15 Valley Dam

Valley Dam The most common water storage structure we
see are valley dams. In fact, rarely in the US do we see anything
else. Valley Dams are built below the saddle, below
the keypoint and are earthen berms built across a valley to impound water from a high ground
in that valley’s watershed. The bigger water storages you see are mostly
valley ponds, and the storage capacity available in valleys is a big advantage of such structures. Some disadvantages are that these are typically
in low areas in the landscape, so irrigation using gravity can be limited. Also, valley dams will receive a greater
force of water flow during flood events, which means they need to be engineered solid with
larger spillways to withstand historic scale weather events. In this image of a site designed by P.A. Yeomans, we see where the saddle dams located
up high on the site overflow into a five acre valley pond.

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