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Estimating Dam Volume

Key Points:

In dry seasons or with limited water availability, it is important to know how much water is in your dam to assist with water budgeting for your crops. You need to know the Surface Area and Maximum Depth of your dam.

  1. The surface area of a dam is calculated by multiplying the length by the width.
    Example: 30 metres X 50 metres = 1500 m2

  2. Estimate the maximum depth of water remaining in the dam
    Example 5 metres

  3. From the surface area and depth, the volume can be estimated:

    Volume (m3) = Surface Area (m2) x Max depth (m) x 0.4
    (Where 0.4 allows for the batter slope on the sides of the dam)

    Example: 1500 (m2) x 5 (m) x 0.4 = 3000 m3

    Divide the volume of water in your dam (m3) by 1000 to convert to megalitres (ML),
    Example:. 3000 m3 / 1000 = 3ML

Matters of Facts #43 How much water is in my dam December 2006
No. 43 download pdf 209kb

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