Top 10 Largest Lakes In The World

Lake Kariba is the world’s largest manmade lake. Dams erected across rivers frequently result in the formation of man-made lakes or reservoirs. Water collects behind the dam to fill the artificial basin produced. Dams may also be erected on an outflow channel of a naturally occurring lake to facilitate water level management. Such constructions frequently retain the lake’s natural features., and examples include Lake Tahoe in the United States and Lake Victoria in East Africa. Human-made lakes are most common in locations where natural lakes are few or inadequate for human water needs.

Largest Lakes In The World
Largest Lakes In The World ( Image Credit: Flickr )

The Largest Artificial Lakes In The World

Kariba Dam

The Kariba dam built the world’s largest artificial lake. It has a storage capacity of 180.6 cubic kilometres and is located in Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was erected on the Zambezi River in 1959 and stands 420 feet tall and 1900 feet wide. Lake Kariba stretches about 170 km. The dam’s primary duty is to generate electricity, which it accomplishes by sending around 1626 megawatts to Zambia and Zimbabwe. When the dam was completed, it evacuated around 57,000 people living in the region in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba controls approximately 90% of the Zambezi River’s total flow and has had a significant influence on the ecology downstream. Between 1958 and 1961, the Zambezi River wildlife rescue effort captured almost 6,000 large animals and several lesser tiny species that were threatened by rising lake levels. Strong rains, it was alleged in 2008, might cause the dam to dump water, harming at least 50,000 people living downstream. The floodgates of the dam were opened in 2010 due to rising water levels in the reservoir, requiring the evacuation of around 130,000 people living on the floodplains. The Zambezi River Authority’s engineers indicated in 2014 that the dam’s foundation had deteriorated and needed to be rebuilt.

Lake Volta

The Akosombo Dam, often known as the Volta Dam, is a hydroelectric power station on Ghana’s Volta River. The Akosombo dam, which covers around 3,283 square miles and accounts for 3.6% of Ghana’s total land area, is the world’s largest man-made lake by surface area. However, it is Russia’s third biggest reservoir in terms of volume, trailing only the Bratsk reservoir. The Akosombo dam has a capacity of 150 cubic kilometres and serves primarily to generate energy. Its initial capacity was 912 megawatts, however it was upgraded to 1020 megawatts in 2006.The floods that built Lake Volta reservoir wreaked havoc on the environment and displaced a huge number of people. The Akosombo dam provides energy to Ghana and other West African nations such as Benin and Togo. At the time of commissioning, the dam’s output met 70% of the country’s needs, with the remaining 80% earmarked for Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO).

Manicouagan Reservoir

In Canada, the Manicouagan Reservoir is a double buttress dam erected on the 133-mile-long Manicouagan River. Between 1959 and 1970, the dam was built with the primary objective of generating electricity and transporting water to the powerhouses. It has a capacity of 2,596 MW. The dam is the fourth largest in the world, with a volume holding capacity of 141.8 cubic kilometres. The project is owned and operated by Hydro Quebec.

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Importance Of Dams

The man-made lakes are particularly built to satisfy a variety of requirements.They have the potential to be utilised for commercial fishing, power generation, drinking water supply, irrigation, industrial and cooling water supplies, commercial sports, and other leisure activities. Some of the first reservoirs were erected some 4000 years ago in Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia, with irrigation and water supply as their primary goals.

The Largest Man Made Lakes In The World

RankReservoirNominal volume km³RiverDamCountryYear
1Lake Kariba180.6Zambezi RiverKariba DamZambia/Zimbabwe1959
2Bratsk Reservoir169.0Angara RiverBratsk DamRussia1964
3Lake Volta150.0Volta RiverAkosombo DamGhana1965
4Manicouagan Reservoir141.8Manicouagan RiverDaniel-Johnson DamCanada1968
5Lake Guri135.0Caroní RiverGuri DamVenezuela1986
6Lake Nasser132.0Nile RiverAswan High DamEgypt1971
7Williston Lake74.3Peace RiverW. A. C. Bennett DamCanada1967
8Krasnoyarsk Reservoir73.3Yenisei RiverKrasnoyarsk DamRussia1967
9Zeya Reservoir68.4Zeya RiverZeya Hydroelectric StationRussia1978
10Robert-Bourassa Reservoir61.7La Grande RiverRobert-Bourassa generating stationCanada1981
11La Grande-3 Nord Reservoir60.0La Grande RiverLa Grande-3 generating stationCanada1981
12Ust-Ilimsk Reservoir59.3Angara RiverUst-Ilimsk DamRussia1977
13Boguchany Reservoir58.2Angara RiverBoguchany DamRussia1989
14Kuybyshev Reservoir58.0Volga RiverZhiguli Hydroelectric StationRussia1955
15Cahora Bassa55.8Zambezi RiverCahora Bassa DamMozambique1974

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