Dams are barriers (usually made from earth, stone or concrete) that block part of the flow of a river and make it possible to store water in large lakes or reservoirs. When rain falls in a catchment area, it flows along a river into the reservoir where it is stopped by the dam. The location and design of dams requires input from many specialists. Rainfall over the catchment area, the shape and nature of the land, construction materials, strength and durability of the design and environmental impact are all critical factors that need to be considered.

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