List of Top Dams in Pakistan and Their Importance

If we discuss dams in Pakistan, we need to know a little bit about dams and their purpose. We will further discuss why dams are necessary for Pakistan and how many dams are there in Pakistan as we proceed with the blog.

There are around 850,000 total dams in the world right now. The majority of the dams are in Asia because of China and India. These two countries have the most dams as compared with others, especially China. In fact, the largest dam, the Three Gorges Dam, which is located in China, has a total capacity of 31 million Acre-Feet. If we discuss the world’s tallest dam, Nurek Dam is the one with a height of 984 feet in Tajikistan.

What are Dams and Why Dams are Important?

If we talk in general terms, Dams are the barriers that control and hold the flow of water. A dam is a construction of a concrete structure to manage the flow of water for many purposes. For instance, production of electricity via the hydroelectric method, prevention of floods, irrigational and industrial usage, and water storage. We have three categories of dams; Gravity, Think Arch, and Buttress. Each has a unique purpose according to the rule. Dams are mandatory in Pakistan because of some severe concerns that we will discuss.

Major Reasons to Build More Dams in Pakistan

Firstly, the sudden release of massive amounts of water from India triggers floods in Pakistan. Second is the threat of Global Warming. To tackle the inevitable floods, we need to have more dams to divert the outrage of floods. Dams in Pakistan especially near the Indian border have a crucial task to regulate the enormous flow of water.

Since Global Warming has risen, the sea level has also elevated, which is a grave and alarming situation for all the creatures on the Earth. Similarly, Pakistan is not a landlocked country, its southern region connects to the Arabian Sea, which is a part of the Northern Indian Ocean. It can be a threatening scenario for this country.

Total Dams in Pakistan

In Pakistan, there are around 150 dams, while approximately 8 are under construction. A couple of dams of Pakistan are some of the largest dams in the world. Chiefly, Diamer-Bhasha Dam’s development was the most discussed topic a few years back. Let’s share some information about the prominent dams of Pakistan.

Hub Dam

Hub Dam in Pakistan
Hub Dam in Pakistan

Its foundation took place in 1981 with an area of 27000 ha. Hub dam holds a storage capacity of between 700,000 Acre-ft. and 850,000 Acre-Ft. This dam’s location is in Gadap Town of Karachi, which lies in the southern part of Pakistan that is the province of Sindh. Approximately, it has the capacity of producing 6 million units of electricity annually. With a capacity of approximately 160 million gallons per day, this dam can provide 36 percent water to Balochistan and 64 percent to Sindh. Hub Dam is one of the crucial dams in Pakistan that contribute to most areas around them.

Mirani Dam

With a location at 40 km West of Turbat of District Kuch in Balochistan, it is another hub in southern Pakistan. With the power capacity of 117 Mega Watt and storage capacity of approximately 300,000 Acre-Feet, this project’s inauguration took place in 2002 in the era of ex-president Pervez Musharraf. Furthermore, the Mirani dam’s total height is 127 feet.

Tarbela Dam

Tarbela Dam in pakistan
Tarbela Dam in Pakistan

It is Pakistan’s largest dam by structure volume whose completion took place in the year 1974. With a storage capacity of 9 million Acre-feet, it can produce electricity up to 3478 megawatts. Furthermore, its total capacity had dropped by 12 percent in the year 1992 because of some unknown problems. Tarbela dam lies in the northern region of Pakistan that is Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Warsak Dam

Its completion took place in 1981 in the northern region of Pakistan at River Kabul, which is 30 km from Peshawar in KPK. Its storage capacity is 135,905 Acre-ft. Meanwhile, its power capacity is 193 Mega Watt. 242 Mega Watt was the initial capacity, but it dropped by 50 MW because of some issues.

Mangla Dam

Mangla Dam in pakistan
Mangla Dam in Pakistan

With a storage capacity between 4.67 Million and 5.2 Million Acre-ft. Mangla dam’s completion took place in 1967. After its completion, its expected life was around 50 years. It is the 6th largest dam in Pakistan with a power generation capacity of 1310 Mega Watt. Its location is in Mangla, Azad Kashmir. It is one of the most important dams in Pakistan.

Gomal Zam Dam

With a height of 437 feet, this project’s inauguration took place 10 years ago in 2011. Its power capacity is 17.4 MW with a storage capacity of 1.140 million acre-ft. Gomal Zam Dam is in northern Pakistan at 100 km, Tank, KPK.

Khanpur Dam

Khanpur Dam in pakistan
Khanpur Dam in Pakistan

It is one of the oldest dams in Pakistan, it has been serving since 1984. With a storage capacity of 110,000 Acre-ft. It has a power capacity of 13.8 MW, while its height is 167 ft. With its location in the northern region of Pakistan, it lies at Haro River, Khanpur, KPK. It serves the nearby areas of KPK for irrigation and hydroelectricity. 

Sabakzai Dam

Located at Zhob in the southern province of Pakistan, Balochistan. With a storage capacity of 32700 Acre Ft. Sabakzai Dam’s completion occurred in 2007, the era of ex-president Pervez Musharraf. Furthermore, its height is 114 feet. In conclusion, it is one of the most important one in the southern region of Pakistan. 

Satpara Dam

Satpara Dam in pakistan
Satpara Dam in Pakistan

This dam’s completion took place in the year 2011 with a storage capacity of 53,000 Acre-Ft. and power capacity of 17.3 Mega Watt. Its location is in the most attractive region of Pakistan that is Gilgit Baltistan. Besides, its height is 128 feet and lies 4km from Skardu.

Rawal Dam

Another one of the oldest dams of Pakistan, it has been serving since 1962. With a height of 113.5 feet and a storage capacity of 4300 Acre-ft., its location is in Malpur village, Bani Gala, which is in the Northern region of Pakistan. It serves mainly Rawalpindi, Islamabad and surrounding areas. This Rawal dam tends to provide approximately 20 million gallons of water per day.

Neelum-Jhelum Dam

Neelum-Jhelum Dam in pakistan
Neelum-Jhelum Dam in pakistan

Located at 41 km of Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The inauguration ceremony for the Neelum-Jhelum dam took place in 2018. Meanwhile, its power generating capacity is 969 MW. While the storage capacity is 6400 Acre-ft.  It regulates the flow of water to the surrounding areas of Azad Kashmir through the Jhelum river.

Namal Dam

Probably the oldest dam in Pakistan is Namal Dam. It has been serving since 1923, the era of the British Government. It is approximately 30 km near Mianwali city of Pakistan. With a surface area of 5.5km-Sq., it is also a tourist attraction. This dam helps regulate the flow of water for the surrounding areas of the Mianwali district.


Concluding the entire data about dams, we can have an idea about the importance of dams to save water for the future. Since global warming ignited the alarming signs of the rising levels of the sea, the risk of flood destruction has also spiked. With the highest pace, the icebergs in the northern part of the world are melting. It is about to be a grave situation in the future. 

If we do not work on these issues. Another main concern to building more dams in Pakistan is the threat from India. The sudden discharge of water from India results in massive floods all across Pakistan.

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