Dams and Appurtenant Hydraulic Structures

Dams and Appurtenant Hydraulic Structures

Water, one of the few natural resources without which there is no life, is distributed
throughout the world unevenly in terms of place, season and quality. For this reason it
is essential to construct dams on rivers, thus forming reservoirs for the storage and the
even use of water. To date, forty-two thousand large dams have been built worldwide,
and hundreds of thousands of smaller ones, which have made possible a rational use
of a certain amount of river water – the most important water resource for human
life and activity. Dams, together with their appurtenant hydraulic structures, belong
among the most complex engineering works, above all because of their interaction with
the water, their great influence on the environment and their high cost. Therefore great
significance is given to theoretical research relating to dams, to improving the methods
of analysing and constructing them, and to the knowledge gained in the course of their
exploitation. In the past forty years great progress has been made in this respect.

More than twenty large dams and over a hundred smaller ones have been built
in the Republic of Macedonia, which have still only partially exploited the available
water, and flood control remains incomplete. The majority of the large dams were built
in the period from 1952 to 1982 while, principally because of the lack of investment,
the past twenty years have seen the construction mainly of smaller dams with a height
of up to twenty metres and a reservoir volume of 300,000 cubic metres. In the next
few years some two or three more large dams will be completed which will still not
satisfy the need for water for the water supply, for irrigation and for the production of
electrical energy, which are continually on the increase. The situation in all developing
countries is similar, so that dams will continue to be built in the future despite the
resistance on the part of devotees of the unobstructed flow of rivers.


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