5 Largest Dams In The World

Visiting some of the largest dams in the world should definitely be on your bucket list. Some of the oldest dams in the world date back to 3000 BC. A dam is a barrier built to retain water or prevent it from flowing to a different region. The creation of dams helps to reduce the risk of flooding, irrigation and others.

A dam can be man-made or natural, some of the largest dams in the world are a tourist destination. One of the reasons why a dam is an integral part of a country or region is its association with hydropower. In most cases, a dam is built to either supply water or generate electricity. However, not all dams generate power at the same rate, in that some are more effective than others.

There are a good number of dams across the world that generate a high amount of electricity. In some countries or regions, dams are built specifically to generate hydroelectric power. In other cases, they are constructed for recreational purposes like swimming and fishing.

This article gives insight on some of the world’s most amazing dams, their location, function and other features. Here’s a list of the largest dams in the world:


  • Fort Peck Dam (United States)
  • Guri Dam (Venezuela)
  • Tucuruí Dam (Brazil)
  • Itaipu Dam (Paraguay)
  • Three Gorges Dam (China)

Fort Peck Dam (United States)

Fort Peck Dam, largest dams in the world

The Fort Peck Dam is a man-made dam situated in the United States of America is one of the largest dams in the world. It was built mainly for hydroelectric power generation, flood control and water management. The construction of the dam started in 1933, it was completed in 1940 and started generating electricity in 1943.

The dam has an elevation of 2,275 feet (693 metres) a height of 225 feet (69 metres) and a length of 10,500 feet (3,200 metres). Fort Peck Dam is the largest man-made hydraulic dam in the world. It was featured on the Life Magazine in 1936 and in a novel Bucking The Sun

Guri Dam (Venezuela)


The Guri Dam also is known as the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant is housed in Bolivar State, Venezuela. It was built over the period of 6 years, from 1963-1969. Before the power station experienced an upgrade, it formerly had an installed capacity of 1750 MW. However, the total projected hydroelectric capacity of the dam is 10,300 megawatts. It is ranked as one of the largest dams in the world.

The dam supplies electricity to most parts of Venezuela as well as some parts of Brazil and Colombia. Guri Dam is also used for flood evacuation.


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Tucurui Dam (Brazil)



The Tucurui Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Tocantins River located on the Tucurui County. The dam was built with the main purpose of hydroelectric power production and navigation. The first phase of the construction (Phase 1) was between 1975-1984 while the second phase ( Phase II) was from 1998-2012.

Tucurui Dam is one of the largest dams in the world as it has a maximum capacity of 110,000 cubic metres per second. The dam has an installed capacity of about 8,370 megawatts (MW) and generates as much as 77 PJ annually. The hydroelectric plant is owned and managed by Brazil.

Itaipu Dam (Paraguay)

Itaipu Dam,Largest Dams in the world

The Itaipu Dam is a dam on the Parana River. It is situated on the Brazil-Paraguay border. It was formerly the largest dam in the world as it generates about 14,000 megawatts. The dam was constructed over 7 years, between 1975-1982.  It stands out as one of the world’s hydroelectric projects.

The height of the dam is equivalent to that of a 65 storey building. Guaira falls was drowned due to the formation of the Itaipu Dam. The dam has a total length of 7,235 metres, an elevation of 225 metres and a spillway length of 483 metres.

Three Gorges Dam (China)

Three Gorges Dam-China,Largest Dams in the world

One of the world’s largest venture of modern engineering is the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei Province, China. The hydroelectric dam has the world’s largest power station with an installed capacity of 22,500megawatts (MW).  

According to International Water Power & Dam Construction magazine, the dam has the world record as the largest dam in the world as well as the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. It has a width of 2.3 kilometres and a height of 192 metres.

Before the completion of the title of world’s largest dam was held by the Guri Dam (Venezuela) after which it was displaced by the Itaipu Dam (Paraguay/Brazil). Howbeit, after completion of the Three Gorges Dam (
China) took over. Another advantage of the dam is the ability to control the Yangtze River flood.

When next there’s a conversation about dams in the world, you certainly would have a lot to contribute. As mentioned earlier, visiting some of the largest dams in the world is a must-do. These dams have become tourist destinations in their different countries. Ever been to any of the largest dams in the world? Kindly share your thoughts with other readers.



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