five decades of waiting, the construction of the Mohmand Dam on the Swat River is finally starting on May 2. Prime Minister Imran Khan has laid the foundation stone of Mohmand Dam.

Since independence, only two ‘mega’ dams have been constructed in Pakistan, one of which is the 138 meters high Mangla Dam, which was completed in 1967, and the other is the 143-meter high Tarbela Dam, which was completed in 1974.

WAPDA launched research in 1964 on a project formerly known as Manda Dam, and in March 2000, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) submitted its first detailed feasibility report.

According to the details given by WAPDA, the construction of a concrete dam on Swat River 48 km from Peshawar city will be 213 meters, and it will get 800 MW of electricity under the project.

According to officials, the completion of the dam is expected in five to seven years.

The artificial lake built by the dam can store up to 1.3 million acre-feet of water, and it is hoped that the construction of the seven-gate dam will not only generate more than 2800 Megawatts annually but also help Charsadda and Nowshera district to be protected from floods.

It is also hoped that the construction of the dam will irrigate 16000 acres of agricultural land as well as provide 460 kiosks of drinking water to the residents of Peshawar city.

Experts hope the concrete cement industry will boost the cement industry in the country as it requires 1.5 million tonnes of cement for the next six years.

This dam was built in 2010 and completed in March 2013.

13. Khanpur Dam


This multipurpose dam is located on the Haro River in Tehsil Khanpur, District Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. This dam provides drinking water to the capital city of Islamabad. In addition to that, Khanpur dam also provides irrigation water to the Islamabad, Haripur, Attock, and Rawalpindi.

Construction of Khanpur dam was started in the year 1967 and was completed after 15 years in 1983. Rs. 1,385.10 million were spent on the construction of this dam.

According to the WAPDA, Khanpur Dam is 167 feet and it has a water storage capacity of 79,980 acre-feet.

This dam is also famous in tourists for Cliff Jump, Jet Ski, Kayaking and Camping activities.

14. Dandy Dam


Dandy Dam is a small dam located 6 kilometers from away Miran Shah in the North Waziristan agency of FATA. Construction of this dam started in the August 2008 and completed in June 2011. This earth filled dam has water storage capacity of 2907 acre feet. The dam is 101 feet high and 1764 feet long. In the construction of Dandy Dam Rs. 553 million were spent. The dam covers a catchment area of 68 square miles.

According to the official estimates the dam will irrigate 2000 acres.

15. Simly Dam


Simly Dam is located 30 kilometers away from Islamabad in the Rawalpindi district of Punjab. It is the main source of drinking water for the people of Islamabad. Construction of this dam started in the 1962 and completed in 1983.

This embankment dam is built by Capital Development Authority on the soan River. The simly dam has water storage capacity of 28750 acre feet. This dam is 80 meters high and 313 meters long. The surface area of the dam is 1.7 square kilometers.

Simly Dam is the main recreation spot for the people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It is famous mainly for two activities Fishing and Boating.

Famous Nine Dams in Pakistan

S. No.Name Of MountainLengthHeightCompletion date
1Tarbela2743.20 m143.83 m1976
2Mangla1070 m115.82 m1967
3Warsak-270 feet1961
4Khanpur471.53 m50.90 m1985
5Hub-51 feet 1983
6Rawal213.36 m34.60 feet1962
7Ghazi Brotha2017 m119 m2005
8Merani320 m31 m2006
9Subikzai197 m13 m2004

Visit Also: Lakes of Pakistan

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